Consisting of almost 250 species of the flowering plants, the Convolvulus lies in the bindweed family. Many may recognize 'morning glory' or 'bindweed' as a common name of this flower.
Morning Glory or Asa-gao, meaning morning face in Japanese, was first brought to Japan as medicine from China in the late 9th century. Although morning glories were used as medicinal purposes, it is said that Japan was the first to cultivate it as an ornamental flower. Japan has successfully led other countries develop hundreds of varieties of morning glories.
Every year in July, a Morning Glory festival called Asa-gao Ichi is held for three days in Tokyo. For 70 years, this festival has been attracting over 400,000 visitors that come see different types of morning glories from almost 150 vendors.
Take a look at the different types of morning glories you can find at the festival. Different types have different blooming seasons and "closing" times, but most typically have a blooming season between June and October.
Don't forget to also check out our Convolvulus (Morning Glory) Chigiri-e Project.