Kamakura’s best hydrangea spots for 2019


2019.05.07

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Most travelers avoid Japan during the middle of the rainy season (mid-June to mid-July), with high temperatures and humidity, as well as cloudy skies. But one attractive reason to visit during this season is the blooming hydrangeas, which are particularly stunning in and around the temples of Kamakura. This seaside city just south of Tokyo can easily be visited as a day trip from the capital and shouldn’t be missed if you’re traveling at the height of summer.

In this article, we’ll introduce some of the most beautiful spots for seeing hydrangeas in Kamakura to help you plan your trip.

  • 01

    The best time to see hydrangeas in 2019

    The best time to see hydrangeas in 2019

    The best time to see hydrangeas in 2019

    The hydrangeas in Kamakura tend to begin blooming around the end of May or beginning of June and are at their peak in the middle of June. But it’s important to keep in mind that this depends on their location and the timing can be slightly different if they’re at elevation or the weather conditions are not as predicted. The hydrangea season will usually extend through to mid-July in some mountainous locations.

    Kamakura
    place
    Kanagawa Pref
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  • 02

    Meigetsu-in Temple

    Meigetsu-in Temple

    Meigetsu-in Temple

    Also known as Ajisaidera or the "Hydrangea Temple”, Meigetsu-in is a sub-temple of the larger Zenko-ji and is renowned for the thousands of hydrangeas that are planted in the temple grounds. The entire landscape is illuminated a brilliant blue color at the height of their flowering, with the species planted being an ancient Japanese "hime ajisai" whose color is known as “Meigetsuin blue”.

    Meigetsu-in Temple

    Meigetsu-in Temple

    Aside from its hydrangeas, the temple features a beautiful round window and is home to one of the Ten Wells of Kamakura, as well as the Karesansui garden of raked sand, rocks and plants that is said to represent the legendary Buddhist Mount Shumi.

    Meigetsu-in Temple
    rating

    4.0

    418 Reviews
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 189
    phone
    0467243437
    opening-hour
    9:00-16:00[June.]8:30-17:00
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  • 03

    Jochi-ji Temple

    Jochi-ji Temple

    Jochi-ji Temple

    One of Kamakura’s five great Zen temples, Jochi-ji is just a few hundred meters away from its head temple of Engaku-ji and is also famed for its hydrangeas. It was founded in 1283 by ruling members of the Hojo family and is renowned for the calm and contemplative atmosphere of its forested setting.

    After viewing the Buddhist trinity of the Amida Buddha, Shaka Buddha and Miroku Buddha in its Dongeden, follow the circular path that leads through the temple gardens that ignite with hydrangeas during the summer. Adjacent to the temple is the start of the Daibutsu Hiking Trail, which leads to Kamakura’s Great Buddha in around an hour.

    Jochi-ji Temple

    Jochi-ji Temple

    Jochi-ji Temple
    rating

    4.0

    137 Reviews
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 1402
    phone
    0467223943
    opening-hour
    9:00-16:30
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  • 04

    Engaku-ji Temple

    Engaku-ji Temple

    Engaku-ji Temple

    Engaku-ji is another temple in Kita-Kamakura that’s renowned for its hydrangeas, which are best admired while strolling through the grounds as they’re spaciously planted. The purple Tama hydrangea is used predominantly, although you’ll also see the white Tama hydrangea and Gaku hydrangeas throughout the grounds, with the combination of the two colors particularly attractive.

    Engaku-ji Temple

    Engaku-ji Temple

    Founded in 1282, Engaku-ji is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan and is a destination in its own right. It’s renowned for its classical Chinese Zen monastic design and home to two designated National Treasures - the Shariden reliquary hall and the Great Bell.

    Engakuji Temple
    rating

    4.5

    468 Reviews
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 409
    phone
    0467220478
    opening-hour
    [Mar.--Nov.] 8:00-16:30[Dec.…
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  • 05

    Hase-dera Temple

    Hase-dera Temple

    Hase-dera Temple

    Famed for its massive wooden statue of Kannon, Hase-dera is a Buddhist temple is one of the 33 stations on the Bandō Sanjūsankasho and Kantō Pilgrimage routes. It’s home to more than 2,000 hydrangeas of around 40 different types, with its multitude of colors and species rare to see in the one place.

    Hase-dera Temple

    Hase-dera Temple

    The temple nestles around halfway up Mount Kamakura, with a scenic walking trail offering impressive views across the city of Kamakura below and the waters of Sagami Bay. The temple complex is comprised of some buildings and the Benzaiten Grotto where statues of the sea goddess and other figures in Japanese mythology are displayed.

    Hasedera Temple
    rating

    4.5

    7 Reviews
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Hase 3-11-2
    phone
    0467226300
    opening-hour
    8:00-17:00[Oct.-Feb.]8:00-16…
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  • 06

    The area between Hase Station and Gokurakuji Station

    Enoden railway

    Enoden railway

    If you’re visiting Kamakura during the hydrangea season, don’t miss a ride on the Enoden railway between Hase Station and Gokurakuji Station. This area is renowned for its hydrangeas and is a popular viewing spot, with people coming from across Japan to experience the electric train surrounded by colorful flowers.

    Admire the picturesque Gokurakuji Station that frequently appears in TV dramas and anime, then stroll through the traditional Japanese garden at Gokuraku-ji Temple. Founded in 1259 by Hojo Shigetoki, it’s planted with not only hydrangeas but also cherry blossoms. Also en route to Hase is the Goryo Jinja Shrine, another popular hydrangea spot in Kamakura.

    Hase(Kanagawa)
    place
    Kanagawa Pref
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    Gokurakuji
    place
    Kanagawa Pref
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  • 07

    Hakone Tozan Railway's “Hydrangeas Train”

    Hydrangeas Train

    Hydrangeas Train

    The only mountain railway in Japan, the Hakone Tozan Railway travels between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations, passing a number of switchbacks along the way. It’s an exciting 40-minute journey, with the hydrangeas blooming in the summer making it even more spectacular.

    During this period, the train is nicknamed the “Hydrangea Train”, with the blooming of the hydrangeas taking place in succession as you travel up the mountain. By the middle of June, the hydrangeas at the lower end of the mountain are flowering, with the final blossoms at the top at their most magnificent at the end of July. The hydrangeas grow incredibly close to the railway to make for some impressive photos.

    Keep in mind that you will need to make reservations if you’re planning on taking the night train.

    Official website : 【Night Hydrangeas】 Online Reservation Service

    Hakone-Yumoto
    place
    Kanagawa Pref
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