HOME Kansai Kyoto Fushimi, Uji 10 Best Spots for Hydrangeas in Kansai: From Famous Sites to Charming Hideaways (2021)
10 Best Spots for Hydrangeas in Kansai: From Famous Sites to Charming Hideaways (2021)

10 Best Spots for Hydrangeas in Kansai: From Famous Sites to Charming Hideaways (2021)

Date published: 14 May 2021

Japan's rainy season, which lasts from June to mid-July, is also the best time to see hydrangeas in the Kansai region! With raindrops glowing on their petals, these flowers showcase their enchanting beauty.

During this time, you can enjoy hydrangeas in the famous ancient temples of the Kansai region, at nature parks, and many other areas. Starting with spots in Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, we will introduce the top ten places to go for viewing hydrangeas in Kansai and how to access them.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Mimurotoji Temple (Kyoto): A Large Garden Decorated with Seasonal Flowers
  2. 2. Yatadera Temple (Nara): The Temple of Jizo Statues and Hydrangeas
  3. 3. Hasedera Temple (Nara): A Temple Where Flowers Decorate Each Season
  4. 4. Tanshu Kannonji Temple (Kyoto): The Oldest Hydrangea Temple in the Kansai Region
  5. 5. Sanzenin Temple (Kyoto): Located in the Tranquil Village of Ohara
  6. 6. Kyuanji Temple (Osaka): Colorful Hydrangeas Decorate the Temple Grounds
  7. 7. Katsuoji Temple (Osaka): Flowers and Daruma Dolls Cover the Temple Grounds
  8. 8. Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden (Shiga): Enjoy Beautiful Views of the Lake and Hydrangeas
  9. 9. Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park (Hyogo): Get a View of the Ocean Over Blooming Hydrangeas
  10. 10. Kobe Municipal Arboretum (Hyogo): A Famous Spot that Boats a Huge Variety of Hydrangeas

1. Mimurotoji Temple (Kyoto): A Large Garden Decorated with Seasonal Flowers

1. Mimurotoji Temple (Kyoto): A Large Garden Decorated with Seasonal Flowers

North of Kyoto City, Mimurotoji Temple is located in the city of Uji. It’s a 15-minute walk from Mimurodo Station. Once you go through the temple gates, you will enter the 1.65-hectare (4-acre) grounds. Here you will find a traditional Japanese rock garden, a pond, and large fields.

This hydrangea garden also has one of the largest numbers of hydrangeas found in the Kansai region. There are approximately 100 varieties and 20,000 hydrangea plants.

Species found in the area include western hydrangeas, French hydrangeas, oakleaf hydrangeas, and the mountain hydrangea, also known as the hydrangea of dreams. The landscape of the colorful flowers blooming throughout the cedar grove is like something you would come across in a beautiful picture scroll.

■Hydrangea Garden
Event Period: June 1st, 2021~July 11th, 2021 (The garden is scheduled to be specially lit up on weekends from June 12th to the 27th.)
Hours: 8:30 a.m.~4:30 p.m. (the garden is lit up from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Reception stops at 8:30 p.m.)
Admission: Adults (800 yen), Children (400 yen)

2. Yatadera Temple (Nara): The Temple of Jizo Statues and Hydrangeas

2. Yatadera Temple (Nara): The Temple of Jizo Statues and Hydrangeas

Jizo statues, the guardian deities of travelers and children, are beloved by the Japanese people. Also commonly known as theYata Jizo, Yatadera Temple enshrines the Life-prolonging Jizo Bosatsu.

North of Koriyama in Nara Prefecture, the temple is located mid-slope of the Yata Hills. You can access this site by taking a 20-minute bus ride from Kintetsu-Koriyama Station.

On the spacious temple grounds, you will find the main hall, a lecture hall, Amida hall (a building that enshrines an image of the Amitabha Buddha), and Enmado hall (a building that houses a sculpture of Enma, the god of the dead). In addition to the principal deities of the Jizo, it houses many important cultural assets.

What’s more, Yatadera is also famous for being a hydrangea temple. Since being planted in 1965, hydrangeas have been blooming every year in mid-May.

Starting with climbing hydrangeas, there are approximately 60 species and 1,000 hydrangea plants. Found all throughout the temple grounds, the best time to view them is from early June to early July. The colorful hydrangeas that surround the Jizo statues are a soothing sight.

*The garden will not be open in 2021

  • Yatadera Temple
    矢田寺
    • Address 3549 Yatacho, Yamatokoriyama-shi, Nara 639-1058
    • Phone Number 0743-53-1445
    • ・Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      ・Admission: Free
      *There’s an additional entrance fee during the hydrangea season (Adults 500 yen, Children 200 yen)
      ・Access: Take a train to Koriyama Station on the Kintentsu-Kashihara Line. From there, take the bus bound for Yatadera-mae for around 20 minutes. (There are four buses in a day.)
      *During hydrangea season, there’s a special service bus bound for Yatadera that leaves from both Koriyama Station on the Kintentsu-kashihara Line and Horyuji Station on the JR Line

3. Hasedera Temple (Nara): A Temple Where Flowers Decorate Each Season

3. Hasedera Temple (Nara): A Temple Where Flowers Decorate Each Season

Hasedera Temple is a 15-minute walk from Hasedera Station on the Kintetsu Railway. It’s located in the southern region of Nara Prefecture in Sakurai City.

This is the head temple of the Shingon Sect Buzan School, which has about 3,000 temples nationwide. Moreover, the Eleven-Faced Bodhisattva Kannon statue enshrined in the main hall is designated as a national treasure.

Since long ago, this sacred site has been known as the Temple of Flowers. Here you can enjoy beautiful scenery throughout the year, such as cherry blossoms and fall foliage.

The best time to view the hydrangeas that cover the temple grounds is from mid-June to mid-July. Including species such as western and French hydrangeas, there are approximately 3000 hydrangea plants.

Furthermore, you can go through a 399-step enclosed corridor called a nobiriro (important cultural property). It is decorated with round lanterns that hang from its roof. The noboriro starts from the Niomon - a kind of Buddhist temple gate that is guarded by two statues.

Offering a refined atmosphere special to Hasedera Temple, other highlights include the view from the noboriro in the wintertime and the view of peonies in the springtime.

・Admission: Adults (500 yen), Middle School and High School Students (500 yen), Elementary School Students (250 yen)

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of facilities and equipment, etc./Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place/Plastic partitions installed/Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature/Restricted admission (only when crowded)/ Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell/Guests are required to wear masks and temperature checks are enforced

4. Tanshu Kannonji Temple (Kyoto): The Oldest Hydrangea Temple in the Kansai Region

4. Tanshu Kannonji Temple (Kyoto): The Oldest Hydrangea Temple in the Kansai Region

Located in Kyoto Prefecture’s Fukuchiyama City, Tanshu Kannonji Temple is a 15-minute walk from Isa Station on the JR Line.

With the Kansai region being famous for its seasonal flowers, this temple is known as the oldest hydrangea temple in the area.

It was also the first fudasho (temples where amulets are distributed) during the pilgrimage of the 25 Sacred Sites of Floral Temples in the Kansai Region. These sacred sites are scattered throughout six prefectures in Kansai.

Furthermore, around 100 varieties and 10,000 hydrangea flowers bloom throughout the temple grounds. Also called a flower paradise, you can enjoy the scenery of the white, blue, purple, and pink flowers that cover this temple.

During June and July, the pathway starting from the Niomon gate and the route that takes you on a tour of the Shichikanon-the seven forms of Avalokitesvara, are surrounded by hydrangeas.

The best time to visit is from early June to early July, and the flowers are in full bloom around the 18th to the 30th of June. Although there’s usually an annual hydrangea festival held on the fourth Sunday of June, it is scheduled to be canceled in 2021.

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Sanitizer installed/Staff wear masks/Tours of the temple and its grounds are done by following a route/Tours of the main hall are cancelled (cancellation is scheduled)

  • Tanshu Kannonji Temple
    丹州華觀音寺
    • Address 1067 Kannonji, Fukuchiyama-shi, Kyoto 620-0803
    • Phone Number 0773-27-1618
    • ・Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
      ・Admission: Required only during hydrangea season (400 yen) *Admission is free during other seasons
      ・Access: A 15-minute walk from Isa Station on the JR Sanin Main Line

5. Sanzenin Temple (Kyoto): Located in the Tranquil Village of Ohara

5. Sanzenin Temple (Kyoto): Located in the Tranquil Village of Ohara

Sanzenin Temple is located north of Kyoto City in the naturally abundant village of Ohara. It is also known as one of the Monzeki - temples where members of the imperial family would serve out their priesthood, of the Tendai sect of Buddhism.

To get to Sanzenin Temple, you can take the train to either Kyoto Station on the JR Line or Kokusaikaikan Station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway. Once at the station, you can take a bus to the Ohara bus stop and walk for ten minutes to the entrance.

Here, over 1,000 hydrangea plants come into full bloom throughout the period of mid-June to mid-July. You can find them in front of the Hall of Golden Acalanatha, otherwise called the Konjiki-Fudo-do.

Starting with the nettle-leaved hydrangeas that bloom in mid-June, there are many other species such as the uniquely star-shaped bluebird mountain hydrangea, the tea of heaven hydrangea, and the French hydrangea. These flowers can be enjoyed even after July.

・Admission: General Admission (700 yen), Middle School and High School Students (400 yen), Elementary School Students (150 yen)

Once inside the beautiful and verdant temple grounds, we also recommend stopping by the ornamental pond garden known as the Shuheki-en Garden and the Yusei-en Garden. What’s more, gazing at the kind-looking Jizo statue called Warabe Jizo will put you in a soothed state.

Warabe Jizo, created by Takashi Sugimura

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of facilities and equipment, etc./Sanitizer installed/ Ventilation measures in place/Usage of coin trays/Plastic partitions installed/Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature/Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell/Guests are required to wear masks・temperature check enforced

6. Kyuanji Temple (Osaka): Colorful Hydrangeas Decorate the Temple Grounds

6. Kyuanji Temple (Osaka): Colorful Hydrangeas Decorate the Temple Grounds

Located in the Hokusetsu area of Osaka Prefecture in Ikeda City, Kyuanji Temple is a 15-minute bus ride from Hankyu Railway’s Ikeda Station. With an area of over 6.6 hectares (16 acres), you can enjoy the beautiful flowers of every season.

Not limited to hydrangeas, this also includes peonies, azaleas, and lotuses. Hydrangeas that bloom throughout the spacious ground include species such as French hydrangeas, oakleaf hydrangeas, and shooting star hydrangeas.

Overall, there are five varieties and 1,000 hydrangea plants. They come into full bloom from June until July. Also, from the middle to the end of June, hydrangeas are placed into the pond in front of the main hall. Here you can enjoy watching these pretty flowers as they float in the water.

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Sanitizer installed/Ventilation measures in place/Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and make sure to sanitize

  • Kyuanji Temple
    久安寺
    • Address 697 Fushiocho, Ikeda-shi, Osaka 563-0011
    • Phone Number 072-752-1857
    • Hours: 9:00 a.m.~4:00 p.m.
      Admission: 300 yen
      Access: Once at Hankyu Railway’s Ikeda Station, take the Hankyu Bus bound for Fushiodai or Maki, Kibougaoka. Get off at the Kyuanji stop right in front of the temple.

7. Katsuoji Temple (Osaka): Flowers and Daruma Dolls Cover the Temple Grounds

7. Katsuoji Temple (Osaka): Flowers and Daruma Dolls Cover the Temple Grounds

Located around Minoyama in northern Osaka, Katsuoji Temple can be found in Meiji no Mori Mino Quasi-National Park. You can access this spot by taking a 30-minute bus ride from Senri-Chuo Station or driving for approximately ten minutes from Minoo Station on the Hankyu Railway.

Having a 1300-year-long history, Katsuoji Temple is also known as the temple of winning luck.Daruma dolls, traditional Japanese dolls that symbolize perseverance and luck, and winning, can be found placed as an offering throughout the temple grounds.

Moreover, the best time to look at hydrangeas in full bloom is from early June to early July. On the expansive 26.4 hectares (65 acres) grounds, you will find approximately 1,000 species of hydrangea plants.

This includes the tea of heaven hydrangea, the French hydrangea, and the hydrangea involucrata. Moreover, the calming atmosphere around Kannon-ike (Kannon Pond), as well as the scenery of flowers blooming alongside the pathway and stone steps to the main hall, are a must-see!

・Admission: Adults (high school students and older, 450 yen), Elementary School and Middle School Students (300 yen), Pre-schoolers (100 yen), free admission for children two years old and under.

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Sanitizer installed/Ventilation measures in place/Plastic partitions installed/Guests are required to wear masks and temperature checks are enforced/Staff wear masks, gloves, and sanitize regularly

8. Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden (Shiga): Enjoy Beautiful Views of the Lake and Hydrangeas

8. Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden (Shiga): Enjoy Beautiful Views of the Lake and Hydrangeas
Image Material: PIXTA

North of Lake Biwa, Lake Yogo is said to be the site of Japan’s Swan Maiden folktale in which eight heavenly maidens descend as swans into a lake. It’s also known as one of the Eight Picturesque Sights of Kohoku.

From June to early July, around 10,000 hydrangea flowers bloom around this lake, surrounded by mountains. Covering an area of 600 square meters, the contrast between the blooming flowers and the lake is beautiful. Here you can enjoy the refreshing scenery of early summer.

Four kilometers north of the park is Zenchoji Temple, another well-known temple of hydrangeas. If you have a car, it’s easy to stop by both of these locations. Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden is a 35-minute walk from Yogo Station. We also recommend renting a bike at the train station and taking it around the lakeside.

Image Material: PIXTA
  • Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden
    余呉湖あじさい園
    • Address Yogocho Yogokohan, Nagahama-shi, Shiga 529-0523
    • TEL: 0749-82-5909(Nagahama Tourism Association, Northern Promotion Bureau)
      Open: All day
      Admission: Free
      Access: A 35-minute walk from Yogo Station on the JR Line.

9. Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park (Hyogo): Get a View of the Ocean Over Blooming Hydrangeas

9. Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park (Hyogo): Get a View of the Ocean Over Blooming Hydrangeas

Accessible with an approximately 45-minute bus ride from Sannomiya, the Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park is a spacious site with many viewing spots.

Awaji Island boasts being one of the leading areas in the number and species of hydrangeas found in the Kansai region. In full bloom from mid-June to early July, Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park has 20 species and approximately 14,000 hydrangea plants. A recommended viewing spot is the park’s sky terrace. Here you can enjoy the scenery of both the sea and sky.

Centering around bigleaf hydrangeas and French hydrangeas, Anabelle hydrangeas with their pure white, large petals and double-petaled shooting star hydrangeas all compete with each other’s beauty. You can find these and many more throughout the park.

Also, during the season, you can ride a tram car called the Yume Hachi Go (one-day ticket for unlimited rides, 300 yen including tax) that takes you on a hydrangea tour.

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of facilities and equipment, etc./Sanitizer installed/Ventilation measures in place/Usage of coin trays/Plastic partitions installed/Staff wear masks/Restricted admission for events/Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell/ Guests are required to wear masks

  • Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park
    国営明石海峡公園
    • Address 8-10 Yumebutai, Awaji-shi, Hyogo 656-2306
    • Phone Number 0799-72-2000
    • Open: 9:30 a.m.~5:00 p.m. (Until May 30th, 2021 and from July 1st~August, 31st the park closes at 6:30 p.m. From November 1st~March 31st the park closes at 4:00 p.m. Tickets must be purchased at least an hour before closing time.)
      Closes: The second Monday and Friday of February, during the New Year holiday
      Admission: Adults (over 15, 450 yen), free admission for middle school students and younger.
      Access: From Sannomiya Station on the JR Line, go to the Sannomiya Bus Terminal. From here, take the West Japan JR, Honshi Kaikyo Bus from the Oiso port. Get off at the Yumebutai-mae bus stop and walk for approx. three-minutes, or get off at the Seirei Awaji Byoin-mae (Seirei Awaji Hospital) bus stop and walk for approx. five-minutes.

10. Kobe Municipal Arboretum (Hyogo): A Famous Spot that Boats a Huge Variety of Hydrangeas

10. Kobe Municipal Arboretum (Hyogo): A Famous Spot that Boats a Huge Variety of Hydrangeas

Located an approximately 25-minute car ride from the urban districts of Kobe, the Kobe Municipal Arboretum is a part of Mt. Rokko. It is one of the leading famous spots in the country for hydrangeas.

Nettle-leaved hydrangeas start to bloom in early June, and the mountain hydrangea, otherwise known as the hydrangea of dreams, is a celebrated flower of Mt. Rokko that blooms in mid-June.

Mountain hydrangeas follow at the end of June, while a sea of white Anabelle hydrangeas bloom in mid-July. Beni-gaku hydrangeas@, a hydrangea species native to the arboretum, bloom in early July.

From late July to early August, you can find the hydrangea involucrata, which has buds reminiscent of a pin-pong ball. Here you can enjoy 25 species, 350 varieties, and approximately 50,000 hydrangea plants throughout June to early August.

・Event: Hydrangea Walk in the Woods
Enjoy going through a field that has planted rare species of hydrangeas that you can’t find normally. You can also take a hydrangea forest course!
・Event period: June 12, 2021 to July 18, 2021 *Open all throughout the season
・Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.(Open until 6:00 p.m. on the weekends. Entry is allowed up to 30 minutes before closing time. )

Covid-19 Countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of facilities and equipment, etc./Sanitizer installed/ Ventilation measures in place/Plastic partitions installed/Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature/Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell/Guests are required to wear masks

  • Kobe Municipal Arboretum
    神戸市立森林植物園
    • Address 1-2 Nagao, Yamadacho Kamitanigami, Kita-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo 651-110
    • Phone Number 078-591-0253
    • ・Hours: 9:00 a.m.~5:00 p.m. (Admission until 4:30 p.m.)
      ・Closed: Wednesday (In the case that it’s a holiday, the park will be closed on the following day.), New Year Holiday
      ・Admission: Adults (over 15, 300 yen), Elementary and Middle School Students (150 yen) *All prices shown include tax.
      ・Access: A 10-minute free shuttle bus ride from Kita-Suzurandai Stationon the Kobe Electric Railway.

Hydrangeas that bloom during the rainy season change their color depending on the amount of acidity in the soil. Along with ancient temples, we recommend enjoying the contrast in the colors of the flowers grown in different areas.

*When the flowers bloom, the best time to see them, as well as event dates and content are all subject to change.
*The information found in this article is from a visit that was made in May 2021. For updated information, please refer to each official website.

Written by:

WESTPLAN

WESTPLAN

Kiko Matsuda, Keiko Kimura, Risa Tsuji, and a team of female writers familiar with Kansai. We love eating, drinking and traveling! We share fun information based on our experiences.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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