Kawachi Fujien (Kawachi Wisteria Garden)

Kawachi Fujien 河内藤園
(Kawachi Wisteria Garden)

A gem of a place unearthed relatively recently, the Kawachi Wisteria Garden is garnering a reputation for being one of the most beautiful places in the world. Each spring, elegant fuji (wisteria) transform the garden into a paradise on earth.

Location: Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture
When to visit: Typically late April to mid May for wisteria
mid November to early December for autumn colours
Admission: 701 to 1500 yen
Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00 (subjected to variations depending on weather)
Recommended duration: 1 to 2 hours to visit at a leisurely pace
Best time for pictures: Early morning; before the crowds arrive and clutter up the frame; some warm sunlight filtering through the wisteria make for a romantic ambience
Accessibility: Private transport is recommended for this destination
Other considerations: Some unpaved paths and slopes, manageable to get around with wheel chairs and strollers
Location of Kawachi Fujien

Kawachi Fujien first opened its doors in April 1977. Today, 22 varieties of wisteria populate the garden, decorating its compound with different shades of purple, pink and white each spring.

As of 2014, Kawachi Fujien is still relatively unknown and can be considered a destination off the beaten track. Several recent online articles featuring the garden have drawn international attention to it, prompting many to wonder if this place of seemingly out-of-this-world beauty really exists. It does, and the scenery here is truly magnificent.

In autumn, when the wisteria are not in bloom, hundreds of deciduous trees surrounding the garden provide lovely fall colours and the setting for a tranquil stroll through the thin woods.

GPS information
Google map co-ordinates: 33.831322,130.792681
Map Code: 16 275 312
Telephone: +81 093-652-0334
Address: 2 Chome-2-48 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi Ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Postal Code: 805-0045
Japanese characters: かわちふじえん
Parking: Available just outside the garden

Public transportation is not recommended for this destination as it is poorly served by trains and buses. The nearest transport hub is Kokura Station (小倉駅) on the Sanyō Shinkansen Line. A taxi ride from here will cost around 4000 yen. Or take a train to Yahata Station (八幡駅), from where a taxi ride will cost around 3000 yen.

From To Transportation Travel Time One-way Fare Frequency
Osaka Kokura Sanyo Shinkansen 140 mins About 14500 yen 4 - 5 departures per hour
Hiroshima Sanyo Shinkansen 50 mins About 7500 yen Frequent departures
Hakata (Fukuoka) JR Kagoshima Main Line 45 mins (limited express), 80 mins (rapid train) About 2000 yen, 1290 yen Frequent departures
Kokura Yahata JR Kagoshima 15 minutes 280 yen Every 10 minutes

Tip from the locals:
There is a bath house 5 minutes on foot from Kawachi Fujien called "Ajisai no Yu" (あじさいの湯). The bath house runs a free shuttle bus every one or two hours from Yahata Station (八幡駅) for patrons. Time your arrival to the bus timings and you can enjoy a hot bath (< 1000 yen) before visiting the garden.

Coming soon
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