With the rainy season in Japan comes the season of hydrangeas. Among the many places to see these beautiful flowers, Mimurotoji Temple (三室戸寺) in Uji (宇治), Kyoto (京都) is extremely famous. Let’s check it out!
The types of hydrangeas that bloom in Japan during the rainy season are limited to this island nation. There are various types of hydrangeas ranging from whites, blues, pinks, and purples. As these flowers are in bloom during the wet season, it may be a bit difficult to catch them on a sunny day, but being wet from the rain or the morning dew makes them even more beautiful and unique.
Mimurotoji Temple’s hydrangeas are so famous for being breathtaking that the temple is sometimes referred to as the “Hydrangea Temple.” Within the expansive space of the temple grounds, there are over 10,000 hydrangeas of over 50 different types.
On weekends until June 25, 2017, there is also a hydrangea light-up event, so if you have the chance to visit them soon, make sure to do so!
As Mimurotoji Temple is located in Uji, make sure to stop by some traditional Japanese cafes and try some Uji matcha (宇治抹茶) -based desserts and drinks. In the area surrounding the temple, there are various places selling hydrangea-related matcha desserts to celebrate the season of these beautiful Japanese flowers.
1. Itohkyuemon (伊藤久右衛門)
At the tea store, Itohkyuemon, they have added a Hydrangea Parfait to their seasonal menu. The parfait features a hydrangea-shaped mashed sweet potato, matcha cookies in the shape of leaves, and blueberries which represent the dewy hydrangea flowers that are in full bloom this season.
Apart from the Hydrangea Parfait, Itohkyuemon also has a wide range of matcha-based items available such as green tea floats, matcha and red bean-flavored shaved ice, a standard Uji matcha parfait, matcha cheesecake, and matcha ice cream. If you are looking for something that is not sweet, you can also try their matcha soba noodles.
2. Nakamura Tokichi (中村藤吉)
Another location where you can enjoy matcha-based meals and desserts is Nakamura Tokichi. The cafe built next to the main store in Uji is a great place to stop by to try out matcha-based desserts. There are also non-matcha based items on the menu such as udon (うどん), so if there is someone with you that is not into matcha, they can still enjoy a meal with you.
One of the most popular desserts at Tokichi is their Raw Tea Matcha Jelly. This dessert has a smooth texture and anyone who experiences its flavor and texture is sure to fall in love with it. The jelly comes with a side of two matcha ice cream scoops and red bean paste.
Similar to Itohkyuemon, Tokichi also has matcha-based noodles, but you can choose from soba noodles (buckwheat noodles) and udon noodles at the latter. You can order the noodles as part of a set and add the Matcha Jelly or some other dessert.
Both matcha cafes have a wide range of desserts, foods, and drinks so be sure to check them out. They are perfect places to visit before or after your visit to the Hydrangea Temple. And of course, don’t forget to admire the beauty of the temple’s flowers!