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A Tour of Flower and Culture (One-day Trip)


The town of Ashikaga is just 70 minutes from Asakusa on the Tobu express train.

Take a walk in the Japanese-style streets and enjoy the scenic floral views.

START:  

As soon as you get off at Ashikaga Flower Park Station on the JR Ryomo Line

1.   Ashikaga Flower Park

A breathtaking array of hanging wisterias and an exquisite flower garden for all four seasons.

This flower garden creates a full sense of the season and the magnificence of nature with a wide range of plants and trees. The highlight of the park is the massive Japanese wisteria trellises in bloom from late April to mid-May. You will be totally stunned by four large wisteria vines and the 80-metre tunnel of white wisterias, designated as a prefectural natural treasure. In the evening the illuminated wisterias bring dream-like scenes. The park also draws large crowds during the fall and winter months, when the “Bejeweled Flower Garden”, the one of the Kanto area’s top three annual illumination events, is held. The garden welcomes over a million tourists throughout the year.
Address 607 Hasama-cho, Ashikaga-city, Tochigi
Telephone Number 0284-91-4939
Website http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/
Business Hours 09:00-18:00 (depending on the season)
Days Closed for Business December 31, the first Wednesday and Thursday of February
Price Adult 300-1700yen, Child 100-800yen (prices may vary depending on the flowers in bloom)
Directionsrail or bus: As soon as you get off at Ashikaga Flower Park Station on the JR Ryomo Line
By car: approx.20-minute drive from Ashikaga IC or 25-minute drive from Sano-Fujioka IC

2.   Kimono Dressing Experience in Ashikaga

Dress up in an antique Kimono and travel back in time to the early 1900s!

The silk textile known as “Ashikaga Meisen” was popular for contemporary colours and innovative patterns in the early 1900s. In the 1920s, the city of Ashikaga was its largest producer in Japan. Dress up in an “Ashikaga Meisen” Kimono at the Ashikaga Machinaka Yugakukan and ramble through the stone-paved streets of the historic town. You can even enjoy coordinating Kimonos with modern accessories such as boots and hats in the local style. Come and have a unique and memorable experience!
Address 2673-1 Tori 1 Chome Ashikaga-shi
Telephone Number 0284-41-8201
Website http://www.city.ashikaga.tochigi.jp/site/ashikaga-kankou/yugakukan.html
Business Hours Open 9am – 1pm
Days Closed for Business Closed on the third Monday of the month (except public holidays, in which case the Yugakukan is closed the next working day) and New Year holidays
Price “Ashikaga Meisen” Kimono rental fee: from 3,000 yen
DirectionsA 10-minute walk from JR Ashikaga station or 15-minute walk from Ashikaga-shi station on the Tobu Railway
↓ 13 min. on foot
Tomita Station
↓ JR Ryomo Line
Ashikaga Station
↓ 7 min. on foot

3.   The site of Ashikaga School

A National Historic Site known as the oldest academic institution in Japan

It is said that over 3,000 students studied at the school during the disturbances of the 10-year civil war (Onin War) starting in the 15th century. Praising the results, the Roman Catholic missionary, Saint Francis Xavier introduced Ashikaga to the world as the largest and most famous university of Japan. Today buildings have been restored, and visitors can view classrooms in their original historic form and join a program reading The Analects of Confucius on Sundays.
Address 2338 Shohei-cho, Ashikaga-city, Tochigi
Telephone Number 0284-41-2655
Website http://www.city.ashikaga.tochigi.jp/site/ashikagagakko/
Business Hours 09:00-16:30 (April to September)
09:00-16:00 (October to March)
Days Closed for Business the third Mondays (except Bank Holidays, in which case closed the next working day), December29 to December 31
Price Adult 420yen, Student (over-16s) 210yen, Child (under-15s) Free
Date a program “Reading The Analects of Confucius aloud” held on Sundays (April to July, September to November)
“Sekiten” the school’s traditional festival held in November
DirectionsBy rail or bus: 5-minute walk from the North exit of Ashikaga station on the JR Ryomo line, or 15-minute walk from the North exit of Ashikaga-shi station on the Tobu Isezaki line
By car: approx.10-minute drive from Ashikaga IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway or approx.12-minute drive from Otakiryu IC

4.   Ashikaga Orihime Shrine

A beautiful vermillion-lacquered shrine dedicated to the god of matchmaking

Registered as a Tangible Cultural Property in June 2004, Ashikaga Orihime Shrine has long been worshipped as home to guardian deities of local industry and matchmaking. 

The vermillion-lacquered shrine stands in beautiful contrast to the surrounding green forests. Located on the hillside, the shrine commands magnificent views of the city of Ashikaga and the Watarase River. On fine days, the view extends as far as the Kanto Plains and the Tokyo Skytree. The shrine is a starting point for a walking trail through the Prefectural Natural Park. The trail is popular for enjoying seasonal views and is suitable for children. 

A large number of visitors come and enjoy music performances and local delicacies at the shrine during the grand spring festival in May and autumn festival in November. It has become a popular dating spot since being named a sacred place for lovers and one of the best night view locations in 2014.
Address 3889 Nishinomiya-cho Ashikaga-shi
Telephone Number 0284-22-0313 (Ashikaga Orihime Shrine Supporting Association (Hosan-kai))
Website http://www6.ocn.ne.jp/~ashiori/orihime.htm
DirectionsA 20-minute walk from the north exit of JR Ashikaga station
A 25-minute walk from the north exit of Ashikaga-shi station on the Tobu Isesaki line

GOAL:  

Trip Route