Anyway, last weekend my husband and I went to 生田緑地、or Ikuta Park, Kawasaki City, about 30-minutes by car from my place, to see see あじさい (ajisai, hydrangeas).
Although we can usually enjoy hydrangeas about this time of the year -- in June and July, they haven't been in full bloom yet, maybe because we haven't had much rain this year despite that the rainy season started very early.
In Kanto area including Tokyo, it has been raining these last few days due to the typhoon that turned into a low atmospheric pressure, but in other areas we have already started worrying about possible water shortage.
Very typical type of hydrangea. When the soil is alkaline, the hydrangea flowers become blue like this one.
Different type hydrangea. I don't know the exact name.
Seems like we'll need to wait a little longer to see this small hill covered with hydrangeas.
Instead, 菖蒲 （しょうぶ、shobu), or blue flag iris, were at their best in the same park.
Aren't they beautiful? Shobu flowers can be enjoyed till the end of this month.
This lage park, having an art museum, a planetarium and old folk houses moved from other locations, is definitely worth visiting, but there's one problem. It is not very easily accessible if you don't have a car. For information, click here (English).
If you are looking for somewhere easier to go, how about these following two places?
堀切菖蒲園 Horikiri Shobu-en: 2-19-1 Horkiri, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo. Open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (till 6 p.m. in June). Admission free. 15-min. walk from Horkiri Shobu-en station on the Keisei Line.
明治神宮御苑 Meiji Jingu Gyoen, a part of the famous Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. 1-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku Tokyo. Very close to JR Harajuku Station. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
To see hydrangea, I recommend:
白山神社 Hakusan Shrine, Bunkyo Ward: 5-31-26 Hakusan, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, 3-min. walk from Hakusan station on the subway Mita Line, or 5-min. walk from Honkomagome station on the subway Nanboku Line.
飛鳥山公園 Asukayama Park, 1-1-3 Oji Honcho,Kita-ku Tokyo, 1-min. walk from Oji station on the JR Keihin Tohoku Line.
高幡不動尊 Takahata Fudoson shrine, 733 Takahata, Hino City, Tokyo, 5-min. walk from Takahata Fudo station on the Keio Line.
Today's useful expression: あじさいが とても きれいです。 Ajisai ga totemo kirei desu. These hydrangeas are very pretty.