Ashikaga Flower Park is insanely awesome for its massive and numerous wisteria trees that bloom from late April to mid-May. It also has colorful azaleas and rhododendron. Very pleasant and eye-popping flower park which must be one of Japan's grandest for wisteria. Opened in April 1997. Admission during wisteria season is most expensive at 1,700 yen. The park can be reached from Ashikaga-shi Station on the Tobu Isezaki Line or JR Tomita Station on the Ryomo Line. Shuttle buses run from Ashikaga-shi Station every day during the wisteria season, otherwise, it runs only on weekends.
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Also called "Sennin Gyoretsu" (1,000-person Procession 千人行列), this is Nikko's largest festival held on May 17-18. The highlight is a long procession of over 1,000 people dressed in various costumes and three portable shrines dedicated to the spirits of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Minamoto Yoritomo. These pictures were taken during the two times I saw this festival. Also see the video at YouTube.
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A National Treasure and World Heritage Site, Nikko's magnificent shrines and temples overshadow any other attractions Tochigi has. The Toshogu Shrine is especially famous and also serves as Tokugawa Ieyasu's mausoleum.
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