明月院のアジサイ (Hydrangeas at Meigetsu-in Temple, Kamakura)

Spring Japan is most famous for its cherry blossoms, but there are also several places where Hydrangeas are the feature. This is Meigetsu-in temple in Kita-Kamakura, founded in 1160.

This is the main entrance:

Meigetsu-in 01

This is a Japanese fruit called a biwa (a type of loquat, I think):

Meigetsu-in 02

The hydrandreas are mainly blue but there are other colours as well:

Meigetsu-in 03

Meigetsu-in 06

Meigetsu-in 04

 

The Inner Temple is only open twice a year, this being one of them, but I didn’t queue up for it:

Meigetsu-in 07

But it’s still nice to wander around all the other temple buildings:

Meigetsu-in 09

Meigetsu-in 08

Meigetsu-in 14

Dressing up for the occasion:

Meigetsu-in 10

And then it’s time for tea:

Meigetsu-in 12

Meigetsu-in 11

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Himeji #4 – Kōkoen Garden (好古園)

The eight smaller gardens are surrounded by formal walls and linked by passages. This one has also been featured on several TV dramas:

Kokoen - passage

Every now and then you get a glimpse of the white walls of the main castle:

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Edo-style gardens (1603-1867) are characterized as ‘strolling’ gardens which featured ponds, islands and small hills with meandering paths. This was one of the smaller ponds:

Kokoen - small garden pond

Kokoen - smaller garden stream

The garden offered certain viewpoints which often featured ‘borrowed landscape’ such as the castle:

Kokoen - smaller garden castle view

Keeping an eye on us:

Kokoen - smaller garden crow

Cherry blossoms:

Kokoen - smaller garden cherry blossom

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Kokoen - cherry blossom

Himeji #2 – Kōkoen Garden (好古園)

Right next to Himeji Castle is Kokoen, a garden opened in 1992 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Himeji municipality.

This is the entrance to the garden:

Kokoen - Entrance

Blossoms near the entrance:

Kokoen - Blossoms near entrance

Stone fountain:

Kokoen - Stone fountain

The bridge crosses into the main part of the garden, which is the site of the former Lord’s residence:

Kokoen - Bridge to garden

The pond in the main garden:

Kokoen - Main garden pond

Giant koi carp:

Kokoen - Main garden koi

Waterfall:

Kokoen - Main garden waterfall

Getting ready:

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