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Hydrangea Path at Hasedera Temple, Kamakura

Kamakura is worth visiting at least twice: in the fall, to see the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), temples and shrines with colorful maples, and in mid-June, when thousands of Hydrangeas start to bloom. Somewhere on the way from the Great Buddha to Hasedera temple I saw a sign which said «Welcome to Kamakura, the capital of Hydrangeas».

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Hasedera is famous for one of the largest wooden statues in Japan, 11 Headed Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), made from camphor wood and gilded in gold. Unfortunately, it is prohibited to take photos of it. But we could take as many photos of cute monks as we wanted!

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We didn’t know about Hydrangea path at Hasedera, but it turned out that it is opened every summer and features 25 variations of this beautiful, shade-loving flower.

From the path we could see splendid views of the city, the beach and Sagami bay.

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The Mantra Hall is the beginning and the ending of the path.

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The path is getting more and more popular and waiting times can vary from 15 to 90 minutes, so visit early and on weekdays.

As you enter you the temple, you will be given a ticket with the number of your group. You will enter the path with the other people holding the same number. I don’t know exactly how many there are in a group, but it was a Friday afternoon and the crowd reminded me of cherry blossom season. It was quite tricky to take decent photos of Hydrangeas on the go!

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In the language of haiku Hydrangea (Ajisai in Japanese) is a seasonal word for early summer. As for me, sometimes Hydrangeas are the only reward for days of dripping rain.

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Hasedera Temple
Address: Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Hase 3-11-2
Access: Walk 5 minutes from Hase Station (Enoden railway line) or 15 minutes from Kamakura station ( Yokosuka line, Shonan-Shinjuku line)
Opening Hours: 9 AM-4 PM
Distance to airport: About 40 km from Haneda Airport

Article by Olga Kaneda

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