Lured by a photograph of the garden, I booked a place in a photographic tour group which held out this garden as its star attraction. This is a photo of what I found there. There were so many people who visited the same garden that I had to wait for more than an hour before I could take a few photographs with less people. During the two hours we spent there, there must have been at least 10 separate groups, including people who came all the way from South East Asia, China, various parts of Japan, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and even some Northern Europeans. We were told by our local tour guide that the owner of the garden would charge entrance fees according to the percentage of Wisteria in full bloom. The garden covers an area of about 10,000 square meters and there are some 150 wisteria in 22 slightly different varieties. This year, the flowers started to bloom in late April but by the time we arrived, we were charged only 70% of the full admission charges. Paradoxically, this is not bad at all. The weeklong Japanese holiday ended just the day before we arrived. We were told that had we gone there a day before, all we could photograph would be people, people and more people!
These are some of those growing at the side of a path which led to the top of the small hillock.
The proportion of purple and white wisteria may vary from clump to clump.
There are different shades of purple
This is a clump of pink wisteria dangling at the side of the path. But normally, these strings would stretch between 4 to 6 feet or more down and they would grow on specially built metal and bamboo frames. They can grow to a size of 10 meters by 10 meters in twenty years' time. Believe it or not: the oldest wisteria tree in the garden is more than 100 years old!
This is part of the forest of wisteria at the hill top. Apart from this, there are four separate arch-shaped tunnels covered from top to bottom with wisteria, one at the top of the hill and three others at three different levels, parallel to each other, each lower than the previous until we reach the one at the bottom of the hill, the one most visited by older folks and people who are not prepared to make the effort to trek up the fairly steep path on the left of the entrance.
When you reach the top of the hillock, there's a small flat area from which you can look across the valley and see the surrounding hills, all covered with pine trees and also the wisteria dome immediately below.
At the top of the hill, there is a patch some 20 feet by 50 feet in which you'll find wisteria in white and purple and green. You literally have to bend down your body before you can pass them because the lower tips of the wisteria strings would be just about 3 to 4 feet above the ground and you will have them brush against your face or hair. Their profusion is simply unbelievable.
There is however a corridor at the side closest to the hillside where you can walk without having to bend down
Purple in front and ivory white behind
The start of the human height corridor
There are alternate grids of pink, purple and ivory white
white in front and purple behind
the purple patch
The ivory patch
You feel literally bathed in a sea of wisteria
This is how thick it can become
a string which is permitted to grow at the fringe of the frame
This is how tightly their clumps can be
One of the strings
A few of the flowers at the tip of the string. They are pea like flowers
Immediately below the wisteria rectangle at the hilltop, there is an eskimo igloo-like dome. But many of the flowers have wilted. Perhaps that's why we got a 30% discount on our admission charges..
The side of the dome
Beside the dome, there are also some other flowers on the hill slope
This is the small tunnel leading down hill
This is the third tunnel, the one closest to the hill top about 263 feet long. Here we find wisteria of purple, ivory, white, and green.