Popular July Flowers in Japan
A lot of people travel to Japan during the Spring and Fall to enjoy the beauty of Sakura blooms and autumn colors respectively. In fact, people schedule their travels depending on the year’s forecast of blooms and foliage. However, these times of the year are the most expensive times to visit Japan. So, what can a budget traveler enjoy when visiting Japan during the summer time? Here is a list of flowers and plants that bloom in Japan only in the months of July and August:
This kind of flower is also known as Ajisai in Japanese and is considered as one of the most adored blooms in Japan next to the Cherry (best viewed in Fuji) and the Plum. The typical blooming season of the hydrangea in Japan is from early June to mid-July, the times when the outpours of rain wash out the streets of Japan and ready for summer. It is a special kind of flower for the Japanese because it signifies the rainy season in the country and it also signifies the coming of summer, one of the Japanese’s favorite seasons of the year.
There are a number of places in Japan where the Ajisai bloom in great number, these include the Kamakura prefecture, Hakone prefecture, and Enoshima prefecture of Japan. There are shrines, railways, and riverbanks that is home to gardens filled with an abundant number of hydrangea blooms.
Interestingly, Japan is known to be the birthplace of a variety of hydrangea species, more than seventy of this in fact. There are varieties which have round heads and others with flat heads. There are also species which have fragrances while there are others without. Scientifically, a hydrangea can shift its color from one to the other making it a versatile kind of flower.
In Japanese culture, it is a symbol of beauty, balance, and stability under very terrible conditions. It holds a special meaning to the Japanese because the hydrangea shows its capability to bloom despite the very strong rains. It was also believed to be an immortal flower symbolizing everlasting love, bonds, and friendships.
The Japanese Iris is known to be three different kinds which grow wild in Japan. These are the hanashobu, the kakitsubata, and the ayame. Different species of the iris grow at different times of the year and are celebrated differently all over Japan.
There are distinct differences among the three despite the fact that they are collectively known as “Japanese Irises” outside of Japan. The Hanashobu have larger petals and the plant itself is much shorter than the others. Its leaves are also sword-shaped with narrow and ridged edges. This variety of the Iris is usually cultivated in Kumamoto prefecture and in Tokyo. Its common colors are red and purple and usually blooms in the months of early June to late July.
The ayame species is much more slender than net-like flowers. It is only of a purple kind and grows only on dry land. It usually blooms in May and June. The Kakitsubata is the least popular because it grows so rarely and only in a short period between mid and late May. It is the only variety that has a white color and could grow in water.
What is interesting about this flower is that it is believed to have special abilities to protect from negative energies. It was a common design in kimono during the earlier centuries as a means of protecting themself from evil.
There are three different species of roses in Japan and these are the Kerria japonica, Rosa multiflora, and the Rosa rugosa. These plants grow at varying times in different parts of the country. Kerria is a yellow kind of rose which usually grows in Spring and is native to China, Japan, and Korea. The Rosa multiflora is also known as the baby rose or the Japanese rose usually blossoms during the early summer. These are usually white and pink in color. The Rosa rugosa is known as the beach rose is native to Asia and usually blossoms along the coast, usually in the sand. This kind of rose blooms in the late summer.
It is a common culture in Japan to use flowers to give indirect messages to another person and this is known as the hanakotoba (or language of flowers). Red roses or the benibara is known to symbolize love. It is the kind of flower which is given romantically to another person. White roses, or bara, are known to mean innocence and silence. These are usually offered in temples as a sign of devotion and faith. Yellow roses, or Kiirobara, interestingly mean jealousy. However, in other cultures, this means friendship and are usually given to another person without any romantic meanings. Then, pink roses or momoirobara symbolizes trust, confidence and even happiness. It can also be given romantically to another person signifying a strong and lasting relationship.
This kind of flowers is known as Asagao in Japanese which is known to mean “morning beauty”. What is interesting about this is that despite its abundance during the summer there are not many parks and gardens that are dedicated to the morning glory, primarily because blossom only at specific times of the day and closes again in the afternoon. It is seen as a household plant and even a weed because of its speed in growth.
These kinds of flowers are usually colored blue, pink, white, purple, and more. These are commonly seen in great number during the summer months of July and August. Historically, they are used as ornamental plants at home which could be enjoyed during morning tea. Others use it as a therapeutic flower because it takes care to make the blossoms last longer than a day.
The sunflower is known as Himawari in Japanese and is known to be a very popular plant not only in Japan but all over the world. It is characterized by its large size and bright yellow color. They are known t be really tall and slender. This kind of flower got its name from the fact that it tilts to face the sun during the day and is known to exhibit what is known as heliotropism. When these flowers are fully grown, they are usually known to face east.
Other than the fact that it follows the rays of the sun, the sunflower has other special abilities. They are known to extract toxic substances from the soil even radioactive substances like uranium and cesium. This kind of flower grows in different parts f Japan during the summer months of July and August.
This kind of flower has been seen as an important cultural symbol in Japan for centuries. It is believed to be a symbol of recovery and hope. When giving a sunflower to another person in Japan it usually means respect and radiance.
This kind of flower, known as Rabendaa in Japan, is one with the most aromatic scent in the world. It usually grows in temperate climates like Japan and is known to be ornamental plants. Unlike other flowers that grow like discs, the lavender grows in whorls or a vertical arrangement. The lavender has a distinct violet color but there are varieties which grow blue, lilac, violet, and even blackish.
The lavender has different uses. It can be used as an essential oil that can provide a delicious scent. It is known to be antiseptic and a good mosquito repellent. Interestingly, it can even be used in food as an aromatic additive, a décor, and even as a garnish. Furthermore, its nectar is sold as lavender sugar in some parts of the world.
Lavenders usually blossom during the mid of July to early August in specific parts of Japan. In the Japanee culture, Lavender means faithfulness. It is a good flower to give to a spouse or a loved one with a promise of lasting love and faith.
Places to Visit to Enjoy Flowers
Furano Flower Fields of Hokkaido
The Furano flower fields are one of the largest fields in Japan entirely dedicated to the cultivation of lavender. It is quite famous during the summer months where tourists can enjoy long walks among a sea of violets and purples while enjoying a delicious aroma from the flowers. When the lavender is not in bloom this place is famous for rape blossoms, poppies, lupins, lilies, and more. It is open only during the months of July and the admission is usually free of charge. There are also guided tours through the different parts of the Furano flower fields.
Sunflower Garden of Hokkaido
Also located in Hokkaido is Japan’s largest sunflower garden known as Himawari-no-Sato. It is a 20-square kilometer piece of land that is home to millions of sunflower blossoms. Inside the park is a sunflower maze, souvenir shops, bicycle rentals and more. Its address is at Itatani Hokuryo-cho, Uryu-gun, Hokkaido. Entry to the garden is free of charge but this is only due to the fact that seeing its beauty truly comes with no price.
Higashizawa Rose park of Yamagata
This garden located in the Yamagata prefecture, has more than 500 species of rose and is known to be one of the largest rose gardens in Japan. This place is open throughout the year but it is best to visit during the early weeks of June to the late weeks of September when the roses are in full bloom. What is interesting is that entry to this place is free except during festivals.
Tambara Flower Park of Gunma
Known as the Tambara Lavender park, this place is home to 50,000 lavender plants which grow in ski slopes during the summer season. It was developed as such so that the ski slopes can still be enjoyed beyond the winter season. What is interesting is that visitors can enjoy a ride on the ski lift while enjoying a beautiful carpet of lavender.
Meigetsuin Temple of Kamakura
This temple is the most popular place to enjoy the blooms of the hydrangea. This place is also known as the Hydrangea Temple or Ajisaidera. People visiting this place can enjoy colorful balls of hydrangea growing in bushes planted around the temple. It is a popular garden frequented by visitors throughout the year.
Hydrangea Garden Kyoto
This place is the biggest garden in the Kansai region that offers up almost 10,000 bushes of hydrangea. It is usually open between the first of June and the middle of July. Entry to the garden costs about 500 yen. This garden is also best known for the night time lit up which is an illumination feature that lights up the garden at night.
Famous Flower Festivals in Japan
Hokuryu Sunflower Festival
This festival is held annually on the 18th of July and the 23rd f August and it features millions of sunflowers growing in Himawari No Sato. There are firework displays, performances, tours, and games held at the garden.
Iriya Morning Glory Festival
Although this kind of flower is seen as a household plant there is a place in Japan where it is celebrated. In the Iriya Area of Tokyo, the open air market sells morning glories during the summer time. There are even food shops, souvenir stores, and the like in the area during this time. It is not really a full-on celebration with performances and firework displays. However, what makes it special is that it is held at 6:00 in the morning to fully appreciate the beauty of the morning glories.
Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri
Known as the hydrangea festival, this is held in central Tokyo at the city of Bunkyo. This is usually scheduled on the second week of June. This is a part of what is known as the Bunkyo Five Major Flower Festivals which starts from February until the Summer months of July. The festival is usually celebrated at the address of the Hakusan Shrine and Hakusan park.