Summer is the season of fireworks, air conditioners, and shaved ice. With the hot, humid, and heavy rainy season comes some of Japan’s best festivals often involving fire or floating shrines. Along with the downpour and the crazy celebrations comes some amazing flowers. Cherry blossom season has already come and gone, but you will be happy to know that June brings its own fauna which you can admire and enjoy.
Flower festivals are perfect for those looking for something a little more chilled out and relaxed. Here are two types of flowers you can see around Tokyo and beyond, and festivals at which you can enjoy seeing them in abundance!
A hydrangea (called “ajisai” in Japanese) is a kind of shrub plant that blooms in summer and early fall all over East Asia. It blooms in many different colors, including blue, red, white, pink, yellow, and orange, and comes in over 70 different varieties in Japan. These flowers are traditionally steamed and dried to make amacha (sweet herbal tea) to be drunk during the Buddha bathing ceremony.
Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival
There are many places all over Japan where you can see lovely hydrangea flowers bloom, and Tokyo is no exception. The Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival will take place in the middle of June 2018 at Hakusan Shrine, a local Shinto shrine that is actually famous for all the hydrangeas that bloom in June. Hakusan Shrine can be reached in a few minutes by foot from Hakusan Station or from Hon-komagome Station.
Local people decorate the area and it is very pleasant to be able to walk through the man-made path and admire the flowers along the way. This festival makes for a relaxing afternoon and you can take many beautiful pictures here. If you attend this festival during the weekend, you could also catch an open-air concert to add a festive feel.
One type of Japanese iris is the prefectural flower of Aichi Prefecture, and many of these among other flowers grow in Tokyo’s parks. Their charming and vivid purple color makes them a very pleasant sight.
Katsushika Iris Festival
To see these lovely flowers and more, head to Horikiri Iris Garden and Mizumoto Park in Katsushika between the 1st and 20th of June 2018 for an impressive collection of flowers under the bright blue sky.
Mizumoto Park alone has over 14,000 flowers and 80 varieties. It is about half an hour by foot from Kanamachi Station, so if you go here, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. The walk itself is along the waterfront and is gorgeous during a warm day. As well as being able to check out the lovely fauna here, there are various live performances during this time to enjoy.
These two flower festivals are slow-paced and relaxing, perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a quieter time in Tokyo. The Japanese take great care of the nature around them and even those in the city of Tokyo can enjoy seeing fields of special summer flowers. Take wonderful photos and enjoy a relaxing time this summer 2018 at these two nice events!