Wisteria flowers can be seen in full bloom between the end of April and the start of May in Tokyo and the best place to see them is Kameido Tenjin Shrine which hosts a Fuji Matsuri (Wisteria Festival) with a selection of food stalls and nighttime illuminations. Kameido is about 30 minutes east of the Tokyo Fox global operations centre on the Sobu line and so we headed off there last Sunday afternoon hoping to see some of the lovely lavender-coloured flowers in bloom.
The 634 metre high Tokyo Sky Tree looms in the background of the shrine and adds to the beautiful setting where the purple flowers reflect in the ponds water, which is quite unique. These wonderful wisteria flowers were planted during the Edo period and are pretty legendary due to their fairly common appearance in many ukiyoe (colour prints) and other works of art.
With the cherry blossoms recently having passed through Tokyo and the pink carpeted Fujishibazakura soon on the horizon, this is the best time of the year for seeing some of these flowers at their blooming best! (Very) keen Tokyo Fox readers will of course remember that Kameido Tenjin Shrine featured a couple of years ago in the “Ten shrines of Tokyo” cycling venture. On that day, this particular shrine featured in the middle of the challenge and typically was where it started to rain but no such weather problems on this occasion, not that it was amazing weather either!
Cloudy conditions this time around and a bit more time to actually take in the atmosphere of the place which of course didn’t take happen too much on that previous visit due to time constraints. Comprising of several bunches, the flowers can be seen dangling from wisteria trellises and are quite a sight to behold…if you can get beyond the fact that the place is packed full of people.
It’s generally me who chooses the destinations on our days off together but it was my girlfriend who actually suggested this place and very grateful I was as I had no knowledge of such an event but was very keen once she’d shown me a picture or two from previous years. Hopefully it’s not a one-off and she can come up with some other new interesting places to visit in the forthcoming months!
How to get there: Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a 15 minute walk from the North Exits of either Kameido or Kinshicho stations which are both on the Sobu Line. The address is 3-6-1 Kameido, Koto-ku.