Kawachi Fujien in Fukuoka: Most beautiful wisteria garden in Japan




You may have seen the images before online amongst lists of the most beautiful places to visit – and they’re not wrong; Kitakyushu’s wisteria gardens are truly spectacular.

About Kawachi Fujien

Nestled among wooden hills of central Kitakyushu you’ll find the Kawachi Fujien and can witness the purple plant that captivates both Japanese and visitors alike. With about 150 different wisteria flowering plants and colours of blue, white, purple violet blue and pink, its popularity is no surprise.

Things to see in Kawachi Fujien

The gardens are private and from the outside just a small glimpse of the gardens can be seen, but once inside you’ll find wisteria domes, trellises and the famous 80m and 220m long wisteria tunnels that have made the location so famous. The gardens also feature wisteria trees which are more than 100 years old. Together they form a wonderful roof of different shades of purple flowers. If you follow the paths and make your way to the viewpoint at the top of the garden you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely view of the gardens as a whole as well as the surrounding scenery. The gardens are so famous that they attract visitors from all over the world to a part of Japan that would ordinarily not feature much on the tourist routes. It’s wonderful to enjoy the gardens with people who have come from faraway places to admire the natural beauty and hard work of the gardeners.

The wisteria season is relatively short and the gardens are opened seasonally around late April to mid-May depending on the weather each year – but often during the very busy Golden Week. Due to this you can expect to share the pastel coloured gardens with many, many visitors. You’ll want to ensure you visit during those peak times though as otherwise you’ll be greeted with rather bare looking trees – the crowds are well worth it for the full impact of the plants in bloom.
If you can’t make it in spring you could always check out their autumn colours too!

Tickets of Kawachi Fujien

During the Wisteria season it’s vital you pre-book your tickets online to avoid being turned away at the gates. You can purchase your tickets through ticket machines at convenience stores such as 7-eleven and Family Mart.
The gardens are open from 8am till 6pm during Wisteria season which runs from mid-April till Mid-May as well as during mid-November to early December for autumn colors. The admission price is 500 yen at the beginning and end of the season, 1500yen during peak times and 1000yen the rest of the time. It’s free for children younger than junior high school age.

How to go to Kawachi Fujien

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the gardens it’s very likely you’ll encounter traffic jams on your route, particularly during Golden Week, and due to the quite remote location the route there isn’t very straightforward.

Public transport

The best way to reach Kawachi Fujien is to take a train to JR Yahata Station from Kokura Station or Hakata station. From there there’s a shuttle bus which runs from April 21 – May 6 and takes you directly to the entrance.
Alternatively, you could catch the Nishitetsu bus number 56 from outside Yahata station to Kamishigeta (the final stop on the line) but only do this if you’re prepared to walk the 45-55 minutes it’ll take you to get to the entrance of the gardens. The benefit of this option is that you’ll likely avoid the queues of traffic.

By Car

It’s a bit easier by car and there are around 200 free parking spaces on site as well as a few spots at the nearby bathhouse ‘Ajisainoyu’ —– ,but expect traffic to slow you down getting there. During weekends and peak season the parking spaces fill up fast so along line of traffic is often the result of people waiting for available spaces.
The busiest route is the one coming from central Kitakyushu but the southern entrance from Yahata IC, Kokura-minami IC along the Kyushu Expressway, is slightly better and offers another parking lot about a 20 minute walk away too.

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Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

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Nobu Tanaka

I am a photographer based in London, originally from Japan. I’m also a part of a company which makes a B2B platform to simplify the content marketing process.

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