Written by Mila
Hydrangea Festival: The Magical Flowers At Kurobane Castle
Once visited by Matsuo Basho, Kurobane Castle continues to captivate with its beautiful hydrangeas. The hydrangeas at Kurobane Castle Park in Tochigi bloom during the rainy season in June and July. When the rain clouds clear up, visit for a unique, flower-filled sight.
Kurobane Castle and its Hydrangeas
The grounds of Kurobane Castle Park during hydrangea season. Photo by Pixta
Kurobane Castle lies in Otawara, a city in northern Tochigi Prefecture. A well-known landmark, the castle was established in 1576 by Ozeki Takamatsu and named after the prosperous Kurobane Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate. As the number of castles began to decrease in the Edo period, Kurobane Castle was later reconstituted as a fortified administrative center, and is a popular local park today.
Once the weather begins to warm up in early summer, park visitors are greeted by beautiful hydrangeas blooming on the grounds of Kurobane Castle Park. The flowers are so lovely that Kurobane Castle Park holds a Hydrangea Festival annually from mid-June until early July.
Continue reading to learn more about this special spot of beauty and historic value and the gorgeous flowers.
The Annual Kurobane Hydrangea Festival
Photo by Pixta
Hydrangeas originated in Japan and are known throughout the country as the flower of the summer. Unlike their Western counterparts, hydrangeas in Japan typically bloom during the rainy season in June and July.
Each year, about 6,000 hydrangea flowers bloom at Kurobane Castle which brightens up the area and adds an exciting festive atmosphere to this otherwise quiet town. Visitors can come and enjoy a pleasant walk through the castle grounds to take in the beauty of the flower garden. During this time of year, Otawara receives many visitors from Tochigi and its surrounding areas.
Photo by Pixta
The blooming hydrangeas of Kurobane Castle give the entire park a fairytale-like essence. As the light bounces off the flower petals, you’ll quickly see a chance for some amazing photos and Instagram-able backgrounds.
* In 2020, the Kurobane Hydrangea Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreaks. The pictures in this article were taken during a previous edition of the festival.
Matsuo Basho's Legacy