Colourful Hydrangea to Decorate Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki for Ajisai Matsuri
13.April.2018 | SPOT
Ajisai Matsuri (‘Hydrangea Festival’) will take place at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki from June 2 to July 1, showcasing 1,250 varieties of hydrangea.
In addition to popular outdoor spots like the Hydrangea Road, the Hydrangea Wall will also be set up where the wall of a room will be covered in vibrant hydrangeas. Here, you can take your time admire the gorgeous flowers. There’ll also be a market where you can buy varieties of plans you’re interested in, as well as a tour by a hydrangea expert, a hydrangea light-up show at night, and more.
Hydrangea Wall / Huis Ten Bosch Palace
The giant Ajisai Wall will tower 2 meters upward and 10 meters across, laced with brilliant hydrangeas of light blues, pinks and more. In the Hydrangea Herbarium, hydrangeas will be lit up in the water, and 700 hydrangeas will float in the palace rooms.
Location: Huis Ten Bosch Palace
Price: ¥500 (Passport Ticket) / ¥700 (Walking Ticket)
Hydrangeas & Music
While being enveloped in the radiant rainbow hues of hydrangeas, you can enjoy the flowers together with music in the garden.
Location: Amsterdam Square
1,250 types of hydrangeas will line the palace. Japan’s longest 800m pathway will also be in full bloom, making it a popular spot to take photos.
Location: Huis Ten Bosch Palace
The hotel lobby will also be filled with hydrangea colours. You will be greeted with concert timbres and beautiful hydrangeas.
Location: Hotel Europe
Price: Entry permitted with just a Hotel Restaurant Ticket (¥1,000). You do not have to pay to stay at the hotel to enter.
White Hydrangea Road
In the area near the welcome gate, you will be graced by white hydrangeas. Enjoy them together with the windmill and canal.
Location: Adventure Park
Lining the multitude of flowers will be a fantastic market. Not only can you admire an array of different hydrangeas, there will also be tours held every day by an expert who will guide you on the different varieties of plans, as well as a sale to pick and take home your own hydrangeas.
Location: Location: Huis Ten Bosch Palace
Get up close and personal with the beauty of hydrangeas at Huis Ten Bosch!
Nagasaki’s 112 Year Old Hotel Nampuro Opens Terraces With Panoramic Ocean and Sky Views
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The 112-year-old Hotel Nampuro in Nagasaki is set to open the new Sky Terrace and Ocean Terrace this month. These vistas offer breathtaking, unbroken views of the sea and sky that make it feel as if you’re floating on the ocean with rolling skies ahead that stretch to the horizon.
Observation Terrace (1)
Observation Terrace (2)
Infinity Pool-Style Open-Air Bath
Beautifying Bubble Baths
Jacuzzi Bath (Male Only)
Hinoki Sauna & Steam Sauna
Iyashi Onsen Cafe
Rental Open-Air Bath
The observation terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the great Ariake Sea that offers a picturesque spectacle at all times of the day. Guests can enjoy seeing the morning, noon, and night skies which merge together with the ocean for an unbeatable result. There’s also a “no talking” rule on the terrace so guests can fully soak up what’s in front of them as they take a luxirous soak in the warm baths.
The infinity pool-style open-air bath offers a refreshing view while making it seem as if you are part of the ocean. The silky bath uses delicate micro bubbles which become an air cushion and promote good blood circulation using massage. The jacuzzi bath relaxes the entire body with stimulating bubbles, while the children’s bath allows kids to get in on the fun too. Both saunas are a change to unwind fatigue and the tired body. The steam sauna is set at a lower temperature than your usual high-temperature dry sauna which ensures it doesn’t have as much strain on the body so guests can sweat it out comfortably. The freshly-brewed coffee available at the hot spring is also exclusive to the hotel’s Onsen Cafe.
Hotel Nampuro Observation Terraces – Sky Terrace & Ocean Terrace
Address: 2-7331-1 Bentenmachi, Shimabara, Nagasaki
Official Website: https://www.nampuro.com/world/english/
Cute Miffy Merchandise Inspired by Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Released
Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in Nagasaki which recreates the Netherlands with copies of Dutch-style buildings, is now selling a new line of Miffy merchandise in two different collections: “Kingdom Star Miffy” and “Kingdom Flower Miffy,” both of which are available until the end of December this year.
Miffy’s simple yet colourful appearance has won him love the world over. Dick Bruna, the Dutch creator of Miffy, has his ties to Huis Ten Bosch back when the area was known as Nagasaki Holland Village, the former theme park.
The Netherlands flag-holding Miffy is now an indispensable figure at Huis Ten Bosch.
Kingdom Miffy arrives as a new line of Miffy merchandise with a kingdom theme to it with such motifs as castles and crowns. The original collection comes in cute pastel colours.
The Kingdom Flower Miffy line-up features beautiful purples and pinks and is reminiscent of the tulips and roses planted at Huis Ten Bosch.
Kingdom Star Miffy is coloured in yellow and orange and features star motifs. Miffy is also wearing a crown.
The merchandise can be bought at Huis Ten Bosch’s Dick Bruna shop Nijntje, but the items are also available online for those unable to travel during the pandemic. The line-up includes everything from plush toys to pouches, stationery, and more.
Kingdom Miffy Plushies
Exclusive to Huis Ten Bosch, pick between the tulip Kingdom Flower Miffy or the crown-topped Kingdom Star Miffy.
Kingdom Miffy Towels
Made in Japan, these soft towels feature castle designs, with the Kingdom Flower towel in a cute pink colour and the Kingdom Star version dotted with stars.
Kingdom Miffy Mugs
The mugs, too, incorporate these designs. They are sold in special boxes.
Illustrations Dick Bruna © copyright Mercis bv. 1953-2020 www.miffy.com
Kingdom Flower Miffy / Kingdom Star Miffy
Available: Until December 2020 (Online)
Online Shop: https://ec.shop-huistenbosch.jp/products/list?category_id=234
*The Kingdom Miffy series will also be available in 2021 directly at Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch Official Website: https://www.huistenbosch.co.jp
Japan’s Pixar Bullet Train Project ‘GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar’ Details Announced
28.August.2020 | SPOT
JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.
The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.
New details have been released for the upcoming project, including the unveiling of the key visual, the content of the collaboration, campaigns that will be held, and limited-edition merchandise which will be sold.
The key visual is a colourful Pixar creation which is shaped to look like the seven prefectures that make up Kyushu—Japan’s south-westernmost island where the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkanen bullet train will run.
All major stations along the JR Kyushu Line display the key visual along with the above-pictured poster featuring various Pixar characters. Each of Kyushu’s seven major prefectural train stations listed below will also have additional posters for different Pixar films.
Hakata Station: Toy Story
Saga Station: Up
Nagasaki Station: Finding Nemo
Oita Station: The Incredibles
Kumamoto Station: Cars
Kagoshima-Chūō Station: Monsters, Inc.
Miyazaki Station: Wall-E
For illustrative purposes only. Distribution from September 12, 2020.
At all major stations running the JR Kyushu Line, commuters can get their hands on a free tabloid inspired by the “My Adventure Book” from the Pixar film Up. The content of the tabloid features information related to the collaboration and where you can find Pixar characters at stations throughout Kyushu, so you too can have your own adventure.
Cars photo spot
The seven JR Kyushu prefectural stations will also have their own photo spots where you can snap a picture. You’ll also spot Woody and Buzz dolls and Hakata Station and Sully and Mike ones at Kagoshima-Chūō Station.
Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station
Special Site & Official Instagram
A special site opened which features the departure schedule for the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, details on campaigns, the latest details on the collaboration, and more. Waku Waku ADVENTURE now also has its own Instagram page which includes reports on event, pictures of merchandise, and other details.
A special collaborative movie will be released in September centred on the themes of Pixar’s movies such as bonds between people, family, friends, and adventure. It will be shown at JR Kyushu stations and the special site.
Campaign: Find the Pixar Ball
Original sticker designs
If you spot a station staff member at any of the JR Kyushu prefectural stations wearing a Pixar ball badge, call out to them and they’ll give you one of seven possible Pixar stickers as pictured above. All seven can be put into your “My Adventure Book,” so try collecting them all!
Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station
*Depending on the time, platform staff may not be wearing the badges
*Stickers are available while supplies last
GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Digital Stamp Rally
A digital stamp rally will be held on the official JR Kyushu app. Board the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, visit JR Kyushu Stations, and get some original stamps.
1st Stamp Rally: September 12, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Limited Edition Merchandise
A special collection of merchandise has been created featuring designs of Kyushu and the Pixar characters. The items will be sold at shops around JR Kyushu stations and online in Japan.
Release Date: September 12, 20202
Merchandise List: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/goods/
Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020.
JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen
Train: Kyushu Shinkansen (800 Series)
Running: September 12, 2020 to mid-May 2021
Official Website: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/
Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Annual Hydrangea Week Event Announced
13.June.2020 | SPOT
This year’s Hydrangea Week at Yokokuji Temple is set to take place from June 13 to July 5 where 5,000 breathtaking hydrangea will take over the temple grounds.
Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.
Special Opening of the Joshoin: Spectacularly Lush Flowers
Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. The Nanboku-cho Period painting Amida Sanzon Raigo Zu of Amida standing on a lotus pedestal will be displayed during the opening.
Entry Price: ¥1,000
Entry Times: 9:30-14:30
Limited Edition Goshuin: “Oku-no-in,” “Wagan-aigo,” “Airyoku”
We’ve covered goshuin many times on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. They are stamps or seals you can receive at most temples and shrines in Japan. Collected in a goshuincho, or stamp book, you pay a fee and the staff there will write gorgeous Japanese calligraphy in your book of the temple or shrine name and the date you visited along with a stamp. Every temple and shrine has their own unique stamps.
For Hydrangea Week, you can get the following words written in your book: Oku-no-in (Inner Shrine) Wagan-aigo, (Gentle Face, Loving Words), and Airyoku (Power of Love).
This special goshuin prays for the fulfilment of people’s Omoi, which can mean thoughts, desires, wishes, affections, and so on. It also features a picture of the temple water basin.
Seasonal Pressed Flower Goshuin Kit
This special goshuin kit has you pressing your own flowers to create your own personal and unique design. The theme of this kit changes each season. For June, the theme is hydrangeas.
The temple is also selling seven different goshuincho stamp books. Orders are being carried out on the official website.
Price: ¥3,500 (+¥500 handling fees)
Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition
The “Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition” is a monthly showcasing of the temple’s treasured articles which are normally unavailable to the public. For June, they will be showing the art piece Daffodils by Japanese painter Keika Kanashima who was active during the Taisho and Showa periods. Her work is also on display at the Imperial Household Agency. The painting incorporates the Shijō school of Japanese painting as well as the intai style.
Items Bestowed to the Imperial Household & Buddhist Art
The temple will display items bestowed to the Imperial Household from its collection, including Emperor Nakamikado’s mirror which has a deep green hue, a flower vase owned by Japan’s last empress regnant Empress Go-Sakuramachi, and more.
Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)
Running: June 13, 2020 – July 5, 2020
Time: 9:00-16:00 (Last Entries 15:00)
Price: ¥300 (Combination ticket for entry, access to the Joshoin and Jihouku costs ¥1,000)
Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/
3 Must-Visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Hirado City | Spring 2020
27.March.2020 | SPOT
Spring has arrived in the city of Hirado, Nagasaki, which has been dyed a cherry blossom pink colour from the blossoming of the cherry trees. A simple glance at the signs of spring there is enough to have one feeling elated. It has also made the news that the budding of the cherry blossoms in Hirado has arrived earlier than usual.
We’ve made a list of 3 popular spots to enjoy Hanami in Hirado this spring.
Jigenzakura is a single sakura tree that stands proud and majestic. Aged 140 years old, the tree is listed as a National Treasure of Hirado. It’s close to the Oshima variety of cherry tree, and was planted by Catholics who migrated to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Period. A visit to Jigenzakura offers a splendid sight to behold as it blossoms in the ravine. The best time to see it in full bloom last year was March 31.
Address: Kigatsucho, Hirado, Nagasaki (35-minutes from Hirado Bridge)
Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/51690/
Kameoka Shrine / Kameoka Park
Kameoka Park is a famous cherry blossom site that’s adjacent to Hirado Castle. It’s home to around 1,000 sakura trees, which are best seen from the end of March to early April. It also has a very rare type of cherry blossom called the nidozaki-zakura which blooms twice. You can see these around mid-April at Kameoka Park.
Address: 1458 Iwanouechō, Hirado, Nagasaki (7-minutes from Hirado Bridge)
Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/370/
Tabira Park is just over Hirado Bridge, and is a place where you can look out at both Hirado Bridge and Hirado Seto while gazing at the rows of cherry trees.
Address: 823-1 Tabirachō Kotedamen, Hirado, Nagasaki (Next to Hirado Bridge)
Official Website: http://nagasaki-park.or.jp/free/tabira
Hirado is easy to get to, and is a must-visit not just for Hanami, but for the food and its rich history too.
5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition
02.February.2020 | SPOT
The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.
Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.
Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture
This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.
Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020
Location: Namari Ski Center
Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate
China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture
Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.
Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020
Location: Tokyo German Village
Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba
Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture
Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.
Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan
Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata
▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture
This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.
Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki
▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival
Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International
Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/
Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture
Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.
Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020
Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park
Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa
Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/
Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.
▼Hankyu Travel International – Japan Travel & Tours
Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition Bound For Nagasaki This Summer
The second run of the Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition is set to take place at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki from July 13 to September 23. The event is focused on longtime Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and centres on specific “words” he wishes to convey through this work.
The exhibition had its first run in Tokyo back in April this year. We covered that event in detail so be sure to give it a read.
The enormous 3-meter tall Yubaba & Zeniba centrepiece will return at the Nagasaki exhibition. Visitors can draw omikuji fortunes from the display which have Suzuki’s keywords written on them along with his explanation of them. You can take these home with you―a perfect addition for your Studio Ghibli collection!
An extremely special merchandise shop will also open at the site with exclusive items and products on sale and decor and decorations that will have you feeling you have stepped right into an enchanting world woven by Studio Ghibli.
Fan: ¥702 (Tax Included)
Get your hands on an official Spirited Away fan to cool yourself down at the event this summer. On one side is an illustration of Yubaba and on the other some powerful words from Suzuki.
Tote Bag: ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
Express your love for Studio Ghibli everyday with this tote bag featuring the same illustration of Yubaba―which is the main visual for the exhibition―on the side. It’s big enough to be worn on your shoulder making it a convenient day-to-day item.
Tea-Towel: ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
This beautiful tea towel is made in collaboration with dyed goods company Chikusen who have been around since the Edo period. It has a traditional indigo blue colour and is made from high quality material. A perfect gift and souvenir for any fan of Studio Ghibli.
We can’t forget the themed food menu either. You’ll find it on the first floor of Huis Ten Bosch at the Tea Salon.
Bath House Dessert: ¥850 (Tax Included)
A fitting dessert for any guest of the Spirited Away bath house, look forward to a bamboo charcoal-black chocolate-sprayed vanilla ice cream, colourful sugar candy and a cookie. It’s also served with iced corn tea.
Toast For Adventure Lovers: ¥650 (Tax Included)
Served with a glass of iced corn tea is a delicious egg-topped slice of toasted baked in the hotel bakery. Like you see in anime series, it makes you want to grab it, shove it between your teeth and run outside on an adventure.
Any fans of Studio Ghibli’s work aren’t going to want to miss out on this very special event. If you’re in Japan this summer be sure you get to go.
©️TS ©️Studio Ghibli
Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition
Running: July 13, 2019 – September 23, 2019
Location: Huis Ten Bosch Art Museum, Huis Ten Bosch (1-1 Huis Ten Bosch Machi, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture)
Time: 9:00-21:00 *Depending on day – check official website for details
*Free for those who hold any of Huis Ten Bosch’s passport tickets including the 1-Day Passport, Moonlight 4 Passport, After 5 Passport, VIP Premiere Passport, and Yearly Passport
*For those who hold a Sansaku (Walking) ticket: Adults ¥800, Children ¥700, Toddlers & Preschoolers ¥500
*For those who hold a Harbour Zone-only ticket: Adults ¥1,600, Children ¥1,400, Toddlers & Preschoolers ¥1,000
(Harbour Zone Entry Price: Adults & Children ¥1,000, Children & Preschoolers ¥500)
Huis Ten Bosch Official Website: https://www.huistenbosch.co.jp/
Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Must-Visit Hydrangea Spots For Your Kyoto Sightseeing
05.July.2019 | SPOT
Japan’s hydrangea bloom every year during the country’s rainy season. Their gorgeous hues add colour to the dim melancholy of the downpours. Today, we will showcase four must-visit locations to witness the hydrangeas blossom in Kyoto, an ancient city flourishing with a myriad of tourist spots.
Hydrangea have a relatively short bloom period, so if you’re in Kyoto for the rainy downfall, why not visit some of these places during your sightseeing?
Today, we are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who will provide her picturesque photos from her Instagram page of the sites we are looking at.
At Shorinji Temple in Higashiyama ward, visitors are able to participate in experiencing a variety of ancient customs from zazen meditation to eating traditional rice porridge known as asagayu. Right now the temple is carrying out a special type of flower watering (hanachōzu) on weekends. It sees the water at the chōzuya or temizuya―which are seen at temples and shrines in Japan and are used to cleanse your hands and mouth before entering―positioned so it trickles onto the flowers.This flower watering is also carried out at Shorinji Temple in spring to celebrate the birth of Buddha, something else the temple is famous for. And right now is the season for hydrangea.
It’s fun looking forward to seeing what flowers they have there every week. Keep in mind however that there are periods when the watering isn’t held, so be sure to check the official website to see when it’s on.
Address: 15-795 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://shourin-ji.org/
Yanagidani Kannon (Yokokuji Temple)
Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, has been used as a place of prayer for many people since the Heian Period (794-1185) as it is believed that doing so will cure eye disease. It is also called Nishi no Shimizu (“Spring Water in the West”) and has been loved by the people of Kyoto since ancient times.
This temple too is is carrying out hanachōzu with a pastel coloured hydrangea bed. The flower collection is extremely cute and a spectacular sight to behold.
This photo was taken in the temple gardens with another hanachōzu. It uses much bigger hydrangea; they really stand out from the rest of the environment. This garden has been kept beautiful since the Heian period and it is famous for its collection of hydrangea. The temple is currently holding its annual Hydrangea Week event until July 7 where lots of people visit to catch a glimpse of these transient beauties.
Also, on the 17th of every month, an event is carried out where visitors can decorate their goshuincho―books used to collect stamps and seals known as goshuin at shrines and temples across Japan―with pressed flowers. If you’re a flower fanatic then we highly recommend you visit Yanagidani Kannon.
Address: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)
TEL: 075-956-0017 (Reception: 9:00-17:00)
Official Website: https://yanagidani.jp/
Yoshimine-dera Temple is famous for its weeping cherry trees. Around 8,000 trees line the temple’s sudden slope. In the photo, Macchan took her photo look up at the hydrangea, but from the top of the hill you can witness a scenic, unbroken view of Kyoto with the hydrangea in the foreground.
It’s not just hydrangea that bloom at Yoshimine-dera Temple however. Many other types of flowers sprout their way up from the soil too such as rhododendrons and crepe myrtles, so you can enjoy the colours of nature even outside the hydrangea season.
Address: 1372 Ōharano Oshiochō, Nishikyō, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.yoshiminedera.com/index.html
Kanon-ji Temple in Tanba is famous as being the temple home to the oldest hydrangea in the entire Kansai region of Japan. The spiritual power of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, is said to cure eye disease here just like at Yokokuji Temple. 10,000 plants of 100 species of hydrangea bloom at Kanon-ji Temple.
The Terachaya Cafe is open during the hydrangea period, so you can enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee while gazing at the flowers.
Address: 1067 Kannonji, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.tanba-ajisaidera.com/keidai/index.html
Macchan has countless photos taken at many other spots in Kyoto. Be sure to check out her page and enjoy your sightseeing in Kyoto.
Witness the Phantasmal Hydrangea Shichidanka at Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden
01.July.2019 | SPOT
The season has arrived at Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden in Hyogo Prefecture when you can see the “phantasmal” hydrangea known as the shichidanka.
The shichidanka is a type of hydrangea serrata, also known as “mountain hydrangea.” It is known for its distinct double-flowering. Its ten or so sepals give it a beautiful star shape. Its delicate form has earned the plant much popularity in the gardens where it blooms in two locations.
As well as this flower, several other hydrangeas are now in bloom or soon to be in bloom a the garden too which are making their way to Japanese social media. Let’s take a look at some of the various hydrangeas you can see there.
Shichdanka (Hortensia serrate var.serrata f.prolifera)
This flower stands at 1 to 1.5 meters tall. The flower appears in Philipp Franz von Siebold’s studies of Japanese flora and fauna during the Edo Period, but its existence subsequently became unnoticed until 1959 where it was discovered by chance at Mount Rokkō. The flowers were then cut and planted and seedlings spread across various places. The flower, which was given the name “mountain hydrangea,” took on a beautiful blue colour as a result of acid soil from caused by granite. It can be enjoyed in full bloom right now until mid-July.
Himeajisai (Hortensia cuspidata f.cuspidata) [Blooming: June – July 2019]
Also known as the “garden hydrangea,” the himeajisai is recognisable for its shape which is like a temari – a type of toy ball from Japanese folk art. It was given its name by Japanese botanist Tomitaro Makino in 1929. It is strong and durable against hot and dry weather and takes on a gorgeous blue colour when grown in soil with a high level of acidity.
Amagiamacha (Hortensia serrata var.angustata) [Blooming: June – July 2019]
This delicate, sweet-smelling flower has thin leaves that grow no longer than 10cm. Since long ago this flower has not been used as a sweetener in hydrangea tea but instead during the manufacturing process of soy sauce for its embalming effect. It has also been used to prevent mould and mildew from building up. Not only that, the flower has also been combined in home remedies such as mouth fresheners and toothpaste for its sweet flavour. Locals also use it for balancing sweetness and acidity with daikon pickled vegetables.
Tamaajisai (Platycrater involucrata) [Blooming: August 2019]
The tamaajisai grows natively across the Kanto region to Gifu Prefecture. It blooms in mountainous regions that have a high level of humidity. Its leaves’ surface have thick and hard hairs on them. They get the tama (“Ball” in Japanese) in their name for their ping pong ball-like buds. During wartime the flower was also used as a substitute for tobacco and so it also gets the name “mountain tobacco.” The flower is popular for its appearance just before its full bloom too.
Visit Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden this summer to see all of the different hydrangeas on show.
Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden
Location: Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden (Kitarokkō-4512-150 Rokkōsanchō, Nada Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)
Price: General (12+ Years) ¥620 / Children (4-11 Years) ¥310
Opening Period: March 16, 2019 – November 24, 2019 (Closed September 5 and September 12)
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Reception desk closes at 16:30)
Official Website: http://www.rokkosan.com
5,000 Hydrangea to Bloom at Yokokuji Temple in Kyoto
08.June.2019 | SPOT
Yanagidani Kannon (Yokokuji Temple) is located in the city of Nagaokakyo in Kyoto Prefecture. The temple has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.
This summer, the temple’s annual Hydrangea Week is set to take place once again from June 8 to July 7 which will welcome around 5,000 hydrangeas, the biggest collect in the whole of Kyoto.
Yanagidani Kannon is home to a bamboo thicket that was the model for The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. During the event, you’ll get to take in the sight of 5,000 gorgeous hydrangeas. Additionally, the event will include a special public opening of the Joushoin, or upper study, which is normally open only once a month. From there you can see one of the gardens which was selected as an old garden of the pre-war days. Guests can also receive an original hydrangea goshuin stamp which are available for a limited time only. Part of the treasury house will also be open for public viewing which includes treasures bestowed by the Japanese Imperial family.
At the Joushoin, visitors can look forward to seeing paintings by Kanō Mitsunobu, a influential artist of the Kanō school of Japanese painting, as well as Konoe Nobutada, both of whom were active during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. The pieces encompass the world of the Man’yōshū, a collection of of ancient Japanese waka poetry, one of which was the impetus for the naming of the new Japanese Reiwa era. For just ¥800, visitors can gain access to both the Joushoin and the treasury.
The above pictured goshuin stamp will also be available from June 17. There will also be an exhibition of paintings with different showcases each month. In June, Murasakishikibu will be on display. This was painted by Hanko Kajita, a painter who was active in the Meiji and Taisho periods and whose works are displayed in the Tokyo National Museum and Yokohama Museum of Art.
Don’t miss this year’s hydrangea season at Yokokuji Temple in Kyoto.
Yanagidani Kannon Hydrangea Week
Running: June 8, 2019 – July 7, 2019
Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)
Yanagidani Kannon Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/
Daisho Temple is located up 350 meters in Saga Prefecture’s town of Kitagawa. Every year, from early June to late July, around 5,000 hydrangeas of 70 varieties bloom across the area. Since the temple is situated at such an elevated level, those that climb up there can also see a sea of clouds. Because of this, the temple is also nicknamed Tenkuu no Ajisaiji, or “The Hydrangea Temple in the Heavens.”
This year, from June 8 to 30, a festival will be held to celebrate the hydrangeas. Stalls will line the area and be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
A visit to Daisho Temple also means you get to see Japan’s oldest tree, an Inumaki that is over 500 years old, as well as the Mochi and Kashi trees that have merged together to become one.
If you’re looking to get out into nature in Japan this summer then don’t miss the colourful Hydrangea Festival.
Running: June 8, 2019 – June 30, 2019
Location: Daisho Temple (6694 Osaki Kitagatacho, Takeo, Saga Prefecture)
Price: 13+ Years – ¥200 / 12 and under – ¥100
Details (Japanese): http://www.takeo-kk.net/event/001361.php
Matcha & Hydrangea Festival 2019 Held by Green Tea Store Itohkyuemon
25.May.2019 | FOOD
Uji-based green tea store Itohkyuemon is set to hold its Matcha x Hydrangea Matsuri 2019 in line with the hydrangea season until the end of June.
The main branch of Itohkyuemon in Uji is close to Mimuroto Temple, a temple famous for its hydrangea foliage visited by countless tourists during the rainy season. During this season, customers can be waiting up to 3 hours to enter the cafe. Last year, there were even days where they were closed by noon.
Hydrangea Parfait: Single – ¥1,280 (Tax Included) / Tea Set – ¥1,680 (Tax Included) / Yuzu Shizuku & Matcha Set – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)
The promotional video for Itohkyuemon’s Hydrangea Parfait garnered over 1.5 million views on their official Twitter page. It is the season’s No. 1 parfait, made with matcha hydrangea kinton, crushed hydrangea-coloured jelly, leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries and more. This year, the shop introduces its new Yuzu Shizuku & Matcha Set.
Hydrangea Panna Cotta: ¥540 (Tax Included)
Matcha Hydrangea Kinton: ¥777 (Tax Included)
A variety of hydrangea-themed sweets and desserts will also be available to purchase and can be enjoyed in the cafe or ordered for takeout. This includes the Hydrangea Panna Cotta which sold out last year, the Matcha Hydrangea Kinton and more. All these treats are available in limited quantities.
Available: Now until end of June 2019
Branches: Uji Main Store / JR Uji Station Store
Hydrangea Panna Cotta
Available: Now until end of June 2019
Branches: Uji Main Store
Matcha Hydrangea Kinton
Available: Now until end of June 2019
Branches: Uji Main Store / JR Uji Station Store / Kyoto Station Store
Itohkyuemon Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/