Ashikaga Flower Park and the Kinugawa River

This Mother’s Day I spent the day with just the boys. Their daddy had already left so we took an MWR tour to the Ashikaga Flower Park and went down the Kinugawa River in a flat bottomed wooded boat. The day was tough. We had to work for our fun. Our 5am morning proved difficult for the boys but I’m still glad we went. Some days kids are just off and it takes patience and empathy to get through the day. Traveling with kids requires a reevaluation of expectations if you had any to begin with. My expectations have switched gears from what we will see and do to how they are expected to behave. We had to cut our tour of the flower garden a bit short so we could have an extra long chat in the parking lot about our emotions and behavior. I know some mom’s are hesitant to travel with their kids just for this reason. I’ve learned to look at them as training sessions. We take behavior breaks. We acknowledge patience, manners, and interaction. Our travels are a work in progress but each time we go out we inch further from where we were. Our afternoon completely changed the tone of the day and we had a wonderful time down the Kinugawa River getting splashed and laughing together.

First, here’s the famous wisteria at the park. The purples were almost all done but the white and yellow wisteria was beautiful. Wisteria is known as fuji in Japan, like the mountain, except the 2nd syllable is stressed instead of the first.  (Another fun fact is the Japanese language doesn’t have the “f” sound in their language. It sounds more like an “h” so “fuji” is pronounced more like “huji”) :)Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.com Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.com Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.com

Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park  www.homelifeart.comOne of the purple wisteria trees is over 100 years old and is one of the most famous wisteria trees in the world. It truly is an amazing site to see and we weren’t even there at peak bloom. To see one tree branched out that far with these gorgeous blooms trailing down is incredible.

Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.com Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.comWe tried wisteria ice cream at the park. It tastes just like the flower smells! Yummy!Wisteria Ice Cream   www.homelifeart.com

Wisteria tunnel, Ashikaga Flower Park  www.homelifeart.com Wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.comA few more flowers at the park before we left.Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.com These were the floating flower beds.Ashikaga Flower Park, www.homelifeart.comAfter the flower park we drove on to the Kinugawa River. First we saw it from above on the walking suspension bridge, then we took a fun ride in a wooded boat through mostly calm waters and a few small rapids that the boys enjoyed.Kinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comKinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.com

Kinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comKinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comKinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comKinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comWe saw one of the boats being hoisted into the water using a pulley system. They also use the same system further down the river to take the boats out and stack them on flat bed trucks to bring back up the river.Kinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.com Kinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.com

Kinugawa river, Japan  www.homelifeart.comI hope your Mother’s Day was a fun one as well! I could have kissed the woman who took this picture of the three of us. I hardly ever get a smiling picture with both boys. Perfect gift for this momma.

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