Kamakura: the hydrangeas of Hasedera
June is really probably not one of the best times to be in Japan. Endless days of rain, laundry that doesn't really dry, excursions cut short because of squalls...
However the plentiful watering does bring one positive event with it: the riotous blooming of hydrangeas. An attractive weed, they grow easily and brighten up the city and parks with their shades of blue, violet and pink blush.
One of the most famous places to view a whole hillside of blooms is Hasedera in Kamakura, a major temple close to the giant bronze Buddha. Of course, this means that on weekends you have to wait for hours for a chance to shuffle up and down the stairways amongst the flowers.
To beat the crowds, get there first thing in the morning (the temple opens at 8:00am), preferably on a weekday. Then you will only have a few local photography enthusiasts and cats to compete with, and will have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful flowers at leisure. The hydrangeas usually bloom for the first 3 weeks of June.
The closest station is Hase, on the charming Enoshima line.
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