29 May 2016

Wisteria Shower at Ashikaga Fuji Matsuri

Time flies way too fast! Even today's the last Sunday of May. Omg! So, how you guys doing? Mine's getting more and more occupied with all sort of entrance exam things and other Japanese classes. Hence, finding a way for having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, cleaning the room regularly, getting all the assignments done, BUT still having a leisure time to do some therapeutic activities... altogether at the same time is my biggest challenge right now. I may say, I finally set specific targets to achieve this year or at least on how I want to live this year. Reflecting back to four months ago, everything seemed to be blurry and abstract. 

Okay, so let's get right to what I wrote as the post title! It's about how I spent a day off during the Golden Week Holiday earlier this month. I went to Tochigi prefecture, about 120 km north of Tokyo, to see Fuji Flower Festival in Ashikaga Flower Park. Traveled there by train for 3 hours (one way) with my energetic travelling partner, Lina! And it was completely a fun and memorable day trip: good companion, smooth journey, satisfying destination and a memorable interaction with a local whom we met on the train. Perfect.

Say hi to Lina, people! We're now attending the same uni (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). But Lina's gonna move to Tokyo University of The Arts starting from next term.



And here's one of the highlights of the journey. A 75 year old lady that sat in front of us gave a bag of chocolate candies. "Share this for two" she said before getting off at Sano Station. We were on the same train from Oyama Station and she had been really friendly from the very first time we happened to sit face to face. She was not that kind of Japanese elders that sort of reluctant to greet foreigners because of the anxiety towards language barrier. She was really exceptional, she greeted us first by asking about our homeland and also the difference between Japan and Indonesia in terms of scenery, what we usually eat, etc. She was totally a fun person to talk to! Just reminded me about my grandma :)


She is the one who wears white shirt, cap and backpack. She's so sporty I know! But, behind all her kindness and easy going manner she showed us that day, she was actually in grief. She just lost her mother (95 y.o.) the day before. So she traveled from Tokyo to her hometown in Sano, Tochigi to attend the funeral. She told us about her intention of going back home with a light voice tone as if nothing serious happened.This part of Japanese people's character indeed still makes me amaze at how skillful they are at hiding their true feelings. Exactly one particular thing that I have always been wanting to master: "only show other people the strongest out of myself", and magically someone that I never met before just taught me about this. Hail the power of travelling somewhere!

As soon as the lady got off, we started munching our chocolate candies until the train reached  Tomita Station

Our classic train!




We then walked for around 13 minutes form the station to the flower park! Since we went here during the golden week holiday, so literally everyone was also going to the same destination as ours. We kind of prepared ourselves for the imaginable crowd, lol.

And here's some snaps on the way to the park.


Thank God for clear sky! Woohoo!






Go through the tunnel and turn right!

Anyone know the name of these flowers? Look like paper flower, so thin and fragile but so cute. 


Aaand, we finally arrived at the park, I mean the gate. It looks like this:


The admission fees differ according to the condition of the fuji flower (Wisteria). We paid for 1,700 yen per person because the flowers were at their best when we came. Anyway, we went here on May 4th, 2016.

As we walked inside the gate, we were welcomed with souvenir shops that sold all things wisteria. Like wisteria sponge cake (castella), phone straps, cookies and many more! Will show you more about this later. Because it's always fun and surprising to see how Japanese develop products based on a particular thing/event. 





Hold on, they're all fake! The real one indeed looks like this, even prettier :)

Now, let's go on to the real one












 Ashikaga Flower Park is a huge park, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes or sandals whenever you're planning to visit this park. Oh, and on the day I visited this park, the weather was really nice. Even the sun was shining so bright, making the temperature quite high. Good thing is I brought my hat along so the heat wasn't a hindrance to enjoy the park.

Well, I tried to snap as good as I could, but still, I don't think that I snapped decent pictures to represent how incredible the wisterias were. It was kind of harder and trickier than I imagine. Well, at least I tried! Hahaha.

The Giant Fuji

So the photos below are taken from the other section of the park, The Giant Fuji section. Fyi, this giant fuji has aged about 150 years!! It spreads and creates this majestic view of gigantic purple fuji umbrella. Oh boy, can I have this as my room ceiling? No, of course not. I will never leave my room then.

So, all the purple wisterias that you see in this pic, are from one wisteria tree. Fantastic!



Ah, wonderful purple rain!



Yae Fuji

Moving on, we walked to to next section, that is The Yae Fuji section! Yae means "multi-layered". The word yae also applies to "Yae Zakura" which means "multi-layered sakura". Okay, so you might be wondering how Yae Fuji looks like...





Yae Fuji look more like grape, don't they? Their bulbs are rounder and consisting of layers of petals. They're also shorter hence not looking as dangling as the former ones. But still, they're wonderful!Also,their color pops more!

White Fuji Wall



Yellow Fuji Tunnel



Well, the yellow fuji tunnel hasn't been completely formed. As it still needs few ore years until the flowers become fully grown. But still, all of these yellow wisteria babies were teasing us with their cuteness! 

Omg, there are still lots of things that I wanna show you actually. But I guess it's going to be too long if  I make it into one post only. Moreover, I got something to do after this... so, yeah, the best way is to split this Ashikaga Flower Park post into two parts!

So, stay tune in Morning Hope as I'll show you more about Ashikaga Flower Park beauties on the upcoming post! Cheerio! Pssst... it's gonna be a flower galore, so be ready you flower lovers! :D


xx,

Shabrina

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