flowers

The beautiful flowers of Hydrangea Temple: Possibly the best thing about Japan’s rainy season

As much as I look forward to summer every year, I’ll admit it can be a little hard getting excited about the early part of the season in Japan. The humidity rises, mosquitos come out in force (although we’ve got a secret trick for dealing with them), and the weather is rainy enough that going almost a week without seeing the sun isn’t that unusual.

Still, there’s at least one nice part about June in Japan, which is the blooming of the hydrangeas. The bundles of blossoms are blooming right now, and if you’re in the Tokyo area, there’s no better place to see them than at Meigetsuin Temple in Kamakura.

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Japanese Twitter user discovers the perfect Halloween decoration in the form of…a flower?!

Who’s afraid of the big bad…flower?! Sure, we’ve seen the pitch-black Turkish rose that would harmonize perfectly with the home decor of any hardcore heavy metal fan…but we never thought that a flower could be downright terrifying! The following pictures posted by one Twitter user prove that Mother Nature has cooked up some pretty creepy recipes. You might even have nightmares after seeing what this certain kind of flower looks like after wilting. On the bright side, you can make a veritable Halloween bouquet!

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Wisteria bonsai proves big beauty comes in small packages 【Photos】

As you probably already know, bonsai is the Japanese art of growing miniature trees or shrubs in planters. You’ve may have already seen at least some tiny potted junipers, a common species for bonsai, at some point, but actually many different species are suitable for bonsai, including some flowering trees like wisteria, or fuji in Japanese.

Fuji has special significance in Japanese culture, supposedly representing beginnings, especially the start of a romance, and has been mentioned in historical waka poems going back to the 8th century. However, you don’t have to be Japanese to appreciate the beauty of these dangling ombre flowers, particularly when they come in the exquisitely tiny bonsai variety.

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Space sakura have returned to Earth with cherry blossom superpowers

Rather than wading into the debate as to whether a tree covered in beautiful cherry blossoms or a piece of cutting edge technology is the more representative symbol of Japan, you could split the difference by awarding the title to one of the sakura cherry trees grown from seeds that were taken into space. Not only do they combine the country’s admiration of both nature and innovation, their seeds’ journey to the stars seems to have imparted some of them with the amazing ability to bloom in just half the time of regular cherry trees.

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Sad news: 1,266 famous Tokyo plum trees get the axe to prevent spread of “plum pox”

It’s cherry blossom time in Tokyo, which means that the plum blossom season is just coming to a close, and one of Tokyo’s most popular spots to see plum blossom, Umeno Park in Ome, has finished the season with a sad announcement: it is chopping down all 1,266 of its famous plum trees to prevent the spread of a disease called plum pox.

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Know your sakura: Japan’s three best cherry blossom trees

In Japan, cherry blossoms, or sakura, are the rock stars of the plant kingdom. People obsess over them, their rare public appearances send fans into a frenzy, and the most devoted enthusiasts will even follow their flowering tour as it spreads from Japan’s warmer southern prefectures to the chillier north.

But just as some music acts draw larger crowds than others, these three sakura trees are considered to be the absolute peak of the pink-flowered crowd.

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Rare Turkish rose is the most heavy metal flower you’ll ever see

Until now, we never really understood what all the fuss was about roses. Women seem to love them, and men seem to spend inordinate amounts of money to purchase them for their sweethearts. But now that we’ve seen the pitch-black Turkish Halfeti Rose, we’re starting to understand that roses can be not only dangerous, kind of smelly and enchanting all at the same time, they can also be the perfect centerpiece of the most hardcore heavy metal album or low fantasy book cover of all time.

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Move over cherry blossoms, wisteria may be the most beautiful flowers in Japan

There’s something so romantic about rows of wisteria swaying in the breeze. Although you can find the purple plant in various places around the world, there are three particular spots in Japan that are home to dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of wisteria plants. They just might be even more beautiful than Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.

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Do not adjust your monitor – Hitachi Seaside Park really looks like this

I always have a tough time transitioning to autumn in Japan. Sure, the lower humidity means I can stop sweating for the first time in three months, but it’s a little disappointing leaving the office in the evening and finding the skies already completely dark. In my book, a persimmon is a poor substitute for a nice slice of watermelon. And while my wife does indeed look stylish in her snappy fall coat, if I’m being completely honest, I’d still rather see her in a bathing suit at the beach.

However, there is one saving grace to autumn: the dazzling array of fall colors. Hitachi Seaside Park may share part of its name with the electronics manufacturer founded in the same city, but there’s no technological wizardry going on here. The vivid vermillion of its foliage is 100 percent natural.

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