Celebrate the delicate beauty of wisteria at the flower’s signature shrine
The Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara Prefecture comes to life every spring when, in early May, more than 200 wisteria trees are in full bloom. The symbol of the shrine is a wisteria bloom and the mikanko, or shrine maidens, also wear headpieces decorated with the elegant purple flower.
The Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden, which is the best place to see the flowers in their glory
The Sunazuri no Fuji, a drooping, aged wisteria tree with flowers growing so long that they nearly touch the ground
How to Get There
Kasuga Taisha Shrine is accessible by bus or on foot. From either JR Nara Station via the Yamatoji Line or the Kintetsu Nara Station via the Nara Line, take a bus bound for Kasuga Taisha Honden. Get off at the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop. The journey takes about 10-15 minutes. You can also take a bus towards Shinai Junkan Sotomawari by the City Loop Bus Outer Circle. Alight at the Kasuga Taisha Omote Sando, from which it will be a 10-minute walk. The shrine is about 20 minutes on foot from the Kintetsu Nara Station.
A flower with a hidden meaning
The wisteria has historical significance as the flower emblazoned on the family crest of the Fujiwara clan that dominated the government of japan from 710 to 1160. The clan used to control much of Nara, the ancient capital of Japan before Kyoto, and built the main shrine building of Kasuga Taisha Shrine in 768, on the instructions of Empress Shotoku. The most scenic place to view the wisteria is the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden, where botanists and visitors alike can enjoy more than 200 trees and 20 species of wisteria.
The oldest and largest wisteria tree on the premises is known as the Sunazuri no Fuji, estimated to be over 700 years old. This prominent and iconic tree has already left its imprint on history, appearing in a picture scroll known as the Kasuga Gongen-genki that was offered to the shrine in 1309.
The Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden is a must-visit for any nature enthusiast or flower lover. Located within the grounds of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, this botanical garden is home to over 200 wisteria trees and 20 different species of wisteria. The garden is meticulously maintained, allowing visitors to experience the full beauty and splendor of these stunning flowers.
As you wander through the garden, you will be greeted by a sea of vibrant purple wisteria blooms. The flowers hang delicately from the branches, creating a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere. The sight is truly breathtaking and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
In addition to the wisteria, the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden is also home to a variety of other plant species. You will find azaleas, peonies, and cherry blossoms, among others. Each season brings its own unique display of colors and scents, ensuring that there is always something new to discover.
The garden is meticulously designed to showcase the natural beauty of the wisteria. The trees are carefully pruned and trained to create stunning archways and tunnels. As you walk through these archways, you will feel as though you have entered a magical world. The wisteria blooms cascade down from above, creating a stunning canopy of flowers.
One of the highlights of the garden is the Sunazuri no Fuji, a drooping, aged wisteria tree. This tree is estimated to be over 700 years old and is truly a sight to behold. The branches of the tree are so long that they nearly touch the ground, creating a unique and picturesque scene. This iconic tree has become a symbol of the garden and is a favorite subject for photographers.
Visiting the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden is an experience that should not be missed. Whether you are a nature lover, a photographer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of flowers, this garden is sure to captivate your senses. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden, soak in the beauty of the wisteria blooms, and allow yourself to be transported to a world of natural wonder.
To reach the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden, you can take a bus from either JR Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara Station. The journey takes about 10-15 minutes and the bus will drop you off at the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop. From there, it is a short walk to the garden.
Alternatively, you can choose to walk to the garden from Kintetsu Nara Station. The walk takes about 20 minutes and is a great way to enjoy the surrounding scenery. As you make your way to the garden, you will pass through the charming streets of Nara, with their traditional buildings and quaint shops.
Once you arrive at the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden, you will be greeted by friendly staff who will provide you with information about the garden and its various attractions. You can choose to explore the garden at your own pace or join one of the guided tours that are available.
During your visit, be sure to take the time to appreciate the intricate details of the garden. Notice the careful placement of each wisteria tree and the meticulous pruning that ensures they are at their best. Take a moment to sit on one of the benches scattered throughout the garden and simply enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
As you wander through the garden, you may also come across the shrine maidens, known as mikanko. These young women wear traditional attire and headpieces decorated with wisteria blooms. They add an element of elegance and grace to the garden, further enhancing its beauty.
The Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden is not only a place to admire the beauty of wisteria, but also a place to learn about its historical significance. The wisteria flower holds great importance in Japanese culture, particularly as it was the symbol of the Fujiwara clan, who played a significant role in the government of Japan. As you explore the garden, you will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical significance of this beautiful flower.
In conclusion, the Kasuga Taisha Shrine Manyou Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates the beauty of flowers and nature. The garden’s collection of wisteria trees is truly awe-inspiring, and the carefully designed landscape creates a serene and enchanting atmosphere. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply someone looking for a peaceful escape, a visit to this garden is sure to leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated.
Address And Maps Location:
160 Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken