Hasedera Temple: hydrangeas and the Eleven-Headed Kannon

Travelers looking to visit Japan during June shouldn’t be discouraged by the rainy season. The plants in the region flourish most when it’s raining, and Hasedera Temple is a beautiful place to see just that.

Religion

Buddhism is one of Japan’s main religions, alongside Shintoism. Hasadera is a beautiful place for the locals – or any visitors – to meet for weekly prayers. The grounds are covered in bright green foliage and beautiful flowers, as well as a few ponds and water features. 

One of the main attractions is the Kannon-do hall. Located in the back of Hasedera, a 30-foot tall gilded Kannon greets visitors with a gentle gaze. Kannon is a Bodhisattva known as the goddess of mercy. Photography isn’t allowed in Kannon-do hall, which creates an opportunity for visitors to connect with their surroundings – and Kannon – much more. This can be an emotional experience for many visitors, so packing tissues might be a good idea.

Hydrangeas

Flower enthusiasts should venture to Hasedera in June for hydrangea season. Be sure to pack an umbrella and a camera; hydrangeas need lots of water to look their best, and the gloomy rainy atmosphere enhances their petals. Kamakura also proudly showcases the hydrangeas throughout the town, making the hike up much more enjoyable. Visitors seeking out the path should get to the temple early to avoid the long line. 

Hasedera offers an absolutely stunning hydrangea path for free. The pathway leads visitors up gentle stairs that are lined with more than 40 types of hydrangeas. A stunning view of the ocean meets those who reach the top. 

Food

After spending a few hours in the temple, hunger starts to strike. Luckily, there’s a quick cafe and a sit-down restaurant on the left side of the temple. There are also a few vending machines around the corner if guests would rather get a quick drink and keep moving. Seating is available nearby, but visitors might want to appreciate the view of the ocean and town on the deck. Beware of the kites! They’re likely to come and snatch any visible food, even if it’s in a guest’s hands. 

Taking it in

Kamakura and Hasedera create a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere for everyone to appreciate nature and Buddhist cultural staples. Visitors should be sure to step away from their camera every once in a while and truly take in their surroundings. 

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