Hello and welcome back to my small corner of the internet!
Spring has arrived and nature is awakening from its slumber. Today I wanted to take you to a different stop in Japan.
Tochigi Prefecture is only about an hour outside the buzzing streets of Tokyo, but it takes you back in time and you will be able to plunge into the Japanese country side.
As you hop on the train in Tokyo, you’ll notice the buildings gradually fading to farms and you can instantly feel a more tranquil and calm vibe.
You’ll find yourself changing trains a couple of times and realising that at Tochigi station you’ll be standing on a platform more or less by yourself. Fear not! Some nice locals will be joining you on the ride to the flower park.
As you step out of the train at a station with a name that won’t stick to you, you’ll find yourself asking if this is the right place. Nothing points to any type of flower park and you happen to be in a village somewhere in the deepest countryside. For some unknown reason, most people will start walking into a certain direction and you will simply tag along. At some point you’ll notice an increase in flowers and the sign you were hoping for.
Ashikaga Flower Park is a highlight among locals and retired Japanese with a knack for photography. If possible, try avoiding the weekends, because the crowds tend to get really big. We went during the week and quite early in the morning to avoid the masses of fellow flower enthusiasts.
The park is mostly famous for its beautiful waterfalls of wisteria. The famous Fuji, wisteria in Japanese, blossom at the same time as the Tsutsuji, or Japanese Azalea.
Clouds of lilac, white, yellow and purple wisteria seem to stretch their branches on beds of white, red, pink, purple azalea. Bees and butterflies buzz excitedly around.
The artificial lights and the grayness of the city seem not to reach this idyllic place. The ponds and perfectly placed trees and stones give you a feeling of tranquility and you might just feel a little closer to your own spiritual askesis.
Have you ever been to the Ashikaga Flower Park? Which one is your favourite park in Japan? Leave me a comment down below.