Skip to main content

Wisteria Floribunda: Ashikaga Park


The first time I ever really appreciated or even seen up close this flowering plant was in Ito City in Shizuoka Prefecture at the famous Rinsenji Temple - there are a few other temples with the same name, so just remember Rinsenji is the one in Ito, and it is the  (りんせんじ temple) - with the  floribunda variety.     Although the actual plant was named after an anglo, the Japanese have been cultivating this flowering plant for centuries before, and was even introduced to North America by a Westerner.    How can one man lay claim to a  name for a flower anyway?   In Japan we call it "Fuji".





As the sun began to wane, and the last vestiges of its great energy shone hues of  gold and orange across the evening sky.   Images of a time long gone, and faded jubilees and sweet kisses.   And sweet nothings.    The naked flower for, example.  It's already beautiful just as it is.  No need to adorn it.  Such as the wisteria with its long and slender vines, and soft pedals lain across trellises.  




                                                                       Ashikaga




Science tells us that the oldest flower never bloomed and evidence of the first flower ever created  is still unknown to us.    The debt to beauty is there.  The proof must be somewhere.   Even science has proven to be utterly clueless.








                                                                                   Purple

We are all indebted to beauty.    We must see it up close and smell it.   This is what I wanted to do on that long train ride through the sun baked backbone of Tochigi Prefecture.   From Oyama to Tomita is a vast and rural plain of golden rice fields and ramshackle barns.   I loved how the setting sun bathed the whole landscape in brilliant hues of orange and gold and the tiny man- made eddies with glistening ripples of light shimmering off the surfaces.   Orbs of sunlight piercing through the train's windows and stinging my semi squinted eyes.  I love how the train rocked with its squeaky carriage as it worked its way through this valley.  I was on my way to Beauty.   Bound for Beauty.  Beauty bound.   Night Beauty.



Purple is a color most associated with royalty in the Western world.   In Japan, it's a symbol of protection.  In Asia it's associated with mourning and suffering.  For the American Negro woman it is associated with sexual  violation and domestic violence as portrayed in the movie Color Purple.    Purple is a color that represents so many different dynamics in the human experience.    For me, it has always been a symbol of beauty and protection.  




                                                 Ashikaga Park had so much beauty to offer for me.  


                                                    The bridge and where it connected me to....


       There is a wonderful site here which explains the different varietals and the history of this park.




It took me about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Tomita station, and then another 20 minute walk to the park.  Entrance was about 1400 yen.  The park and souvenir shops stay open until 9pm.   Remember to try the wisteria soft ice cream!   Very delicious.   Wear some good walking shoes because there are plenty of excellent foot paths.   You have until May 20th to enjoy these wisteria.   Daytime offers a completely different view than night.  I recommend trying both.   You don't need buses and taxis to get here.  There are plenty of amenities here, too.   If you bring your own food there is plenty of free seating all round the park which all have gorgeous scenic views of wisteria.    


  





As for accommodation.  Oyama Station is the nearest major station and has an e-hotel and a few other business accommodations at affordable prices.   I did not choose any of them because their facilities were inadequate  for me.  Meaning the baths close down at around midnight.   Other then that, fairly decent accommodation.   I opted for Takasaki Station because they had a Dormy Inn which has a bath and sauna that remain open all night - sauna shuts down at 5am.     Plus they allow for late check-in, like past midnight if you call them.   Takasaki has more convenience stores.   It takes two hours to reach from Tomita Station.  Long rain ride, but well worth it for me.   









Comments

  1. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with
    us so I came to look it over. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and terrific style and design.
    my site > here

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is this real?? What o good purple flowers..:)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…