Ajisai & The Rainy Season

Jun 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Parks, Gardens & Nature, Tokyo and Vicinity

You may have though it was all bad news when you heard that Japan’s rainy season officially started this week but it’s doesn’t rain everyday and the weather is still relatively cool and pleasant – in fact it’s great sightseeing weather!    One of the best things to do this time of year is to take in a local garden.

The damp weather of June heralds the blooms of not only the Iris but also the Ajisai, or Hydrangea, which pop up everywhere and are a well know symbol of the rainy season in Japan.  In my neighborhood the plump blooms line my route to the train station and festivals and special events are held in parks and shrines to celebrate the season across Japan.


Kamamura Japan Ajisai

This temple in Kamakura is famous for more that 20,000 ajisai blooms that line the pathways around the temple each year during rainy season and is even nicknamed “Ajisai-dera” or Hydrangea Temple by the locals.

Meigetsu-in Temple is located about 10 minutes on foot from Kita-Kamakura Station (Admission is Y300).  The temple is quite bust on weekends so visti during the week if you can fit it into your schedule.

Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri

Held at Hakusan Shrine in the Bunkyo Ajisai Festival runs through June 14th and offers visitors musical accompaniment to their stroll past some 3,000 hydrangea plants in full bloom from 11AM – 5PM on weekends.

Located one minute on foot from the Toei Mita Subway Line Hakusan Station or three minutes on foot from the Namboku Subway Line Hon-Komagome Station. (Hakusan Shrine Access map)

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

A lovely garden anytime of the year, the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens in Tokyo’s Kita ward has both western gardens and a path that meanders around a pond and through a traditional Japanese garden.  The park was declared a cultural property of Tokyo in 1982 and is also home to a western style home built in the late 1800’s pictured below.

kyu furukawa gardens tokyo japan

The rainy season is scheduled to last until mid-July in Tokyo and the end marks the beginning of a hot and humid summer.  The ajisai blooms won’t last that long so take some time to get out and enjoy them while you still can.

Image Credit:  Flickr, Kamakura & personal collection

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  1. Shana,
    Great article and photos. Still raining in Okinawa, but the rainy season should end this week. My camera finger is twitchin” !

  2. Shane,
    Sorry, I hit the “A” insteada “E”; told you my finger was twitchin’, didn’t I ?

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