June in Tokyo is the rainy season. This means that it is cloudy, dreary and going outside is not always pleasant. Luckily, Japan is a country of flowers, and June is no exception. In June the hydrangeas bloom, and there are many places where you can see hundreds of thousands of these colourful plants against the fresh green backdrop of spring. Here are some of the best spots near Tokyo to visit for hydrangeas.
1. Fuchu City Local Forest Museum, Tokyo
From early-mid June, Fuchu City in West Tokyo holds a hydrangea festival with about 10,000 flowering bushes in 30 different varieties.
The museum is also worth visiting in itself, as it offers old farmhouses, schools and other buildings which you can explore inside, pleasant gardens to walk around and an indoor educational museum. Outside the park you will find food stalls and a smaller playground for kids.
Cost: 300 yen
How to get there: Walk 20 minutes from Fuchu Station or take the local bus for 5 minutes
2. Kisai Hydrangea Road, Kazo, Saitama
The Kisai Hydrangea Road is fairly unknown amongst tourists and you may even have it to yourself on a quiet day.
It is located in Kazo City in Saitama, and features thousands of white hydrangeas growing alongside rice paddies.
It's the perfect spot for flower viewing and exploring a new area through a relaxed walk.
Usually they hold a hydrangea festival with food stalls and a rickshaw which you can ride in, but recently it has been cancelled due to Covid.
Nearby is the Kisai Castle, which has a museum you can enter into if you're interested.
How to get there: Take a bus bound for "Konosu Driving Center" from Tobu Isesaki Line at Kazo Station. Get off at "Kisai Hydrangea Road" stop.
3. Hasedera Temple and Meigetsuin Temple, Kamakura
Kamakura is a great place to come in hydrangea season because there are multiple temples which
feature many hydrangeas so you can walk from one to another while enjoying the nature and combination of mountain and sea atmosphere.
Meigetsuin is very famous and known for hydrangeas. In fact, it is actually known as "ajisaidera" (hydrangea temple) due to the large amount of flowers that bloom there every June. The grounds are green and leafy and feel quite mystical, especially in a light drizzle. Most of the flowers here are blue. If you need a break, you can stop at the Gesshoken teahouse to sample green tea and traditional sweets while soaking in views of the garden. We recommend getting off the train at Kita-Kamakura and visiting this temple first, then walking to Hasedera through the pleasant leafy green hills and streets.
Hasedera is famous for its large eleven-headed statue of the Kannon goddess of mercy. During the hydrangea season, it is particularly popular as the grounds are home to over 40 different species of hydrangea, and over 2,500 plants in blue, pink, purple and white.
While exploring the grounds of this temple, be sure not to miss the mysterious Benzaiten cave which you can actually enter and walk through. The atmosphere is very solemn and unreal. If you get a rare sunny day, you can also see nice views of the Sagami Bay from near the Kannon statue.
Cost: 500 yen (Meigetsuin), 400 yen (Hasedera)
How to get there: Walk 5 minutes from Kita-Kamakura Station to reach Meigetsuin
4. Takahata Fudoson Kongoji, Tokyo
Although this temple is in Tokyo, it is in Hino City in far-west Tokyo, so you'll want to make this a day trip.
The temple is designated as an important cultural property to Japan as it remains undestroyed from any war or natural disaster.
The grounds of the temple and the surrounding forest are known as one of the best places to see hydrangeas in Tokyo, with over 8,000 flowers on the hill behind the temple. You can take a small hike through the forest to see the plants, and you can try and spot all 88 jizo statues along the way. There is also a 45m vermillion five-story pagoda which contrasts beautifully with the flowers.
If you want to hike more, West Tokyo is full of great hiking spots, such as in Akiruno or Hinohara Village.
How to get there: Walk 20 minutes from Takahatafudo Station on the Keio Line
5. Shimoda Park, Shizuoka
This park is a little far from Tokyo, being a one-hour shinkansen trip away, but it's so nice that it's worth mentioning in this list.
The Shimoda Park overlooks Shimoda Bay, meaning that your hydrangea viewing will be complimented by stunning views of the sparkling blue sea,
and you can breathe in the fresh air emanating from the surrounding pine forest.
There are over 150,000 hydrangea flowers in all colours, and an easy walking path through them.
How to get there: Walk 20 minutes from JR Izukyu-Shimoda Station
6. Kaisei, Kanagawa
Every year for two weeks in June, Kaisei Town in Kanagawa holds a hydrangea festival.
There are over 5,000 flowering bushes in purples, pinks and blues, and it looks stunning even on a rainy day.
The combination of rice paddies and hydrangeas makes for an extremely beautiful stroll.
If it's not too drizzly, you can actually rent bicycles which would be a good way to get around and explore even more.
If it's sunny, you will have a splendid view of Mt. Fuji!
For lunch we recommend the Kaisei Waterside Forest Springs FS Diner for the most delicious freshly caught fish. There is also a shop which sells local produce which can be found near the rice paddies.
How to get there: Take the Odakyu Line to Kaisei Station and walk
7. Hondoji Temple, Matsudo City
Established in 1277, Chokokuzan Hondoji Temple is located in Matsudo City and is known for having lovely flowers blooming all throughout the year.
June is no exception, with over 10,000 hydrangeas flowering on the temple grounds. There is also a 5-story pagoda which towers over the bushes and
makes for a great photograph. If you time things right, you can see the hydrangeas and over 5,000 iris flowers at the same time (early-mid June).
Cost: 500 yen
How to get there: Walk 10-minute from Kitakogane Station on the JR Joban Line
Article courtesy : OMAKASE Tour https://omakase-tour.com/