It is very popular in Japan to visit the “real-life” locations of anime. It is a so-called “anime pilgrimage” (アニメ聖地巡り). For anime fans the locations associated with the anime scenes are holy places. In this series of articles, the locations of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are introduced. This article is on the places of wisteria flowers.
Where do wisteria flowers appear in the story?
Wisteria or “Fuji (藤)” in Japanese is a key item in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Demons dislike wisteria flowers and they can be even poisonous to demons. Also families with the wisteria crest appear in the story. These are families that were rescued by demon slayers in the past and they volunteer to serve demon slayers when needed.
The final selection of new demon slayers is held in Mt. Fujikasane (藤襲山), where wisteria flowers bloom out of season at the foot and demons cannot go outside. The mountain with wisteria flowers appears in Comic Vol.1 Chapter 6 of manga and Episode 4 of the anime Demon Slayer, when Tanjiro finally goes to Mt. Fujikasane for the final selection.
Three highly recommended spots of wisteria flowers
In Mt. Fujikasane wisteria flowers bloom out of season but the actual season of wisteria flowers in Japan is from the second half of April to the first half of May. There are many flower parks and gardens where wisteria flowers are planted. The more flowers there are, the more you will be impressed, of course.
Ashikaga Flower Park
Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク) is located in Tochigi Prefecture, open all around the year and you can see different kinds of flowers and illuminations. The park is famous for a wisteria tree of approx. 160 years old. “The Great Wisteria Festival (大藤まつり)” is held during the season of wisteria (April/May), with over 350 wisteria trees in bloom.
Ashikaga Flower Park was also listed in Top 10 dream destinations selected by CNN in 2014. The article of CNN introduces Ashikaga Flower Park as follows:
Space travel to James Cameron’s Pandora in “Avatar” would be ideal, but until that becomes possible, the Ashikaga Flower Park is a close second on the dream destinations list.
Eighty kilometers from Tokyo, the park offers an otherworldly experience – its 143-year-old wisteria looks nearly identical to “Avatar’s” spiritual Tree of Souls, with purple flowers cascading to the ground.
The fairy tale experience continues with vibrant wisteria trellises extending for a thousand square metres.Quote from edition.cnn.com
Besides the famous purple wisteria flowers, an 80 metres long tunnel made with white Kibana wisteria is worth watching as well.
Fee: JPY2100 for Adults, JPY1100 for Children
Website: Ashikaga Flower Park
How to get to Ashikaga Flower Park
Address: 607 Hasama Town, Ashikaga City, Tochigi
3 minutes walking from JR Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク) Station
Kawachi Wisteria Garden
Kawachi Wisteria Garden (河内藤園) is located in Fukuoka Prefecture and is open during the season of wisteria flowers (April/May) and during the red colouring of the leaves in autumn (November/December).
Kawachi Wisteria Garden was founded in 1968 by Masao Higuchi, whose dream was to leave something behind as proof that he has lived in this world. He made up his mind to plant beautiful wisteria in this mountain of miscellaneous trees and create a wisteria garden that everyone can come and see. Due to the hard ground and rocky terrain, the work did not go smoothly. After collecting the loose stones and carrying them out on a unicycle for a few years, a tiered platform was finally completed. The wisteria tree, which was transplanted from Kawachi Village in the very beginning, has become 120 years old.
Fukuoka is the home town of Koyoharu Gotouge who wrote Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Kawachi Wisteria Garden is in a mountain. It is possible that she got the inspiration of Mr. Fujikasane from Kawachi Wisteria Garden. Masao Higuchi continued his efforts to make his dream come true. His way of life somehow links to that of Tanjiro who continues striving while enduring hardship.
Advance reservation of a ticket is required.
Fee: JPY500 for reservation and JPY1000 for entry
Website: Kawachi Wisteria Garden
How to get to Kawachi Wisteria Garden
It is challenging to reach the garden by public transport if you are not a Japanese speaker. There is a bus to take you to “Kawachi Primary School” which is 6 minutes walking from Kawachi Wisteria Garden. But for this bus a reservation by phone is required.
Address: 2-2-48 Kawachi, Hachimanhigashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka, 805-0045
About 25 minutes rom JR “Hachiman (八幡)” Station by car
From JR “Tobata (戸畑)” Station
Take bus No. 40 to “Okura (大蔵)“
Walk 6 minutes to “Sankyu Drug Mae (サンキュードラッグ前)“, the bus stop another bus line.
Take bus for Tashiro and get off at “Kawachi Shogakko (河内小学校)“.
*Advance reservation by phone is required.
Walk 6 minutes to Kawachi Wisteria Garden.
If you take a taxi from JR Hachiman Station, think about the way back in advance. It is not easy to catch a taxi in a mountain, so make sure that you have the phone number of the taxi company!
Wake Wisteria Park
Wake Wisteria Park (和気町藤公園) is located in Okayama Prefecture. The park was founded in 1985 for the 1250th birth day of “Wake no Kiyomaro (和気清麻呂)”, a high-ranking official from the region who contributed for the Emperors and Empresses in 8th Century.
“The Wisteria Festival” is held during the season of wisteria (April/May) with light-up at night time. Approximately 100 types of wisteria collected from all over Japan are planted. Wake Wisteria Park holds the first place in terms of the variety. The wisteria trellis is 7m x 500m.
Fee: JPY300 for adults, JPY150 for children (free entry in low seasons)
Website: Okayama Sightseeing Website (Japanese only)
How to get to Wake Wisteria Park
Address: 1893 Fujino, Wake-cho, Wake-gun, Okayama, 709-0412
From JR “Wake (和気)” Station
Take bus No. 13 for Yoshinaga Hospital. Get off at “Fujino Yubinkyoku (藤野郵便局)”
Walk 16 minutes from the bus stop.
It is not easy to reach Wake Wisteria Park without a car either. If you go by bus, please be aware that the bus comes every 1 hour as it is a rural area.