5,000 Hydrangeas to Cover Daisho Temple in Saga Prefecture

02.June.2019 | SPOT

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.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • teamLab Announce New Autumn-Limited Scenery for Art Exhibition in Mifuneyama Rakuen Park in Kyushu

    13.September.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The natural art exhibition “VOLVO teamLab: A Forest where Gods Live,” hosted by teamLab at the Takeo Onsen in Mifuneyama Rakuen park, will be decorated in autumnal scenery for a limited time to mark the season. The lights will be lit up in the shades of autumn leaves, while interactive seasonal flowers will bloom in your tea. The Light Sculpture of Flames will also be unveiled, exhibiting until November 7 2021.

     

    VOLVO teamLab: A Forest where Gods Live

     

     

    Works that change with the seasons 

     

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain, teamLab, 2018.

     

     

     

    Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup, teamLab, 2016.

     

     

     

    Newly Opened Works

     

    Light Sculpture of Flames, teamLab, 2016.

     

    The Mifuneyama Rakuen Park was built on a 500,000 square metre site that has been surrounded by nature for over three million years. This year marks the seventh year of the ‘VOLVO teamLab: A Forest where Gods Live” outdoor exhibition, which opens every summer and autumn. The exhibition combines nature and art on a grand scale, even featuring in CNN’s list of “Outdoor art exhibitions to see around the world.”

     

    One of the special features of teamLab’s works is that they change with the season, including this one, where the colours will be changed to match the Autumn.

    The lamps in the Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps, which can be found in the lobby of the Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, will light up in warm fall shades to create the Autumn Mountain. In addition, you can enjoy drinking tea brewed using seasonal flowers at the Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup installation. This is a unique Autumn experience!

     

    The Light Sculpture of Flames has been on display at teamLab’s large-scale solo exhibition and will be shown in public for the first time, having been described as the “first art piece to be accepted in Silicon Valley.”

    The interactive light sculpture forms a 3D flame using multiple light points and will be shown in a collaboration space with VOLVO, the exhibits main partner.

     

     

    Why not immerse yourself in the nature of Autumn with teamLab?

  • Hydrangea Matcha Parfait Gets Served For Spring at Kyoto Tea Shop

    18.May.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japanese Uji tea shop Itohkyuemon broughr back its seasonal Hydrangea Parfait to the menu at three of its stores last Monday.

    Hydrangea Parfait

    Hydrangea Tea Party

    Kyoto’s city of Uji, where Itohkyuemon’s main branch is based, is home to Mimuroto Temple which is famous for its hydrangea flowers. The temple always bustles during the springtime rainy season. It’s around this time that people can be waiting up to 3 hours for a seat at Itohkyuemon. Their Hydrangea Parfait is their most popular parfait, never failing to create a buzz on Japanese social media. It contains hydrangea-flavoured mashed sweet potato, hydrangea jelly, leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries, and more, all capturing the swaying hydrangeas during the downpour of the rainy season. They are limited in stock and are not re-added to the menu until the following year once they run out.

     

    Customers can order the parfait on its own, with a cup of tea, or with both tea and warabimochi. The tea set and tea party versions come with a free hydrangea coaster.

  • Experience Japan’s Rainy Season Hydrangea With This Special Hotel Plan

    16.May.2021 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone has announced a special hydrangea-themed hotel plan for Japan’s rainy season which will run from June 12 to July 4.

    Hydrangeas bloom before guest room benches

    At KAI Hakone, there is a special guest room with an outdoor bench seating area which looks out into the green forest. Hydrangeas will bloom, providing a gorgeous backdrop as guests enjoy the sounds of the Sukumogawa River.

     

    Hydrangea accessory kit

    Guests will be given an accessory kit in their rooms to make their own flower accessories from hydrangea leaves and wooden mosaics. These accessories can be fitted to yukata, used as piercings, and more to serve a Japanese summer vibe.

     

    Enjoy hydrangea sweets and shaved iced

    Guests can turn their rooms into a little tearoom with the wooden mosaic plaques provided on which they can tuck into a range of hydrangea-flavoured sweets and desserts along with a cup of matcha. The shaved ice is a KAI Hakone-original made with jelly and syrup coloured purple with hydrangea.

     

    The hydrangea is perhaps the most celebrated flower in all of Hakone, arriving in early summer. It’s hailed in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being the Hydrangea Train, a nickname given to the train that runs from Odawara Station to Gora Station. Passangers are treated to an incredible view out the train window as their vision is filled with vivid hydrangea flowers.

     

    This year marks the second that KAI Hakone is offering its seasonal hydrangea plan. If you’re able to visit during this time, don’t miss out.

  • Saga Prefecture’s Sake Brewers Clink Glasses to Launch OPEN SAGASAKE Campaign

    11.January.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    The new OPEN SAGASAKE campaign is set to launch on January 14, 2021 to help spread awareness of sake brewed in Japan’s prefecture of Saga.

     

    The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into confusion and disorder and made it difficult to predict the future. In response to this, Saga Prefecture’s sake brewers have come together for Japan’s sake fans to launch a campaign that is imbued with the hope for a brighter future. It will release a variety of content for people to look forward with positivity as they go into the New Year.

    Saga was originally known as Hizen and hails as Japan’s oldest location for rice farming. It’s home to Nabatake Ruins, an ancient ruin of rice paddies believed to be the oldest in Japan, and the enormous Yoshinogari site which is suited for rice cultivation. It’s also home to many ‘power spots,’ a concept in Japan where a specific place is considered to give one energy by visiting it. The people of Saga have lived in rhythm with nature throughout history, and it’s here where many sake breweries have opened.

     

    Those who spend over ¥1,500 on Saga sake (tax included) for the campaign will be given a special leaflet by Pleiades Reina when it begins on January 14. Reina is the first child of Getters Iida, a Japanese fortune teller. 100 lucky people will also be given another special product to make their Saga sake drinking experience that much more special. Sign-ups begin on January 14 and end on March 12 in Japan.

     

    2021 OPEN SAGASAKE Limited-Edition Bottles

    Special Saga sake brand limited-edition bottles will be sold starting on February 1. The labels feature colourful gradations so you can pick which bottle you want depending on which one you’re feeling.

     

    Online Event

    An online event will take place for Japanese sake fans on YouTube on March 6 at 18:00 (JST). Various actresses, models, and influencers will take part in a talk, including fortune telling by Pleiades Reina. There will also be prizes and other content to look forward to.

  • teamLab’s Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains Opens as Permanent Exhibit at Mifuneyama Rakuen

    17.November.2020 | SPOT

    Japanese art collective teamLab opened its teamLab: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains series of artworks at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu as permanent exhibitions on November 10. The artworks can be enjoyed as part of a set which includes enjoying the exhibits as well as a soak in Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel’s sauna and a complimentary cup of Japanese tea.

     

    Rakan no Yu, a sauna located at Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, won the Saunachelin Grand Prix two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. The sauna and open-air baths enjoy natural water from Mt. Mifune and are surrounded by the vast nature of the local area.

     

    A sauna and new art experience fusion

    Sitting on the borderline of Mifuneyama Rakuen Park is the 3,000-year-old sacred Okusu tree of Takeo Shrine, which is Japan’s 7th largest. Also in the heart of the garden is another 300-year-old sacred tree. Knowing the significance of this, Japan’s forebears turned a portion of this forest into a garden, utilizing the trees of the natural forest. The border between the garden and the wild forest is ambiguous, and when wandering through the garden, before they know it, people will find themselves entering the woods and animal trails.

     

    Visitors can get their hands on a combo ticket which includes access to teamLab’s exhibition as well as daytime entry to the sauna. These are limited to 40 people per day.

     

    Below are some of the artworks that visitors can experience.

    Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation

    Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List
    teamLab, 2017-, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Butterflies Dancing in the Depths of the Underground Ruins, Transcending Space
    teamLab, 2019, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain
    teamLab, 2018, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

  • teamLab’s ‘A Forest Where Gods Live’ Exhibition in Saga Introduces Autumn Inspired Digital Art

    10.September.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    teamLab’s annual A Forest Where Gods Live exhibition is currently taking place at Mifuneyama Rakuen Park in Saga Prefecture until November 8, 2020. For autumn this year, the digital art team has introduced a seasonal piece entitled Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain.

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain
    teamLab, 2018, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Available to see for this autumn season only, ​Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain showcases Kasane no Irome, which are nuances of layered colours that were seasonal colours created in silk before Japan’s modern era, in the form of lit lamps.

    The lamps in the exhibition shine brightly and then fade. In the light, one can see the eight autumn Kasane no Irome colours: Budding Leaves, Green Leaves, Fallen Green Leaves, Yellow Leaves, Fallen Yellow Leaves, Fallen Leaves, Fallen Red Leaves, and Autumn Leaves.

    Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup
    teamLab, 2016, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Make tea in the tea house at the exhibition. Flowers will bloom inside the teacup, which if you pick up, sends the flowers scattering and spreading to the outside of the cup. Flowers will bloom infinitely as long as there is tea. For September, there are safflowers, dianthus, and Chinese asters, while next month will introduce cosmos, osmanthus, and chrysanthemums.

    Ever Blossoming Life Rock
    teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation

    You can also see autumn flowers in the Ever Blossoming Life Rock and Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins exhibits too.

    Visitors can also get set tickers which includes entry to the exhibition as well as a dip in the Rakan no Yu hot springs of Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel. These tickets are limited to 40 people per day.

  • teamLab’s Interactive Digital Art Exhibition to Open at Takeo Hot Springs in Kyushu This July

    21.July.2020 | SPOT

    teamLab’s annual digital art exhibition teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live, which is held every year from summer to autumn at Mifuneyama Rakuen’s Takeo Hot Springs, is collaborating with Rakan no Yu, a new sauna facility which opened at the Kyushu-based hot spring facility and won first place in Sauna Chelan 2019.

     

    The exhibition will open in the 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on July 22, 2020 to both guests and non-guests of Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, Onyado Chikurintei, and other surrounding accommodations. Set tickets to enjoy both Rakan no Yu and the teamLab exhibition went on sale on July 20 and are limited to 40 people per day.


    Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats – Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond​
    teamLab, 2015, Interactive Digitized Nature, 13min 24sec, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    The water of Rakan no Yu is pure, low-alkali hot spring water with no colour, smell, or taste. It’s known for its superior moisturising effect, leaving the skin nice and smooth. Rakan no Yu won first place in Sauna Chelan 2019. Sauna Chelan is considered the “Michelin” ranker of the sauna world.

    In June 2020, a dry sauna and new baths were added to Rakan no Yu’s women’s open air baths. Guests can enjoy the meditation sauna, indoor and outdoor baths, hot springs, and more in both the men’s and women’s sections.

    Ever Blossoming Life Rock
    teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock
    teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature

    This year marks teamLab’s sixth collaboration with Mifuneyama Rakuen. Their teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live is held every year at the site, and this year they have 22 art pieces to showcase. Takeo Hot Springs opened in 1845 and is registered as a national monument.

    Life is Continuous Light – Azalea Valley

    teamLab, 2017, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Floating Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Fire
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    teamLab’s incredible interactive digital art will react to people’s presence and movement throughout the 500,000 square meter space.

     

  • 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).

     

    Goshuin: “Omoi”

    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.

     

    Price: ¥600

     

    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.

     

    Price: ¥1,000

     

    Hydrangea Goshuincho

    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.

  • Arita Porcelain Ware Online Website Receives Limited Time Extension

    30.April.2020 | SPOT

    The Arita Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that the online Arita ware website “Arita Toukichi” has been extended until May 5, 2020 where it will close at 5:00pm (JST).

     

    Arita Toukichi is a marketplace in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture which bustles every year with people all year round who flock there to buy the town’s famous Arita porcelain wares. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the market has been postponed and instead has temporarily moved online.

     

    Around 130 makers of Arita ware have close to 10,000 pieces of ceramics and pottery on display. Until now, you had to actually make the trip to visit Arita to get your hands on such goods, but now people all around Japan can purchase the latest items online.

     

    If you spend more than ¥2,000 from one seller shipping (within Japan) is free.

     

    If you’ve never seen the beautiful wares from Arita then make sure you check out the website before it closes.

  • Tour Tokyo, Pick Strawberries and Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The ichigosan bus

    04.January.2020 | FOOD

    From their popular AWAPA Foam Party event where you can dance in a club filled with foam to their BATHTUB CINEMA event where you can watch a movie with your friends in a bathtub, Afro&Co. never fails to bring us new and creative ways to have fun. They are now collaborating with Saga prefecture to run the ‘ichigosan bus’: a sightseeing bus which will introduce you to wonderful spots in Tokyo with an unexpected strawberry twist to celebrate the first anniversary of Saga prefecture’s strawberry farm ‘ichigosan’. Enjoy strawberry picking inside the bus and then tuck into a strawberry-tastic afternoon tea set and much more. The bus will be running for a five day period from January 1 to 19, 2020.

    ichigosan Afternoon Tea

    ichigosan Panna Cotta

    The ichigosan bus commemorates one-year since Saga Prefecture launched their new brand of delicious succulent strawberries called ‘ichigosan’. The collaboration hopes to spread the delicious flavour of ichigosan strawberries to as many people as possible with the five-day-limited strawberry-tastic bus tour. Hop on the red double-decker bus, which looks just like a London tour bus, to enjoy strawberry picking on floor one and an original strawberry afternoon tea set prepared by a chef from Royal Garden Cafe Aoyama on floor two.

    ichigosan Crêpe

    ichigosan Tart

    This three-experience-in-one tour bus introduces you to the newest famous spots in the city, offers you a fun strawberry picking experience and even comes with a delicious strawberry afternoon tea set. You can book tickets in advance online and there are two kinds of tickets available for on-the-day purchases. As this is the best season to enjoy ichigosan strawberries in Japan, make the most of it on this tour and you will be berry pleased.

  • 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.

     

    Shorinji Temple

    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.

     

    ▼Shorinji Temple

    Address: 15-795 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
    TEL: 075-561-4311

    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.

     

    ▼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

    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.

     

    Yoshimine-dera Temple

    Address: 1372 Ōharano Oshiochō, Nishikyō, Kyoto

    TEL: 075-331-0020

    Official Website: http://www.yoshiminedera.com/index.html

     

     

    Kanon-ji Temple

    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.

     

    ▼Kanon-ji Temple

    Address: 1067 Kannonji, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

    TEL: 0773-27-1618

    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.

     

    Photos: @macchan358

  • 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.

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