Wisteria Flower Tunnel
Kawachi Fujien in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture is a private wisteria garden established in 1977. It is open only during wisteria season and when leaves change colours in autumn. Wisteria is a plant that grows all over Japan and which has captivated Japanese people for a long time. The flower clusters hang down for the tip of the plant’s long vines and sway beautifully in the wind.
The best time to visit Kawachi Fujien is in late April to beginning of May. Approximately 150 trees comprising 22 types of wisteria in a variety of colors grow in a 10,000 square meters area. There are 2 kinds of wisteria tunnel, an 80m long tunel (263ft) and a 220m long (722ft) tunnel, wisteria domes and wisteria trellises.
Directions : From Fukuoka Airport, take the subway and then a JR train to JR Yahata Station (about one hour). Take Nishitetsu bus #56 from Yahata Station to “Kawachi Shogakko-Mae” bus stop (about 20 min). The garden is a 15 minutes walk from the bus stop.
Admission fee: 300 yen -1,000 yen (changes depending on the blossoming stage of the flowers)
Visit website for more details
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
A visit to Kyoto is not complete without visting the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction. You’ll be unable to resist trying to take a few photos but really no picture can capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo groove.
Getting there :
Bus: Kyoto City bus 28 from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama-Tenryuji-mae
Train: JR Sagano/San-in line to Saga-Arashiyama or Hankyū line to Arashiyama, change at Katsura
You can access it directly from the main street of Arashiyama, a little to the north of the entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple, but it’s best paired with a visit to that temple (exit the north gate, take a left and you’ll be in the grove in no time). There’s just one main path through the grove, which leads slowly uphill. Once you get to the top of the hill, the entrance to the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa is right in front of you (go in, you won’t regret it).
Alternatively you can join the a private guided tour of Arashiyama, check out this website for more details.