“Meigetsuin Temple” is an ancient temple nestled in the greenery of Kita Kamakura. The temple is based on Meigetsuan, which was founded in 1160. The entire site is a national designated historic site. It is a site with many historically valuable attractions such as “Yagura”, one of the largest in Kamakura, and the Hokyoin-to pagoda, which is linked to the tomb of Hojo Tokiyori.
The “Meigetsuin Temple” is surrounded by mountains, and is characterized by a landscape of plants and trees that take advantage of the mountain range. Therefore, it is called “Ajisai temple” among many famous places in Ajisai “hydrangea” of Kamakura and continues to be loved by many people.
The flowering time is from the end of May to the end of June every year. The flower will be in its peak from June 10 to the end of the year.
Meigetsuin Temple is planted mainly with the old Japanese variety “Hydrangea serrata”. “Hydrangea serrata” is characterized by a clear blue color. About 2,500 stocks of hydrangea bloom to fill the approach, and its beautiful color is called “Meigetsuin Blue”.
The view that the blue hydrangea blooms as far as the eye looks is transparent and gives a refined atmosphere. Many viewers visit the Meigetsuin Temple in June to see the hydrangea that produces its mysterious atmosphere.
As well as the front approach road below the mountain gate, hydrangea is planted on both sides of the ground, including the valley road, the middle approach road, and the driveway that passes when returning home. Therefore, while loving the hydrangea, it is likely to spend luxury time to wander the precinct slowly.
A round window made in the main hall called “Hojo” (Abbots’ Quarters) is also a highlight of Meigetsuin Temple. The window extends to the back garden of the main hall, and you can enjoy the scenic views as if drawn on a round canvas.
From this round window, the plants and flowers you see differ depending on the season, and you can see seasonal landscapes such as flowers, fresh green leaves and colored leaves. It seems to show you a different expression every time you visit.
If you can rest on the way in the grounds, go to the tea room “Gesshoken”. In addition to Japanese sweets and Matcha, there are also soft drinks here. When you close your eyes, you can enjoy the time when you enjoy the song of birds, the cool sound of water harp, and the smell of wind.
Meigetsuin Temple is the temple of Kencho-ji Temple school of the Rinzai sect in Kitakamakura. It is famous with Hasedera Temple and Jojuin Temple as a temple where Ajisai (Japanese hydrangea) is beautiful, and there is an alias called an Ajisai temple. In addition to hydrangea, Chimonanthus praecox, plum, Cherry blossom, Maple, etc. are planted in the precincts, which is a temple where you can enjoy beautiful nature throughout the year. Besides nature, there are plenty of places of interest such as the Karesansui (dry landscape) garden and the largest scaffold in Kamakura.
Speaking of Meigetsuin Temple is famous for hydrangeas which will have its appearance in early summer. Approximately 2,500 hydrangeas were planted in precincts. Most of it is Japanese ancient type called Hydrangea serrata, which makes blue flowers bloom. Its beauty is also called Meigetsuin Blue and you never get tired of seeing it. Especially the hydrangea blooming on both sides of the approach road leading to the mountain gate is superb.
In the Hojo (abbot’s quarters), the main honor of Meigetsuin Temple, the Seated Statues of Shokannon Bosatsu (Holy Deity of Mercy), is enshrined. In addition, there is a round window (Spiritually Enlightened Window) where you can see a part of the garden behind the main hall. It seems that the reason why the window is round is because it represents Zen’s enlightenment, the truth of the universe, and so on.
The period of the opening of the garden in autumn is late November when autumn leaves are in full bloom. The autumnal leaves seen from the garden are wonderful, but the autumnal leaves seen from round windows called “Spiritually Enlightened Window” inside Hojo are worth seeing. First, look at the autumn leaves from “Spiritually Enlightened Window”, then go out to the garden and see the autumnal leaves full of sight is the recommended way to enjoy.
If you want to see the building in the precincts slowly, it is recommended to visit avoiding the hydrangea’s season. Stone statues of Buddha and rabbits are everywhere in the precincts, and seasonal flowers are provided. It’s fun to see not only buildings and flowers but small stone Buddha and stone statues.
|Address:||Yamanouchi 189 Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0062 Japan|
|Access:||JR Yokosuka-sen Line “Kita-Kamakura-eki Station” (10 minutes walk)|
|Price/Charge:||500 yen (Adult)
300 yen (Junior High or Elementary School Students)
Please refer the official web page.