I was behind in planning for Golden Week this year, so I was really fortunate to get a message from a friend asking if I’d like to do a day trip to the Kawachi Fuji Garden. The garden has several varieties of flowers, but its main attraction is its long tunnels of white and lavender wisterias.
Since everyone travels during Golden Week, there were quite a few people, but crowds came and went, so if you waited long enough you could get pictures without that many people in them. Most people were like us, standing in different places and taking tons of pictures.
There was more than one tunnel, but the first, main tunnel was the best one. Every time you took a couple steps or turned around, the view would completely change. It cost 1000 yen ($10) to get in, but once you passed through the entrance, you could follow the circuit of wisterias all the way back to the beginning and just go again, so that’s what we did. We took so many pictures that my friend ran out of room on her iPhone and had to start deleting things, and we walked the course about three times, slowly.
We spent a substantial amount of time a little ways up the hill after you leave the tunnel (not the exit, but the end of the tunnel inside the garden). There were long wisterias hanging from wooden rafters and poles, and they extended quite a ways. Some people had set up tarps and were having picnics.
It’s pretty unreal. What the pictures don’t capture is the scent–the wisterias gave off such a wonderful smell; it was natural and not overpowering, even with all those flowers anywhere.
The other thing the pictures don’t capture are the bees. There were some very fat bumblebees buzzing around this place. My friend was joking that people look crazy, because they’re just walking along and then suddenly they’re like “Agh!” and duck for no apparent reason (because you can’t really see the bees unless they’re close). If you wanted to prank someone here, all you’d have to do is walk near someone, and pretend to freak out, and duck. I also learned that in Japanese, bees go “BUUUUUN.”
The sea of lavender wisterias was beautiful, but there were some areas where the lavender began to lighten into pink, and it really stood out against all the purple.
The weather forecast for Monday had been partly cloudy, with light rain in the morning; we decided to risk Monday because Tuesday was our last day before starting work on Wednesday. It’s good that we did, because by afternoon in Kiyakyushu it was perfect spring weather, and you wouldn’t even have known it had rained. The sun gave us a nice mix of light and shadows on the flowers.
Bump of Chicken, “Firefly”