Fukuoka Wisteria Guide 2016

Wisteria have been adored by the Japanese since the Nara period (710 to 794 AD); they even appear in Manyoushu (the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled during the 8th century). Wisteria can grow in harsh conditions, and some species boast edible flowers and roots and bark with medicinal qualities. Wisteria are at their best from the end of April to early May, and they’re loved for their sweet fragrance and vibrant colors. In Fukuoka, we’re lucky enough to have many glorious wisteria-viewing spots, including some which have been designated natural monuments of Japan, such as Nakayama no Ofuji in Yanagawa and Kurogi no Ofuji in Yame. Here we present eleven great wisteria spots in Fukuoka Prefecture for you to explore – so grab your camera and head out to experience the vibrant pink, purple and white curtains of wisteria.

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Wisteria Spots

Nakayama no Ofuji
Designated a natural monument of Fukuoka Prefecture, Kumano Jinja Shrine’s 300-year-old trees drape wisteria across 1,700 ㎡ of trellises. These wisteria are at their peak from mid-April to late April, and the Nakayama Wisteria Festival is held to celebrate. By day, take in the sight and aroma of the cascading purple flowers (stretching down over a meter) and browse stalls selling local goods, then enjoy a different view during the nighttime light-up (until 22:00).

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Season: Mid-April ~ late April
Age: Approx. 300 years
Scale: Approx. 1,700m2
Address: Tachibana Ikoi no Mori Park, 547-1 Nakayama, Mitsuhashi-machi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Access Info: Approx. 10 min. by car from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Sta.
Parking: Available (free, approx. 50 lots; approx. 800 lots during festival)
Tel.: 0944-73-2145 (Yanagawa City Tourist Association)
Website: http://www.city.yanagawa.fukuoka.jp/kanko/meisho/saijiki/haru.html

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Kurogi no Ofuji
Kurogi in Yame is known for its thousands of beautiful wisteria, which create gorgeous purple curtains of flowers. These plants have been designated a natural monument of Japan, and this year the peak bloom can be seen between Apr. 20 and Apr. 25. Yame Kurogi Wisteria Festival 2016 will be held from Apr. 16 ~ early May. This wisteria spot is located by Japan National Route 442, inside Susano Jinja Shrine.

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Season: Mid-April ~ late April
Age: Approx. 600 years
Scale: Approx. 3,000m2
Address: 5-2 Kurogi, Kurogimachi, Yame, Fukuoka
Access Info: 30 min. by car from Kyushu Expressway Yame IC
Parking: Available (¥400, approx. 250 lots)
Tel.: 0943-42-9190 (Kurogi Tourism Association)
Website: http://www.townkurogi-ta.jp/

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Buzoji Temple
See wisteria and one of Kyushu’s oldest temples together! The plants here are approximately 1,300 years old, and the flowers stretch down as far as meter. A festival is held on the day that the wisteria are considered to be at peak bloom – this year, that will be Apr. 29 (the beginning of Golden Week).

武蔵寺_長者の藤1_Ogano

Season: Mid-April ~ late April
Age: Approx. 1,300 years
Scale: Approx. 500m2
Address: 621 Musashi, Chikushino, Fukuoka
Access Info: 30 min. walk from JR Futsukaichi Sta., 10 min. walk from Nishitetsu Bus “Futsukaichi Onsen” stop
Parking: Available (free, 10 lots)
Tel.: 092-922-2670 (Buzoji Temple)

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Maizuru Park Fuji Garden
Enjoy wisteria in the heart of the city! 10 of the 30 wisteria plants here are over 100 years old and were moved to here from Higashi Koen (Hakata-ku). Under the care of expert gardeners, the wisteria plants are now in better condition than ever. From Apr. 18 to 24, check out the Fukuoka Castle Fuji Rest Area, where you can join craft workshops or try out pop-up cafes.

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Season: Mid-April ~ late April
Age: Approx. (10 out of 30 are over 100 years)
Scale: Approx. 1,300m2
Address: 1 Jonai, Chuo-ku
Access Info: 5 min. walk from Ohorikoen Subway Sta.
Parking: Available (¥150/hour; two parking lots: approx. 67 lots, approx. 72 lots)
Tel.: 092-781-2153 (Maizuru Park Management Office)
Website: http://www.midorimachi.jp/feature/2016spring/index.html

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Jozenji Temple (Kojo no Fuji)
Locals and tourists alike make the journey to see Jozenji Temple’s wisteria, which have been designated a natural monument of Fukuoka Prefecture. The flowers of these 500-year-old plants cascade down as far as 1.5 m. These wisteria are called Kojo no Fuji and the plant has become the symbol of Fukutsu. A festival is held every year around Golden Week, which is when the wisteria are in full bloom (this year, the event will fall on Apr. 29); around 50 Zen priests gather for a shakuhachi (bamboo flute) performance and to pray for a prolonged life.

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Season: Late April ~ early May
Age: Approx. 500 years
Scale: Approx. 400m2
Address: Jozenji Temple, 3624 Benjou, Fukuchi-machi, Tagawa, Fukuoka
Access Info: Approx. 30 min. by car from Kyushu Expressway Yahata IC
Parking: Available (Free, 2 parking lots (total 50 lots))
Hours: Lanterns lit until 21:00
Tel.: 0947-22-0637 (Jozenji Temple)
Website: http://www.town.fukuchi.lg.jp/asobu/syousai.php?SEQ=71

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Hasshogu Shrine
This shrine is filled with wisteria, some of which are a few hundred years old. The shrine’s location within 65,000 m2 of virgin forest gives it a peaceful air, and it has been designated a natural monument by the prefecture. Turn right once you’ve passed through the torii gate, and you’ll be greeted by swathes of wisteria.

八所宮の藤1

Season: late April ~ early May
Age: approx. 60 years (planted in 1959)
Scale: approx. 1,000m2
Address: 3186 Yoshidome, Munakata, Fukuoka
Access Info: 20 min. walk from Nishitetsu Bus “Yoshidome” stop
Parking: Available (Free, approx. 100 lots)
Tel.: 0940-33-4467 (Hasshogu Shrine)
Website: http://www.city.munakata.lg.jp/

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Itoshima Umi Hachimangu Shrine
The approach to this shrine is lined with wisteria from mid-April to early May. Enjoy viewing wisteria against a backdrop of rich nature! The best day for wisteria viewing is predicted to be Apr. 29 – the start of Golden Week!

(Photo Credit: 糸島市)

(Photo Credit: 糸島市)

Season: Mid-April ~ beginning of May
Age: Approx. 260 years
Scale: Approx. 200m2
Address: 787 Kawatsuki, Itoshima, Fukuoka
Access Info: 20 min. by bus from JR Higo line Chikuzen-Maebaru Sta.
Parking: Available (Free, approx. 40 lots)
Tel.: 092-323-0734 (Itoshima Umi Hachimangu Shrine)

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Kisshouji Temple
Around late April, the grounds of this famous wisteria-viewing spot turn purple with blooming flowers, and you can walk beneath a canopy of purple and white wisteria! Go during the wisteria festival (Apr. 27 ~ Apr. 29, 9:00~22:00) to peruse stalls alongside locals and visitors from out of town.

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Season: Mid-April ~ late April
Age: Approx. over 150 years
Scale: Approx. 1,000m2
Address: 13-11 Kisshouji-machi, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu
Access Info: Approx. 7 min. walk from Nishitetsu Bus “Meiji-machi Danchi” stop
Parking: Available (¥500, approx. 20 lots)
Tel.: 093-617-0237 (Kisshouji Temple)
Website: http://www.city.kitakyushu.lg.jp/yahatanishi/file_0122.html

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Kamitakaba no Ofuji (Fuji no Sato Park)
Locals and visitors from out of town make the journey to this wisteria-viewing spot, located on the grounds of a shrine. The wisteria here are at their best in late April, so on Apr. 24 there will be a festival to celebrate the full bloom, including a taiko performance, stage performances by locals and various booths.

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Season: Late April ~ beginning of May
Age: Approx. over 100 years
Scale: Approx. 420m2
Address: 1793-1 Kamitakaba, Chikuzenmachi, Asakuragun, Fukuoka
Access Info: 10 min. walk from Nishitetsu Bus “Kurita” stop
Parking: Available (free, approx. 10 lots), approx. 50 lots available during event (Free)
Tel.: 0946-42-6601 (Chikuzenmachi Planning and Policy Division)
Website: http://www.town.chikuzen.fukuoka.jp/291.htm

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Onakatomi Jinja Shrine
The purple curtains of wisteria which cover 200 m2 of the Onakatomi Jinja Shrine’s grounds are known as Shogun Fuji. From late April to early May, many visit the shrine’s Shogun Wisteria Festival. It might also interest visitors to know that although there are 34 shrines in Ogori City, this is the only one with a tower gate.

将軍藤

Season: Late April ~ beginning of May
Age: Couple hundred years
Scale: Approx. 200m2
Address: 555-1 Higashi-Uchihatake, Fukudou Aza, Ogori, Fukuoka
Access Info: 5 min. walk from Nishitetsu Hatama Sta.
Parking: Not available
Tel.: 0942-75-7555 (Ogori City Archaeological Research Center)
Website: http://kanko.ogori.net/index.php?cID=155

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Kamikusuda Tenmangu Shrine
Every year, the flowers at this shrine amaze visitors with their delightful fragrance and beautiful colors. The fujidana (wisteria shelf) stretches 21.3 m by 7.5 m. Depending on the year, the purple and white flowers of these 100-year-old plants drape down as far as a meter!

(Photo Credit: みやま市)

(Photo Credit: みやま市)

Season: Mid-April ~ early May
Age: Approx. 100 years
Scale: Approx. 150m2
Address: Kamikusuda Tenmangu Shrine, Kamikusuda, Takata-machi, Miyama, Fukuoka
Access Info: Approx. 7 min. by car from JR Wataze Sta.
Parking: Not available
Tel.: 0944-64-1523 (Miyama City Commerce and Tourism Division)
Website: http://www.city.miyama.lg.jp/info/prev.asp?fol_id=12557

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Originally written in March 2016.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in March 2016.

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