Tokyo Wisteria Favourites

After cherry blossoms comes a spring flower with history

Tokyo Wisteria Favourites

Just as the cherry blossom season draws to an end, fuji or wisteria is the next flower ready to take the limelight. From April to May, the drooping long wisteria vines become alive with a mass of fragrant flowers. The Japanese love of wisteria dates back a long way. Kasukabe City in Saitama the home of a “Special Natural Monument”, the “Ushijima Wisteria”, believed to be over 1200 years old. There are many precious wisteria plants growing in shrines and parks across Tokyo and its outer suburbs. We recommend you get out there and enjoy this flower that that is on par with cherry blossoms.

Kameido Ten Jinja Shrine “Wisteria Festival”

While this shrine is well known for its plum blossoms, it is also famous for its 15 trellises featuring approximately 100 wisteria plants, which burst into flower at once in late April. It is said that the wisteria plants within the grounds were planted approximately 350 years ago when the shrine was built and have been called “Kamedo Goshaku Fuji” and “Kamedo Fujinami” since the Edo period. The shrine is holding its Wisteria Festival from Sun April 18 to Wed May 5 this year. The wisteria trellises will be lit up from sundown til late into the night.
(Full details & map)

Haijima Koen “Haiijima Wisteria”

Haijima Park, located next to Haijima Shrine which is famous for Daruma-ichi (market), is home to the “Haijima Wisteria” designated as a “Natural Monument” by the City of Tokyo. Known locally as “Chitose (1,000 years old) Wisteria” it is said to be over 800 years old. Being 200 square metres across, it is quite an impressive wisteria trellis. The best time to see it is from before until after Golden week.
(Full details & map)

One hundred famous views of Setagaya “Ookura no Goshaku Fuji”

In the grounds of one private residence in Ookura in Setagaya ward can be found a roughly 80-year-old wisteria. In 1984, it was selected by local residents in a ballot held by Setagaya Ward as one of the 100 famous views of the ward. The owner of the residence generously opens up the garden to the public to view the wisteria, but asks visitors to please be considerate.

Address: 1-9-3 Ookura, Setagaya, Tokyo

Jingu Gaien “Wisteria near the vending machine”

Meiji Jingu Gaien may famous for its row of gingko trees in Autumn, but its small wisteria trellises at this time of year are just as worthy of acclaim. Overhanging a row of vending machines on the way to JR Shinanomachi Station from the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery is a violet wisteria vine. Stop awhile and enjoy fragrance of the wisteria from the benches.


Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine “Hataage Benzaiten Shrine White Wisteria”

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shine in Kamakura is bustling at this time of year. There is not just flowering cherry blossoms and spring peonies to see, but also a white wisteria. Pass through the san no torii (the Third Shrine Gate) and head towards the inner grounds, cross Taiko Bashi Bridge the honden (main building) and on your right hand side is Genji Pond. Floating in the pond is an island on which stands Hata age Benzaiten Shrine. The white wisteria trellis is located here and the wisteria looks stunning against the red vermillion of the shrine. Most visitors to Tsurugaoka Hachinamangu Shrine will make a photo stop here; be sure you are one of them. The best time to visit is the first ten days of May.
(Full details & map)

By Akiko Toya
Translated by E. Kavanagh
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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