The Chubu (central) region of Japan encompasses nine prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. The wide area is home to some excellent examples of floral beauty, and this is particularly evident during the rainy season as hydrangeas begin to pop up. This guide covers five destinations to get your hydrangea fix throughout the region.
Katahara Onsen Ajisai no Sato, Aichi
Katahara Onsen is a picturesque hot springs village which is also one of Aichi Prefecture's top spots for ajisai aficionados. Around 50,000 of the flowers are planted around the area, and their annual festival in celebration of them runs throughout the month of June. The area is also known for its fireflies, which you may be lucky enough to see if you visit after dark.
Ichinosawa-28-1 Kanehiracho, Gamagori, Aichi 443-0102
Kogen-in (Ajisai-dera), Nagano
An under the radar Nagano gem, Kogen-in also gets nicknamed ajisai-dera, or the hydrangea temple. The grounds here are home to an array of hydrangeas in different shades, flanked by tall cedar trees that add a tranquil ambience. You can see more pictures of the temple precincts in this Japan Travel article.
6356-1 Toyoda, Togari Onsen, Iiyama, Nagano 389-2411
Shimoda Park, Shizuoka
With several million hydrangeas on its grounds, Shizuoka's Shimoda Park is one of the country's top spots to appreciate these rainy season flowers. The prime time to enjoy them is throughout the month of June, and during this period a festival is typically held to celebrate their beauty.
3-1174 Sanchome, Shimoda, Shizuoka 415-0023
Gomadoyama Hydrangea Garden, Niigata
Niigata's Gomadoyama Hydrangea Garden is home to around 30,000 hydrangeas in various types, and they're at their best from mid-June through July. The precincts also offer some impressive views over the local area, so be sure to take in the scenery on your visit.
Tagami, Minamikambara District, Niigata 959-1502
Asuwayama Park, Fukui
Located around 30 minutes on foot from Fukui Station, Asuwayama Park is one of the prefecture's best spots to enjoy the best of hydrangea season. Approximately 15,000 flowers bloom in the park from the mid-June to early July timeframe, coloring the grounds in shades of purple, pink, and white. Earlier in the year, the park is also known for its beautiful cherry blossoms – there are around 3500 of them in total.
58-97 Yamaokucho, Fukui, 918-8009