Hydrangeas ("ajisai") are beautiful colorful flowers that decorate the city during the rainy season. Here are some places in Tokyo to enjoy hydrangea festivals when they're in bloom.
1. Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri
This hydrangea festival in the center of the city has about 3,000 flower bushes ranging from blue to purple from the grounds of Hakusan Shrine to Hakusan Park. The area around the Fujizuka (a small mound representing Mt. Fuji) has particularly beautiful bushes that only bloom during this time, so it's a particularly important spot. On the weekends, stalls are set up, and you can enjoy the Ajisai Concert where local children or musicians like jazz bands play. It's a small mountain, so it's very slippery during the rainy season and on rainy days. Also, it's crowded, so it might be better to have a raincoat rather than an umbrella.
Will be held between early to mid-June, 2017
2. Kyodo no Mori Ajisai Matsuri
Fuchu Kyodo no Mori is an area that includes a museum, a planetarium, reconstructed buildings, and a park, and within the huge grounds bloom 10,000 hydrangea bushes. Nostalgic buildings like the farmhouse from 1829 and the elementary school from 1935 work as wonderful backdrops for the flowers, so you can enjoy an atmosphere unique to this area. During the festival, you can watch various craftsmen show off their techniques such as amezaiku (sugar spun to look like animals or humans), hariganezaiku (wirework), or bekkouame (flat, amber-colored hard candy made from sugar and water). Being able to these craftsmen expertly manipulate their materials to create delicate details is worth a trip to this festival.
Will be held between late May and early July. Museum entrance fee: 200 JPY
3. Toshimaen Ajisai Matsuri
This hydrangea festival inside the amusement park Toshimaen has about 10,000 hydrangeas of 150 varieties. There are plenty to see, including mountain hydrangea and rare hydrangea created by breeders. A rare sight that you must see is the impressive 20m tunnel created by living vine hydrangea! Please double-check what each area has to offer on the homepage between late May and late June. After you enjoy the hydrangea, you can have fun in the amusement park, or stop by the Toshimaen Niwa no Yu bathhouse.
Will be held between late May and late June. Toshimaen entrance fee: 1,000 JPY
4. Takahata Fudoson Kongoji Ajisai Matsuri
From the grounds of this temple up the mountain are about 7,500 hydrangeas of 200 types, including mountain hydrangeas. The hydrangeas bloom all throughout the wide grounds and on different elevations, so everywhere is spotted with color. The rare mountain hydrangea bloom on the Shiki no Michi road, while French hydrangeas bloom on the Yamauchi Hachijuuhachikasho Junpai road. Going around the two will take about an hour. Please wear comfortable shoes. You can check the status of the flowers on the homepage. During the festival period, events like judo and flea markets are held on the weekends. During the week (Wednesday to Friday), you can drink matcha tea.
Will be held between early June to early July
5. Ikiiki Ajisai Matsuri
This festival offers not just rare types of hydrangeas from all over the country, but also experiences where you can refresh your body through medicinal cooking or moxibustion. You can have the warm Yakuzen Kyuurijiru (free), a broth made with ginger and cucumber, or try Amachakou, incense made with the hydrangea leaves for a fresh scent, both of which will help you reset your body. There's also the Hourokukyu Kituoe (2,000 JPY prayer fee), in which a flat, unglazed clay pot called a "houroku" is rested on your head. Moxibustion is performed on top of the houroku as a prayer for good health. It's a health technique that has been continued since ancient times, so you should try it! This festival is about a 20 minute walk from Sensoji in Asakusa.
Will be held on June 17, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and on June 18, 2017 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The hydrangeas will help put you in a sunny mood even during the rainy season. Why not enjoy the rainy season by looking at the beautiful flowers?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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