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The Hydrangea (紫陽花, アジサイ, ajisai ) is a popular flower in Japan. Native hydrangea varieties have been mentioned in Japanese written records from the 8th century, while European varieties were introduced in the early 20th century. Hydrangeas typically bloom during the rainy season in June and July, making them a symbol and the most popular flower of the season which generally sees considerably less flowers than the preceding spring season.

There are over 100 varieties of hydrangeas of various colors in Japan today, include those that bloom into balls of flowers and those whose flowers surround a bald patch. Relatively easy to grow, hydrangeas are commonly seen in parks and private gardens. Some temples are known for their hydrangea gardens and are popular places to see large numbers of flowers in a picturesque setting. Note that the flowers are often cut prematurely to ensure a good flowering in the following year.

Popular spots in central Tokyo

Asukayama Park

Short walk from the south exit of Oji Station, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line

Hakusan Shrine

Five minute walk from Hakusan Station, Mita Subway Line

Sumida Park

Short walk from Asakusa Station, Ginza and Asakusa subway lines and Tobu Railway

Popular spots near Tokyo

Fuchu City, Tokyo

Kyodo-no-mori Museum

10 minutes by bus from Bubaigawara Station, JR Nambu Line and Keio Line

Hakone Tozan Railway

Section between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations

Meigetsuin Temple (Ajisaidera)

Ten minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station, JR Yokosuka Line

Hasedera Temple

Short walk from Hase Station, Enoden Railway

Riverside and Nichihonji Temple in Tako Town

30 minutes by bus from Narita Airport

Shimoda Park

10 minutes by bus from Izukyu-Shimoda Station, Izukyu Railway Line

Popular spots in and around Kyoto

Yoshiminedera Temple

30 minutes by bus from Mukomachi (JR Tokaido Line) or Higashi Mukomachi (Hankyu Kyoto Line) stations

Mimurotoji Temple

15 minutes on foot from Keihan Mimurodo Station, Keihan Uji Line
North of central Kyoto

Sanzenin Temple

25 minutes by bus from Kokusaikaikan Station (Karasuma Subway Line), followed by a 10 minute walk from the bus stop

Umenomiya Taisha

10 minute walk from Matsuo Taisha Station, Hankyu Arashiyama Line

Other famous spots

Gamagori

Kataoka Onsen Ajisai-no-Sato

15 minutes by bus from Gamagori Station, JR Tokaido Line