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Hydrangeas, a Splash of Vitality in the Rainy Gloominess

KANAGAWA – Until early July, Japan is typically in the rainy season. At these times the high humidity makes us feel uncomfortable day and night. On the plus side, pretty hydrangea flowers bloom in this season. Many different colors such as blue, pink and white can be seen. In the Kanto region near the Tokyo metropolitan area, Kamakura and Hakone are the areas most famous for hydrangeas. In late June at the historical Meigetsuin temple in Kamakura, hydrangea admirers are everywhere.

In Manyoshu, the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry, hydrangeas are mentioned. The anthology was written in the late 7th century. This illustrates how the flower has been close to Japanese people’s hearts, a part of their daily lives. When asked what the most typical Japanese flower is, many people would probably say cherry blossoms and camellias. Recently, however, hydrangeas seem to join these iconic flowers as a nation’s favorite.


Photo by Eri Minouchi, text by Motomi Takahashi