Hydrangea at Jokoji in Higashimatsuyama

There is a temple in Higashimatsuyama I drive by from time to time. Its not near a train station or any major landmark. Moreover, the route it is on – although once a major route – is the type of road only locals use, as there is a newer major route (route 254) nearby. The temple has a graveyard and my impression is that mainly people visit the temple for the graveyard. I could be wrong though. However, on my many visits over the years, I’ve only ever encountered two to three people there – always visiting the graves. But this year, another local has been sharing the temple a good bit on social media. It will be interesting to see if the number of visitors to the temple increases.

Wisteria Higashimatsuyama

Having driven by the temple dozens of times when the wisteria was in bloom, a couple of years ago I finally plucked up the courage to pull into the parking lot and explore. There was nobody there that day, so I didn’t know if it was okay to be rambling around the temple taking photos. So I just appreciated the beauty of the flowers. On a subsequent visit I met a friendly, welcoming woman tending the garden, presumably the wife of the monk. Before I could even ask if it was ok, she warmly said to me “Did you come to see the flowers?” . She assured me it was okay to walk around freely and take photos.

More wisteria spots in Saitama Prefecture.

Hydrangea Higashimatsuyama

Earlier this week, I intentionally visited the temple to see the hydrangea. The wisteria is very obvious as you pass the temple from the main road, but the hydrangea is hidden behind the beautiful wall and gate of the temple. There aren’t that many hydrangea, maybe a hundred, at a guess. But they add beautiful bursts of color in the main courtyard of the temple.

More hydrangea spots in Saitama Prefecture.

Other flowers

There is a garden in the parking lot with flowers all year round. It is where the wisteria is. Right now the lilies are in bloom, as in the third photo in the gallery above. Only a few had opened when I visited earlier in the week, so more of them should be flowering now. When the wisteria are in bloom there are dozens of other flowers including azalea and peony in this little, well loved garden.

Information

Temple: Jokoji temple, 浄光寺

Address: 126 Shimoodori, Higashimatsuyama, Saitama 355-0075.

Season: late April for the wisteria, June for the hydrangea.

Official web page, about the designated cultural properties on the grounds of the temple, on the Higashimatsuyama City website.

Access

There is plenty of parking, given that usually there is only one other car to my own, if even! The temple is relatively close, just a few minutes drive, to the Higashimatsuyama interchange of the Kanetsu expressway. The temple is about a 25 minute walk from Higashimatsuyama station on the Tobu Tojo line. As I said in the opening paragraph, there are no major landmarks in the immediate vicinity. But Peony Walk mall is about 4 kilometers, or a ten minute drive, away.

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