Hydrangeas in Japan アジサイ

The flower of the tsuyu

The rainy season marks the beginning of the flowering of hydrangeas in Japan, much-loved and beautiful flowers found throughout the archipelago. The Japanese flock to admire them in the same way as the plum and cherry blossoms. History and tips for enjoying hydrangea season.

La saison des pluies à Tokyo

The rainy season in Tokyo

Nestor Lacle

Les hortensias poussent souvent dans les jardins des temples et sanctuaires

Hydrangeas often grow in the gardens of temples and shrines

Takayuki Miki


Hydrangeas have been celebrated in poetry for more than a millennium , since poems from the Nara period (710-794) have been found that mention these magical flowers. Until the Edo period (1603-1868), samurai even saw them as a symbol of immortality . With their color changing according to climatic conditions, they represent instability in the eyes of the Japanese. But their more beautiful flowering each season is a symbol of eternity and stronger bonds .

The ajisai is declined on the grounds of kimonos, in painting, jewelry and decoration. It has found a very important place in traditional art but also in the daily life of the Japanese.

To go further: Japanese poetry


Where to see them?

Festivals in honor of hydrangeas are organized all over Japan as they bloom, near parks or temples where they grow in abundance. Open-air tea ceremonies , photography or haiku contests are held, local food stalls are set up, and people dance and play musical instruments under a cloud-darkened sky .



L'artisite Jakuchu (XVIIIe siècle) peint les hortensias

The artist Jakuchu (18th century) paints hydrangeas



Here is a selection of 10 gardens where you can admire hydrangeas in Japan:

  • at Meigetsuin Temple, or Ajisaidera in Kamakura
  • on the Hakone Tozan Railway (also known as the Hydrangea Train), from Hakone-Yumoto Station in Hakone
  • at Hase Temple in Kamakura
  • at Mimurotoji Temple in Kyoto
  • at Hakusan Jinja Shrine in Tokyo
  • at Asukayama Park in Tokyo
  • at Shimoda Park in Shizuoka
  • at Hondoji Temple in Chiba
  • at Ohirasan Jinja Shrine in Tochigi
  • at Fujinomori Shrine in Kyoto

To read: Enjoying spring near Tokyo


Un dégradé de couleurs

A color gradient


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