Meigetsu-in, the Ajisai-dera during the Hydrangea Season

A second trip to Meigetsu-in, the Ajisai-dera famous for its 2,500 over hydrangeas. Managed to avoid the crowds, going there on a weekday early in the morning. Now I understand why it is called the Meigetsuin Blue, for the mainly blue hues of the hydrangeas here.

Odawara Castle: The Last Resistance Against Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Unified Japan

Odawara Castle, once stronghold of Odawara-Hojo clan, one of the most powerful clans in the Kanto region during the Sengoku period, was subjected to multiple damages due to earthquakes and demolition during the Meiji Restoration. The structures here today were reconstructed over the years, with the 3 levels, 5 stories donjon being recently renovated in 2016. Located in close proximity to Hakone, Odawara Castle makes a good day trip from Tokyo or a combined visit with Hakone.

Kamakura’s Wild Rock Garden: Zuisenji

Admiring the wild rock garden designed by Muso Soseki at Zuisenji, a Rinzai sect. of Zen Buddhism temple located in eastern Kamakura. Also called the Temple of Flowers, the flower garden in the temple features various flowers across the four seasons, and is especially famous for its plum blossom.

Jomyoji, Number Five of the Kamakura Gozan

Despite being number five of the Kamakura Gozan, Jomyoji is a perfect quiet retreat, hidden away from the bustling Kamakura tourist crowd. Closely associated to the Ashikaga shogunate, the temple is now only survived by the main temple and few other buildings, thus its simplicity.

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