Written by Monami I
Japan's Seasons In Photos: June - The Beauty Of Rain
June is the month when the rainy season begins in Japan. This photo essay captures the beauty of rainy days, which are brightened up by the charming hydrangeas, the flowers of the rain, and the festivals inspired by them.
June - Japan's Rainy Season
If you travel to Japan in June, expect a lot of rainy days, because it's the month when the rainy season begins in central Japan.
The lights of the city, the color of greenery and flowers - they all become more vibrant under the raindrops, don't you think? The rainy season might just be the best time to go out for a walk and appreciate nature.
Although it rains almost every day for about one month, it can be a very enjoyable time of the year thanks to the beautiful hydrangea flowers and the culture inspired by them.
Hydrangeas - The Flowers of Rain
Hydrangeas are very loved in Japan. One reason for their popularity is their vivid colors. They bloom in pink, light purple, dark purple, blue, and white, bringing a splash of color in the heart of a season that would be otherwise grayish and dull.
Another reason why they are treasured so much is their affinity with rain. These flowers really look at their best under the raindrops, reminding us that rain is the blessing of water falling from the sky.
Hydrangeas are thus one of the symbols of subdued beauty, of the charm that cannot be found in a brightly lit up place but only in the shadows. A hydrangea flower reminds you of beauty at a time and in a place where you wouldn't expect to find beauty.
There are usually hydrangea viewing festivals around the end of June in parks, gardens, and on mountainsides. In Tokyo, the Toshimaen Hydrangea Festival or the Minamisawa Hydrangea Mountain (Akiruno, western Tokyo) offer great views of hydrangeas.
Going out to view the hydrangeas is a pleasant activity that will get you in a serene mood, even amid the blues of the rainy season.
The Joy of the Rainy Season - Hydrangea Sweets
The shape and colors of hydrangeas have inspired craftsmen and artists to use them as patterns of various objects: paintings, fans, kimonos, lacquerware, and others.
Seasonal sweets are also often shaped like hydrangeas. The flowers' affinity to water and rain is best captured by jelly sweets.
Traditional sweets with delicate decorations are also a joy to look at.
Hydrangea-inspired sweets tend to be season limited, which means that they will be available in supermarkets and department stores only for about a month, in June.
Enjoying the Rain
Photographer Monami Ishii
We hope this essay made you curious about Japan's rainy season. If you have the chance, do visit around this time of the year when all the colors look more vibrant under the raindrops.