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Wisteria Garden in Yamaga

Hidden garden awash with shades of purple

While most visitors flock to Japan's major wisteria gardens (like Ashikaga) in late April, a similar scene can be had for a fraction of the crowds at the lovely wisteria garden just next to the Museum of Ancient Burial Mounds in Yamaga. The park consists of a gentle walking path that passes under five trellises, each one graced with a different variety of wisteria. The colors range from white to dark pink to different hues of purple; some of the varieties are actual quite rare in Japan. There is parking on-site for about two dozen vehicles and a restaurant nearby that serves an affordable set lunch. It's best to bring your own food, however, and picnic on the benches beneath the blooms.

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