Monday, September 08, 2014

Ajisai no Sato : Katahara Onsen

One of my favorite things about Japan is its natural beauty. Every season in Japan has its special flowers and these flowers add to the beauty of the place. While the blossoms of Apricot, Plum and Cherry indicate the arrival of spring, Hydrangeas and Azaleas indicate the beginning of summer. 

Towards the end of spring, one can see the Hydrangeas beginning to bloom. Hydrangea blossoms are known in Japanese as "Ajisai".
Hydrangea blossoms of some places in Japan are quite popular and people visit these spots to see the Hydrangeas.
Kamakura city in Kanagawa prefecture is one such place popular for its Hydrangea blossoms. 

This summer we visited Katahara Onsen, Gamagori which is also popular for its Hydrangea garden - "Ajisai no Sato". 
Katahara Onsen- Ajisai no Sato is a famous Hydrangea garden where visitors can see about 120 species of hydrangeas. 

During full bloom about 50,000 hydrangea plants can be seen turning the hill slopes into shades of pink and purple. 

During certain days in June, the garden is lit up at nights attracting visitors from nearby areas. At night, glowworms can be seen in the garden. 
The garden has been attracting thousands of visitors during the Hydrangea festival ever since it opened up in 1989. Visitors can walk past the Hydrangea plants around the pond and along the slopes of the hill.

 The pond is also full of Koi fish (carp) and turtles.  

The Gulf of Mikawa can be seen in the backdrop. 

A small shrine is situated near the Ajisai no Sato. The Katahara Onsen is situated nearby.

Address: Aichi Prefecture, 443-0102, Gamagori city, Kanahira Cho, Ichinosawa 28-1

Phone: 0533-57-0660

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 21:30 hrs during the Hydrangea festival; closed rest of the year. 

Entrance fee: Adults-300 yen during the Hydrangea festival

Parking: Paid parking available near the shrine. 

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