“Tsuyu” or the rainy season is generally an avoided season for tourists in Japan. Tsuyu starts approximately in early June and lasts until the end of July. The fog and almost everyday rain hide the beauty of many popular attractions, making it difficult to enjoy the nature and navigate between multiple places. But thanks to the continuous rain during that period of the year, one beautiful flower comes into bloom captivating our hearts with its whimsical yet enchanting beauty. We selected 3 spots to make your visit to Japan more enjoyable during the least popular tour season while enjoying the beauty of “Ajisai” or hydrangeas, the bride flower of the rainy season in Japan.
Located in Kamakura City (about an hour from Tokyo by train), the Meigetsu-in Temple, written as “Bright Moon Temple” and also known as “Ajisai Temple,” is a very popular spot both for Japanese as well as international travelers. The temple is known for its big variety of different seasonal flowers, especially Ajisai flowers. But because it’s very famous, it can get very crowded with long waiting queues to enjoy the beauty of the rain flower hydrangea.
The majority of flowers in bloom during this time of the year at the Meigetsu-in Temple are of one type known as the “Hime Ajisai” or “Princess Hydrangea.” Apparently, Ajisai flowers weren’t very popular in Japan until England has imported those flowers, developed it into its current form, and then was re-imported back to Japan.
The Hime Ajisai are royal blue hydrangea flowers and was named after its unique color. They start as a light blue hydrangea at first, then with every rainfall, it turns vivid in color until they turn violet-blue, and finally royal blue. The Hime Ajisai at Meigetsu-in Temple are often called “Meigetsu-in Blue” or “Bright Moon Blue Flower.” It’s worth to mention that flowers in Japan have positive and negative meanings. Some of the most famous meanings of the Ajisai flowers are “fickleness” because it changes its colors frequently, and “pride.” Ajisai flowers also come in different shades of pink, violet, and royal blue, thus they are often imagined as a young vigorous lady.
Located in a mountainous area, Hakone is a land to a number of Japanese onsen hot springs making it a popular attraction for both domestic and international visitors.
During a limited time from June to July of every year, a special illumination service throughout the evening operation hours of the Hakone Tozan Railway takes place. The railway train slows down allowing passengers to take commemorative photos of the bride flower of the rainy season, Ajisai.
The different railway stations also offer a big variety of Ajisai-themed souvenirs. You can even treat yourself to the limited soft cream flavor of the season, the Ajisai soft cream.
If you don’t have the time to travel out of Tokyo yet you aspire to enjoy the beauty of Ajisai within the area, then Tokyo’s Wonderful Nature Village can be a perfect destination. The name “Wonderful” is based on a Japanese pun “Wan-derful” which implies that this is a place your “wan-chan,” or puppy in English, can enjoy with you.
Every year, the garden opens its doors for a limited time during June to July for visitors to enjoy the Annabelle Snow Mountain. It has more than 60 types of hydrangeas and approximately 3,000 bunch of the most magical cool white Ajisai flowers. The Ajisai garden has about 15,000 bunch of hydrangea flowers in bloom in total. With lots of open space, this garden is a perfect place for groups to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Now that you know the best places to see Ajisai in bloom during Japan’s rainy season, don’t miss your chance to visit them next time.