Kawachi Fuji Garden, Kitakyushu, Japan
© Steve Tan C K Photography/Getty Image
Kawachi Fuji Garden
This photo shows just one of over 22 different varieties of wisteria planted at Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan. Hundreds of wisteria plants were carefully cultivated to form tunnels that bloom, with shades of blue, white, purple and pink. The walkable tunnels open into large domes of wisteria vines for visitors to sit under and bask in the fragrant flowers. A viewpoint gives visitors an impressive look of not only the flowers but also the surrounding valley and its bamboo groves.
The private garden wasn’t necessarily intended to be a tourist destination. Founder Masao Higuchi just wanted to leave something behind as proof that he lived in this world. Work began in 1968 and the garden opened to the public in 1977. The garden is only open for two brief periods a year: the wisteria season between late April and early May, and the equally impressive maple season. In autumn, more than 700 maple trees change colour, bringing another blast of colour from mid-November to early December.