Located about 45 minutes from Kochi City by bus, Haruno Town blooms with gorgeous hydrangeas during the start of the rainy season in June. Haruno is particularly special because you can enjoy views of hydrangeas collaborating beautifully with historical sites, including a shrine and canal. Furthermore, they have some wholesome stories behind them
If you want to see a wide range of hydrangeas, definitely head over to Rokujohachimangu Shrine. It is said that the grounds were originally overgrown with trees, and only one hydrangea bloomed in front of the hall of worship. As a way to bring people together and revive the area, the local community began planting more hydrangeas. Thanks to their efforts over the past 20-some years, Rokujohachimangu Shrine now boasts approximately 80 varieties, which local volunteers continue to look after with utmost care and love
Ajisai Kaido (Hydrangea Road)
Just a quick 5-minute drive from the hydrangea-filled shrine is the Hydrangea Road! Here, you’ll find over 10,000 hydrangeas blooming along Haruno's old, hand-built canal where merchants used to load items on boats centuries ago. It is magnificent to see the vibrant colors of hydrangeas reflecting on the clear water drawn from the nearby Niyodo River. Supposedly, a group of flower-loving elders planted the first few hydrangeas along the 5-km canal, which led to other locals joining in the effort. Now, hydrangeas have become the town's symbol, and a beautiful way for locals to help lift the gloom that some people may feel during the rainy season. How wholesome!