Ota City CIR Bethany Cummings Introduces the charms of the hydrangea at Tamagawadai Park
Introducing the charm of the city felt by International Exchange member Bethany Cummings at Tamagawadai Park, a place famous for its hydrangeas, which are in full bloom during the rainy season.
Hydrangea: The Flower of Rainy Season
Every year during the rainy season from around June to July, the hydrangea blooms in beautiful, rich colours of pink, purple, blue and white. Despite the rain, during this time, people flock to parks to see the flower and admire its beauty.
The flower is famous for changing its colour based on the PH level of the soil: hydrangeas planted in soil that is more acidic bloom a blue-ish colour, whereas hydrangeas planted in soil that is more alkaline bloom a deep pink.
In Japan, the fleeting presence of the hydrangea reminds people of how impermanent things can be, so it is often associated with sadness. But it is also said to symbolise heartfelt emotion, understanding and apology. Additionally, a cluster of hydrangeas can represent unity and togetherness, family bond and friendships.
On the other hand, in Victorian Europe, hydrangeas were thought of more negatively. Due to the fact the hydrangea can produce many flowers but very few seeds, the flower was often used to declare arrogance and boastfulness. It is sad that English men in the 1800s would sometimes send hydrangeas to women who rejected them as an insult.
On top of this, hydrangeas were thought of as a “taboo flower” that should never be used at a wedding. It was also said that women who grew hydrangeas in their garden would never find a romantic partner.
It’s interesting how many different meanings hydrangeas have!
This time, I decided to visit Tamagawadai Park’s “Ajisai” Hydrangea Garden to enjoy the blooming of the hydrangea.
There are around 3000 hydrangeas blooming in the entire park, most of which can be found in the Hydrangea Garden.
Despite being in Japan for nearly 3 years, I had never really paid too much attention to the blooming of hydrangeas but I found them to be so beautiful. Even when you have the rainy season blues, I think admiring the various colours of the hydrangeas will brighten your mood.
As well as plenty of space to wander and admire the blossoms, there are many benches where you can sit and enjoy the nature.
It was nice to be able to enjoy the hydrangea without having to travel outside of Ota City. The park has a lot of space with a variety of different areas so I think I would like to visit again to experience the different seasons.
Tamagawadai Park: 2 mins walk from Tamagawa Station
This park is famous for its cherry blossoms and hydrangea. The park spreads over about 750 m on the hilly area along the Tama River. From the grounds, the mountains of Tanzawa and Mount Fuji can be..
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