Did you know that Ogose has both an Hydrangea Road and hydrangea mountain!? Before you get too excited, unfortunately there is a bit of a tale of woe to divulge first….
The Ajisai-kaido (hydrangea road or hydrangea way) and Ajisaiyama (Mt Ajisai, ajisai is the Japanese for hydrangea) are in the area of Mugihara in Ogose. It was once a thriving rainy season attraction. Then a plague befell the beloved hydrangea of the area. The town were forced to cut down not only the ill fated hydrangea, but the unscathed hydrangea too as a fail safe from the flower disease spreading further.
Before the plague maimed the mountainside hydrangea there were thousands of the beautiful colored bushes. Furthermore, the area had a hydrangea festival during the period of bloom. The ‘hydrangea way’ had about 5000 hydrangea lining the three kilometer road to the hydrangea mountain. However, nowadays, there are currently only about 1500 hydrangea on the Ajisai-kaido and even fewer still on the mountain, called Ajisayama park. But the town have been slowly replanting the hydrangea for the last ten years. They haven’t even replaced half the amount. Furthermore, many of the flowers are still in their infancy. However, one day the hydrangea will hopefully thrive again.
In many parts of Saitama Prefecture, the hydrangea bloom for the month of June. Typically, the hydrangea in Ogose bloom a little bit later, from about mid June to early July. However, this year most of the flowers have been early. So in that sense, the Ogose hydrangea maybe in bloom from early June this year. We visited at the end of May last year, we were actually there for other attractions in the area, such as the crying dam. But even though we were too early for the “average” bloom period, we did actually see a few hydrangea in bloom on the Ajisai-kaido. And on the mountainside we saw a few that looked promising, like the one pictured above.
Both the bus stop and parking area for the Ajisaiyama Park are between two to three kilometers from the park. There is little along the route. And the park has nothing in it except for a few benches and toilets. There are toilets in the car park too. There is a little stream at the entrance to the park. It was a hot day when we visited and my kids enjoyed paddling their feet in it.
Hydrangea viewing in 2021
It might not be one of the most illustrious hydrangea spots currently in Saitama. However, in 2021, it would seem that several of the key hydrangea spot are closed to the public on account of the Coronavirus. For example, both the famous hydrangea temple – Nogoji and Kinsenji – have already confirmed they will not open the gardens to the public in 2021. So I am sharing this information for people who would like to see some hydrangea, even if they are not the biggest or best.
Furthermore, as this area is off the beaten path, it provides a safer environment for hydrangea viewing during the pandemic than the famous hydrangea spots that are open. For example, Gongendo Park in Satte City, which is busy all year round these days. Moreover, the ajisai-kaido (hydrangea way / road) is suitable for “drive through” hydrangea viewing. On account of the Coronavirus, there has been an increase in people looking for places where they can enjoy scenery from the window of their car. Ajisai-kaido is ideal for that. But as it is a narrow country road, please note that you cannot stop or pull in along the route.
You will find nine other places to view hydrangea in Saitama in the Google story embedded below the Google Map ↓.
Ogose Hydrangea Information
|Address:||528 Mugihara, Ogose, Iruma District, Saitama 350-0421|
|Online:||Official web page on Moroyama Town website|
Even more hydrangea in Saitama Prefecture
Ten places to view hydrangea in Saitama Prefecture in a Google Web Story (similar to stories on Instagram or Facebook):