Moss phlox and wisteria flowers. Introducing famous spots in Japan with other flowers besides cherry blossoms. Don’t forget to use a great-value JR pass for traveling!

Written by Editorial department
10 May 2017
Last update :

Cherry blossoms turn everything around into pink color!

Spring in Japan is magically colored by cherry blossoms
Spring in Japan is magically colored by cherry blossoms

It is said that in spring, many people consider visiting Japan to see sceneries like these.
Given that ordinary cherry blossoms are popular subject to talk about in many media and blogs, in this article, we will introduce you famous spots for both “shibazakura (moss phlox)” that bloom at your feet and “wisteria flowers” that are not part of cherry blossoms but also peak in the spring.

※At the end of this article, we will let you know about a great-value JR pass for a travel from Tokyo area. Don’t miss it out!

1.Fuji Motosuko Resort where you can enjoy Moss phlox (2017 Fuji Shibazakura Festival )

Different from the most popular cherry blossoms that bloom on trees 5 to 15 m high, moss phlox bloom at the height of your feet. Technically, they are not part of trees but grass, and they come in various colors including light pink, red, light purple and white. Just like cherry blossoms, these flowers are stunningly beautiful.

Moss phlox in a variety of colors
Moss phlox in a variety of colors

There are multiple spots in Japan that are famous for moss phlox but we, the editing team recommends Fuji Motosuko Resort (Fuji kawaguchi-ko town, Yamanashi prefecture). Here, you can admire Mt. Fuji and moss phlox that spread wide like a carpet at the same time. In the park, an event known as “Fuji Shibazakura Festival ” is held when moss phlox are in peak. This year in 2017, the event will be held between April 15th and May 28th.

A hill of moss phlox that resembles Mt. Fuji
A hill of moss phlox that resembles Mt. Fuji

Though there are many spots worth visiting in the site, in this article, representing the editing team. I will introduce you 3 highlights based on past visits to the festival.

〈Highlights #1〉This is the place to adore a view of a combination of the most beautiful-looking Mt. Fuji in a year and the moss phlox.

More than anything else, the biggest highlights of the festival is the combination of Mt. Fuji and colorful moss phlox. In this season, with some snow still left around its peak, Mt. Fuji looks the most beautiful in a year. The fact that the view of Mt. Fuji can be seen together with moss phlox is nothing but a miracle! The astonishing beauty of the scenery was selected as one of “Japan’s 31 most beautiful places” by CNN in the U.S.

Though I only have basic skills with photo taking, even I was able to take eye-opening pictures like these posted below. I posted them on my SNS, and to my surprise, I got the most number of comments among various contents I posted that year!

Picture perfect from any angle since the objects are so beautiful
Picture perfect from any angle since the objects are so beautiful

〈Highlight #2〉Learn about local cuisine

The festival is also for food-lovers simultaneously offering “Mt. Fuji Gourmet Festa”. At the site, you will have a chance to flavor “Yoshida’s Udon”; regional dish in Mt. Fuji area, and “Fujinomiya Yakisoba”; extremely popular dish in Japan as one of B-grade gourmet. Other menu includes “Kosyu Chicken Motsuni (chicken innards stew)” with crunchy gizzard, fresh and firm heart, and also liver so tender and addicting.

“Mt Fuji Gourmet Festa” will be also held
“Mt Fuji Gourmet Festa” will be also held

〈Highlight #3〉 Meet Japanese street performers

Another event that will be held this year in the site is “Mt. Fuji Street Performance Festival”. It will be open every day except for a period of April 29th through May 7th. Every week, there will be different groups out of 28 selected Japan’s top street performers showing their best tricks at the site. Find some flavors of Japanese culture in the street performances.

This year, street performance will be played in the event site
This year, street performance will be played in the event site

[2017 Fuji Shibazakura Festival]

Event Period
April 15th (Sat) through May 28th (Sun), 2017
Tel
0555-89-3031
Venue
Fuji Motosuko Resort
Address
212 Motosu, Minamitsurugun Fujikawaguchi-ko machi, Yamanashi
Access
Get the venue by “Shibazakura liner” bus from “Kawaguchiko station” on Fujikyu Railway
Business Hours
8:00 – 17:00
Closed on
Open every day during the festival
Admission
Adults (over junior high school) ¥600 / Children (over 3 years old) ¥250
URL(English)
http://www.shibazakura.jp/eng/

2.”Ashikaga Flower Park” where you can enjoy wisteria flowers (The Tale of Fuji no hana”)

Wisteria is a plant that blooms light blueish purple flowers that hang like grapes. The appearance of the flowers is elegant and calm, and they are beautiful in a different way from cherry blossoms. The flower has been admired in Japan since ancient times. In fact, the common name of a color known as “fuji-iro (wisteria color)” came directly from this flower.

One of the perfect locations to enjoy wisteria is “Ashikaga Flower Park”. In this park, every year between mid-April and mid-May when wisteria flowers bloom, an event called “The Tale of Fuji no hana” is held. This year in 2017, the event will be open between April 15th and May 21st.

With the lights, the flowers look even more marvelous at night
With the lights, the flowers look even more marvelous at night

In the park, there is a globally-uncommon large wisteria tree as old as 150 years tree age and a wisteria flower tunnel that is as long as 80m. All those combined, there are approximately 350 wisteria trees in the site.

80m long, wisteria flowers tunnel
80m long, wisteria flowers tunnel

Please go experience out of this world, breathtaking beauty.

[The Tale of Fuji no hana]

Open period
April 15th (Sat) through May 21st (Sun), 2017
Tel
0284-91-4939
Venue
Ashikaga Flower Park
Address
607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga City, Tochigi
Access
Approximately 13 minutes’ walk from “Tomita station” on JR Ryomo line
Business Hours
7:00 – 18:00
Closed on
Open every day during the festival
Admission
Day time ¥900 to ¥1,700, Evening ¥600 to ¥1,400
※Admission fees vary depending on blooming conditions of flowers.
URL(English)
https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/english/index.html

3. Economical method to travel from Tokyo by train

Now, we are going to tell you about convenient and also economical pass that you can use to travel to the festivals listed above. It is called “JR TOKYO Wide Pass”, and with this pass, you will have unlimited access for assigned seats on Shinkansen and rapid trains for 3 days.

Applied trains include all trains on Fuji Kyuko trains that goes towards the direction of “2017 Fuji Shibazakura Festival” venue, and JR East trains towards “The tale of Fuji no hana” and also all trains on Tokyo monorail as well as all trains on Izu Kyuko trains. If you are a pass holder, it will save your time to get a ticket every time you get on a train.

[JR TOKYO Wide Pass]

Price
Adults (12 years and older) 10,000 yen, Children (6-11 years) 5,000 yen
Valid For
3 consecutive days
Place of Sale
◯JR EAST Travel Service Centers: Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3 Station, Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station
◯Stations : Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3 Station
◯View Plaza : Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Ueno Station, Yokohama Station, Mito Station
Terms of Purchase and Use
Must be a foreign national with a foreign passport (passport will be checked upon purchase) Avairable for a purchase only in Japan.
Sale Period
All year
Period of Use
All year
URL(English)
https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/tokyowidepass/

With the JR pass, why not go explore spring-time Japan that has more than ordinary cherry blossoms to offer?