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Flowers at Hondo-ji

Hydrangeas and irises make a trip to Chiba worthwhile

A short ride outside the city in Chiba prefecture, Hondo-ji (or Hondo Temple) welcomes visitors in the rainy season with its 10,000 hydrangea bushes and iris garden. Originally founded in the 13th century by Nichiren (who went on to start the Nichiren sect of Buddhism), the temple is known for its five-pagoda and its beautiful display of seasonal flowers and leaves. Sharp-eyed visitors may also spy the grave of the wife of Tokugawa Ieyasu (first Tokugawa shogun and essential unifier of Japan). Despite the gorgeous flowers, the temple is rarely crowded on weekdays. Hondo-ji is well-signed from Kita-Kogane station (a ten minute walk from door to door). 

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