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5 Tips to see the famous Purple Wisteria at Ashikaga Flower Park with kids

Have you see the movie Avatar?

I’m sure you remember the “Tree of Life” (or “Tree of Souls”) in the movie?

Well this is the REAL tree of life in Japan!

It is the most AMAZING experience to see this purple wisteria in bloom.

AND did you know these wisterias are over 100 years old and they were transplanted from another location in Japan?! It took over 5 years to plan and carry out the transplantation. Nobody knew if it would work, but 2 months after they were planted in this new location at Ashikaga Flower Park, they bloomed! Truly amazing. They really are like the Tree of Life!!

5 Tips to visit here with kids:

1.Hotel

It takes 2-3 hours from Tokyo to get here (one way), so I honestly recommend making it a 2-Day trip and stay overnight in a nearby hotel!

There are hotels at Oyama which is a great place to stay as it’s on the way from Tokyo.

The other benefit of staying in a hotel (other than being less tired and more enjoyable for you and the kids) is that you can arrive at the park in the early morning when they open! This is honestly the best way to enjoy before it gets too crowded and too hot!

2.Hats & Sunscreen

It is hot! The park is located in the countryside and very exposed to the sun. So it is very hot!

Make sure you take hats, sunscreen, and even an umbrella to protect you and your kids from the sun.

3.Stroller-friendly

Ashikaga Flower Park is Stroller-Friendly! There are ramps everywhere and there were many families there with strollers.

It is hot and crowded, so it’s great for your kids if they can rest in the stroller. Highly recommend bringing it with you!

4.Photos

Don’t be afraid to go here even if it’s crowded. I guarantee you can still take amazing photos!

I went in the peak full bloom period, and yes it was crowded, but I could still take photos.

The purple wisteria was HUGE and there are fences to protect the trees, and this has double benefit because it means you can take photos with nobody blocking your view. It was wonderful!

5.Cash

The food stalls don’t accept credit card, so make sure you bring cash with you!

The park is located in the middle of nowhere, and there is NO convenience store (even at the station) so make sure you bring cash with you if you want to buy food and drinks and ice-cream!

On that note…..

6.Food

There is mainly fast-food (soba, ramen, chicken, chips) at the park, so if you want more healthy food I recommend to bring a picnic with you and eat on the grass. There are lots of seating areas and I saw families bring a picnic mat and sit on the grass with their kids, so it is definitely a great idea!

Details:

  • Name: Ashikaga Flower Park
  • How to get there: You can go by train or by car. I went by train (via Oyama) and I tried to go as early as I could in the morning, but it took 3 hours from my home, so the earliest I could arrive at the park was 9:30am. The park opened at 8:30am, and I wanted to get there when it opened, but it wasn’t possible. Even though I caught the shinkansen from Tokyo to Oyama! On the way back, I caught the local express from Oyama to Shibuya.
  • Cost: Adults 1,800yen, Children 900yen (4-12 years), Children under 4 years are free
  • Google map link
  • Website link

Video:

Watch the video for my 5 Tips and video footage!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria
Me doing a Tree of Life impression from Avatar 🙂 haha See photo below!
Avatar tree of life
CNN listed the purple wisteria at Ashikaga Flower Park as the REAL tree of souls from Avatar! It’s like a fairytale!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with kids closeup
Beautiful flowers!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with kids tree of life
Love the tree trunks! I am amazed these trees were transplanted. It is truly amazing. There were 2000 people who joined the effort to save the trees. They even wrapped the trunks in bandages because the wood was so old and brittle.
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with kids
The park is huge and extremely colorful. Every where I turned was beautiful
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with kids ice cream
Make sure you get the purple wisteria ice-cream! It was delicious!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with kids
The white wisteria was in full bloom when I was there. Basically the timing of full bloom is – first purple, then a few days later the white wisteria blooms, and then about a week later the yellow Golden wisteria blooms. SO if you visit in early May, you are guaranteed to see at least one of them in bloom!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria Kate Neath
A kind lady took this photo of me! Thank you!
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria crowded train
The park is super popular in Golden Week holidays, so there are crowds of people. I recommend to go early in the morning to beat the crowds
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria ice cream
There are about 3 places to buy the purple wisteria ice-cream inside the park. If the queue is really long, I recommend to try another place in the park as some of them were less crowded.
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria Totoro
Cute Totoro with the purple wisteria! There is a huge souvenir shop with lots of purple wisteria designs. It’s a great place to by souvenirs. Just make sure you bring cash (no credit card).
Ashikaga Flower Park purple wisteria with baby
This toddler was kept happy on his Anpanman bicycle! So cute!
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