High up the hill about 4 km south of the Yahata Station lays the most photographed garden in Japan. Funnily this isn’t a national treasure, but a private property. Someone envisaged a field full of wisteria made to grow into a tunnel shape, in which he would walk. The place quickly won hearts of tourists and turned premises into a profitable business.
Since it’s really out in the wild, the public transportation isn’t very convenient. There is a bus, which runs roughly every one and a half hour and takes passengers to the closest bus stop still 45 minutes walk away from the destination. Unfortunately, I arrived at the station only a few minutes after the most recent departure, so I was a bit stuck. I decided to take a taxi right to the entrance to not waste anymore time.
The best time to view the garden is late of April and beginning of May. Although it’s a last week of April, the blossom time hasn’t fully arrived yet, so I missed the place at it’s full potential. However, it was still very impressive to walk below the endless roof with early blossomed wisteria wrapped around wooden structure so tight that the sun was barely making through.
The location has gained so much on the popularity that they have recently changed visits from the walk-in to the pre-booking only. Usually, since the area isn’t capable of handling a huge amount of traffic, that time of the year often floods neighbourhood with massive traffic jams.
When I left I walked down the hill back to the city admiring the surroundings full of mountains, a river with almost 100 years old … and households, some even abandoned grown in the rock!
If you are somewhere in Japan, hop on that train to Yahata and go see it before it all goes away until the next year!