A Flower Tunnel Is in Full Bloom

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
April 17 2013 8:30 AM

Pass Through a Tunnel of Flowers, Emerge Smelling of Grape

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It's practically impossible to walk through the pastel-colored passageway of wisteria flowers at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan, without imagining an elegant fairy princess and her one-horned white steed prancing alongside you. 

A member of the pea family, wisteria is an ornamental vine, wildly popular in both Eastern and Western gardens for its graceful hanging flowers and its ornate, winding branches. Easily trained, the woody vines tend to reach maturity within a few years, at which point they bloom in cascades of long, lavender flowers of varying pastel shades. 

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Make sure to visit in the Spring, during the "Fuji Matsuri," or "Wisteria Festival," when the magical tunnel is in full bloom. Arrive at any other time of year, and its appearance will be a disheartening mass of lifeless, twisted branches.

The "Wisteria Tunnel" is an example of using living trees as an part of a structure, a practice sometimes referred to as "arbortecture." More photos of the Wisteria Tunnel can be seen on Atlas Obscura. Other examples of arbortecture include: 

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