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Seasonal flowers

Flowers that bloom during the rainy season in Japan

Ajisai, hydrangeas, are seasonal flowers that typically bloom in June and July. These fairly large, ball-shaped flower clusters mark the transition from spring to summer, much like Japan's rainy season, which usually overlaps the ajisai blooming season and lasts for about a month starting from early June. However, the rain does not dampen the viewing of these colourful flowers, instead, it adds a fresh and dewy look to the ajisai.

There are native Japanese ajisai varieties, but the most commonly seen ones today are the European varieties, which were introduced in the early 20th century. Hydrageas come in a range of colors, from pastel white to deep purple and blue, and it is said that the intensity of the color depends on the acidity/alkalinity of the soil.

Like other seasonal flora, there are a number of popular spots to view ajisai. A few popular ones that come to mind include Meigetsuin Temple in Kamakura, which is also known as Ajisaidera (Hydrangea Temple), Shimoda Park in the Izu Peninsula and Mimurotoji Temple in Uji.

Below are pictures of some ajisai spots in Japan.