Translated by EC
Hydrangea from Uji. Love the Seasonal Flowers at Mimurotoji
Written by SakamotoAyako
In Japan, there exists a season calls "tsuyu 梅雨（つゆ）". It is not exactly seen as part of the distinct four seasons that are so loved by the Japanese. "Tsuyu" exists between spring and summer and is a period with a lot of rainfall.
For this reason, Japan in June and July is very humid. It is so humid that it brings a lot of troubles: for example, it is difficult to try the laundry and our hair.
But even during this season that is much hated, there is still something that you can appreciate. It is a Japanese tradition to view a certain flower during the tsuyu.
It is "Hydrangea".
Blue, white, violet and more. Hydrangea is famous for its bright colours. As it blossoms only during the short period of tsuyu, Japanese has long written songs and poems about its fragileness.
You can come to Kyoto to enjoy Hydrangea, a flower that has been loved by the Japanese since long.
Mimurotoji, the Temple of Flowers in Kyoto
At Mimurotoji in Uji, Kyoto, you can enjoy Hydrangea. This temple has a couple of nicknames.
One of the nicknames is "the temple of flowers". For spring, it is azalea and rhododendron; for tsuyu, it's hydrangea and lotus. The characteristic of Mimurotoji is that you can view different flowers throughout the year.
The azalea at Mimurotoji that tell you spring has come
In May, there are around twenty thousands full-bloomed azalea and you will feel that spring has indeed arrived at Uji.
As for hydrangea, around ten thousands stubs are planted. This is why the locals would call this temple "the temple of hydrangea" during tsuyu.
The Bewitched Atmosphere of Hydrangea During Nighttime
A 15-minute walk from "Mimuroto" station of Kohei line. This convenient position makes Mimurotoji popular with visitors throughout the year. The most famous period is when the hydrangea garden is lighted up, a limited period during the nighttime of tsuyu.
The night session starts at 7pm and you will already see the long queue. While you move forward with the line with anticipation, you will see the hydrangea garden from the dark.
The violin performance is only limited for the light-up period. It seems to be another world and it is possible to mix up this Japanese garden with an amusement park.
At the entrance of the garden, there is a red gate that adds a layer of charm to the hydrangea in the dark.
Amongst the countless hydrangea, you will be able to spot some in the shape of hearts like the above picture. "This hydrangea looks just like a heart! It's so cute!" Some couples around us said.
It is the same flower, but hydrangea looks so different in nighttime as compared to day time.
The entrancing hydrangea. It makes you wonder if people in the past admire them the same way we do.
Although it is completely dark after you finish enjoying the hydrangea garden, the path in front of the temple is lighted gently by streetlamps. It makes you continue to indulge in that mood and forget the fact that you are in the tsuyu season with annoying humidity.
Don't forget to bring insect repellent when you visit. If your skin is being itchy, you cannot fully enjoy the hydrangea!
Mimurotoji, a Temple to be Enjoyed Regardless of the Seasons
The day we visited was a cloudy day. However, thanks to the cloudy sky, the bright colours of hydrangea are further enhanced.
Even if it rains, you can lift up your umbrella and hear the clear sounds of rain falling on your umbrella while observing the hydrangea. It will be a different atmosphere to be enjoyed as well.
The shining greens of trees, the white flowers of rhododendron
Besides Tsuyu, Mimurotoji is place to be enjoyed throughout the year with its beautiful flowers. There are fans who visit the temple again and again throughout the year to observe its changea with seasons and climate. Please visit the place if you come by Kyoto.
Address: 21 Todo Shiga Valley, Uji, Kyoto
Hours: 8:30 to 16:30 (April 1 - October 31), 8:30 to 16:00 (November 1 - March 31)
Nearest station: "Mimuroto" station of Keihan line
Access: a 15-minute walk from "Mimuroto" station
Admission fee: Adults 500 yen / child 300 yen
Phone number: 0774-21-2067
Official HP ：Mimurotoji