The Wisteria of Shobu Shrine is a natural monument of Saitama Prefecture. The plan was to post this after visiting the wisteria, but life got in the way this week. If I get to squeeze in a visit next week I will update with more photos. For now, if you are looking for somewhere to see wisteria in Eastern Saitama, just to let you know this place exists! And also to share information about the mini wisteria festival at the shrine next week.
The Wisteria of Shobu Shrine
Shobu Shrine is a relatively small shrine in Kuki City. By all accounts, it was once much larger. Ironically, Shobu means iris, but it is the wisteria of the shrine that is famous. However, this area of Kuki – the Shobu area – is most famous for its iris. In the month of June there are a few different places you can see iris, including at the Shobu Castle ruins which is relatively near Shobu Shrine.
The designated natural monument wisteria of Shobu Shrine is a “Noda Fuji”, said to be over 300 years old. It spreads over an area of around 238 square meters. The wisteria have reached a length of 180 centimeters in the past. Typically it blooms over Golden week (end of April to early May), but it was early to bloom this year (2023). You can check the current condition of the wisteria here, on the Kuki City website.
Shobu Wisteria Festival
During the period of bloom, there is a small festival on one day. In 2023, that is April 29th. There is no entry charge to the festival. There are some live music performances and they sell bento for the occasion (subject to availability). You can participate in the tea ceremony throughout the day. In addition, there is also a mini fashion show from 2.15 pm!
Event: Shobu Shrine Wisteria and Shobu Wisteria Festival 菖蒲神社の藤・ 菖蒲藤祭
Date: the wisteria are already in bloom. The mini event is on Saturday April 29th 2023, the first day of Golden Week.
Time: 9.45 am to about 4 pm.
Venue: Shobu Shrine, 菖蒲-552 菖蒲町 Kuki, Saitama 346-0106. View on Google Maps.
The parking for the event is about an eight minute walk away at “Ayame Park” . There is no train station within walking distance, but there is a bus stop (Shobu Shrine bus stop 菖蒲神社前) right by the shrine. A bus goes from the west exit of Kuki Station. You can also get a bus from Okegawa Station, bound for Mallage Shobu (large mall) and alight at the Shobu Shrine bus stop.
Official event page – the featured image at the top of the post is from the shrine’s website.
Editor’s note: this post was temporarily off the website during the pandemic. It was reposted on April 20th 2023.