Sunday, 3 May 2015

Kawachi Fuji Garden (河内藤園)

Hey everyone! We're in Golden Week now (which means about one month of school has passed - yikes!), and I've got a bit of breathing room. So today, I'm here to share with you guys some photos and info about Kawachi Fuji Garden, which is a place I've been meaning to go for a really, really, long time.

But the garden is only open twice a year - at spring and at winter, so I normally miss the correct season. This year though, my cousin Charmaine came down from Osaka University to spend a few days with me. And go to Kawachi Fuji Garden; that was our main plan.

How to get there:

The cheapest and most direct route (that I could fine), involves taking the JR Kagoshima Main Line, which has its own Wikipedia page, from Hakata (博多) Station to Yahata (八幡) Station. There's also the Super Sonic and the Shinkansens, but those are more expensive and involve a transfer at Kokura. So, my recommendation is to take the Kagoshima Main Line heading towards Kokura. (By the way, Yahata is one stop in front of Space World, which means you could conceivably go to both places in one day). The cost is 1110 yen, and you don't have to buy any special ticket.

From Yahata Station, you have two options (that I know about). One is to take the free shuttle bus to an onsen called Ajisai no Yu (あじさいの湯). The onsen is below the garden, you have to take a short walk up an incline. The other option is to pay for a taxi, which costs about 2600 yen. Which you choose really depends on the time you go and return.

My experience:

Since we went on the first day of Golden Week, it was really crowded. Well, the crowd at the garden was expected, but my cousin and I did not expect the traffic jam that came our way. What was supposed to be a less than 30 min ride took us almost 3 hours. We boarded the shuttle bus at 9:50 and halfway there, encountered a jam.

It's this, stretching for a few kilometres and barely moving. 
Because we were told that there was still a ways to go, we sat in that bus until we hit the Kawachi Reservoir. Since it was already 11:30, and Google Maps told us it was only 2.6km from the reservoir to the gardens, we decided to just get off and walk.

On the way to the garden! 

The good news is that the view was really pretty from the reservoir onwards. The bad news is the distance, which is still pretty far. But, we did get there much, much earlier than the bus, so that's a huge plus.

When we got to the garden, there was a queue. No surprises there. But the queue moved pretty fast, and we got in within five minutes. The entrance fee is 1000 yen, and totally worth it. The place was as pretty as the pictures I saw on the internet!

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The garden is basically a series of tunnels. Most people went into the one right in front of us (leading to the right), but my cousin and I went to the middle one. It turned out to be a good choice, because it was relatively empty and let us take photos like this:

When we went to the "main" tunnel, it was basically full of human traffic.

But despite the crowd, the place smelled pretty sweet. I'm not the type that notices the fragence from flowers, but these were pleasantly strong, and didn't give me a headache.

Oh, but with the scents come the bees. I tried getting a photo, but this is all I could do:

Last two photos: My cousin and I!

My pretty cousin D 

I really recommend this place if you're ever in Fukuoka during Golden Week. Yes, it's crowded and quite inconvenient to go to if you don't have a car, not to mention the short window of time that you have to go, but it's magical!

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