| Willow Lu

An Invitation from the Hydrangeas in June

The rainy season in Japan always reminds me of my home city in southern China, with the smell of the earth filling the air, and the colorful hydrangeas blooming in the corner of paths to keep me in a cheerful mood. The character used for hydrangea in Chinese means  “Hope”. But in the same way that  it changes its color with the pH of the soil, in Japan, it can be unpredictable like a person who changes their mood frequently. Hydrangeas are not only found on paths but also bloom all over the mountains and plains, creating a fairytale-like world. In this area, there are some dreamlike hydrangea spots that can be easily reached by public transportation. Read along while I introduce you to the unique characteristics of these lovely hydrangeas.

Wanna post some impressive photos on social media? Head to Mimo Shrine!

Mimo Shrine in Ichinomiya-shi, Aichi, blew up on social media recently because of "Temizuya" (a Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu) that's full of colorful hydrangeas.

The visitors have the opportunity to wash their hands in front of a shimmering pool surrounded by hydrangeas. The beauty of this place has made it a popular spot for social media photography, with many sharing their own photos of the Temizuya. Checking out the uploaded photos can give you an idea of the type of shots you can take.

Mimo Shrine has about 70 species of hydrangeas, totaling around 8,000, and is home to the Bisai Hydrangeas Festival (Bisai Ajisai Matsuri) every year. The festival includes events such as lighting installations, a hydrangea seedling market, and tea rooms. For 2023, the festival runs from June 3rd–25th.


It's not just the hydrangeas that are beautiful, but also the architecture of Mimo Shrine. Lucky visitors to the shrine might even find a heart-shaped hydrangea. If you can't find one, just ask their helpful staff!

Rainy day: the hydrangeas in Otsuka Shokaiji Temple

After taking a 15 minute train ride from Nagoya, we will arrive at Inazawa, a small city with few claims to fame. However the Inazawa Hydrangea Matsuri, organized by Otsuka Shokaiji Temple  from June 1st every year, is a popular event in central Japan. Because of this event, some people even call Otsuka Shokaiji Temple “Hydrangea Temple".

Shokaiji Temple has maintained various cultural properties. You can enjoy culture, history and nature blended into a harmonious whole.

The main hall, pagoda and Taho-pagoda are important cultural properties of Japan. As well as these, there are many important cultural properties of Aichi prefecture and Inazawa city. If you prefer to enjoy the beauty of hydrangeas in a temple setting, Shokaiji Temple will be a good choice.

Sunny day: the hydrangeas in Chayagasaka Park

Chayagasaka park in Chikusa ward, Nagoya is the biggest resort where you can see hydrangeas. After walking 5 minutes from Chayagasaka subway station, we arrive at the entrance to the park. The pond and grove here will give you that back to nature feeling.  Isn’t it surprising to find such a green, relaxing park in the center of downtown?

Crossing a bridge named Ajisai Hashi, and following a road, you will find a sea of hydrangeas. As far as the eye can see, it is nothing but hydrangeas. There are no words to describe how amazing it is.

According to the information, there are more than 4000 hydrangeas. This sea of hydrangeas, which is so magnificent, makes the park feel more like the ones in Europe than in Japan. If the weather is good, we can meet some artists drawing pictures.

Evening: the hydrangeas in Katahara Onsen

At Katahara Onsen in Gamagori city, Nagoya, there is a hydrangea town. Not only can you enjoy good views of hydrangeas and the bay, but you also can take part in the lighting-up event which is held every June evening.

There are over 50000 hydrangeas. Starting from one point on the hill, all the way to the top, hydrangeas are everywhere. You will probably also find many photographers looking at the hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are always an inspiring topic for them.

With the hazy light on the lake, melodious Japanese music and fragrance of the dango (Japanese dessert made of rice) coming from the surrounding houses… it is just like a scene to signify the opening of summer. If you are lucky enough, you can even find fireflies. Walking up from the foot of hill, ringing the lovers’ bell on the top while standing inside the sea of hydrangeas - don’t you think this is such a romantic summer scene?



A Closer Choice: Tsuruma Park

To get to Tsuruma Park, it's just a seven-minute subway ride from Nagoya Station, which is a popular spot to see cherry blossoms in bloom. It is also a great place to enjoy hydrangeas. In the southern section of Tsuruma Park, there is a road near the baseball field named Hydrangea Walkway. 2,300 hydrangea flowers bloom here during the month of June.

Japanese irises also bloom here at the same time. Enjoy the magnificent site of 20,000 Japanese irises alongside the hydrangeas!

Although there are fewer hydrangeas in Tsuruma Park compared to other places, because of Tsuruma Park's location, it is still a good choice if you want to enjoy the hydrangeas without spending a lot of time getting to them.

Even if it is during the plum rain season, we hope the hydrangeas in central Japan can still bring you some special pleasures.



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