Hydrangea Light Up
This year I finally got the chance to go to the Hydrangea Light Up at Mimuroto-ji (Mimuroto Temple) in Uji city, Kyoto Prefecture. May through to mid July is one of the busiest times of the year for our English teaching. Since most of our classes are in the afternoons through to the evenings, I don't often get the chance to go out at night at this time of year.
So let me tell you about the day that I went to the light up. It was on a Sunday and I had free evening and a late start on Monday, but it had been raining heavily all day. Fortunately the rain finished around 4pm and the light up started at 7pm. The temperature was not too bad (23C), but the humidity after all the rain was at about 95%. This caused the dew point to be about 21C, so anything slightly cooler than air temperature got wet. You can just imaging how much water was dripping off of any cool drink bottles out of a vending machine!
The first leg of the journey to Mimuroto-ji was a 15 minute ride on my heavy Japanese Shopping Bike (aka "Mamachari") to Yodo station. From there it was two trains, and about 25 minutes later I was at Mimurodo station. From Mimurodo station to Mimuroto-ji it's about a 15 minute slightly uphill walk. As you can see it was pretty crowded at Mimuroto-ji that evening, it took about an hour and a half to slowly move through the gardens. Then I had to get back home. So plenty of walking and riding.
Depending on where you are in Kyoto it might not be such a hike for you to get to Mimuroto-ji. If you're in the downtown area, you can catch a train on the Keihan Main Line to Chushojima and then change on to the Keihan Uji Line. From Gion-Shijo station in the centre of the downtown the total train time to Mimurodo station is 29 minutes. If you're traveling on a Japan Rail (JR) Pass or in the Kyoto Station area, you can catch the JR Nara Line to Obaku station, which takes about 25 minutes from Kyoto Station. From Obaku there are some buses that go near Mimuroto-ji.
The evening openings are held in June when the Hydrangeas are in bloom for about three weeks, it starts at 7pm and finishes at 9pm. Normal opening hours for Mimuroto-ji are 8:30am - 4:30pm April-October, and 8:30am - 4:00pm November-March. There are three flowers that Mimuroto-ji is famous for, Azaleas (late April to early May), Hydrangeas (June), and Lotuses (early July to early August). Mid-late November is also another good time to visit Mimuroto-ji for the Autumn Foliage Colours.
This photo was captured with a Nikon D700 Camera and an AF Nikkor 35f/2D lens. It was captured as a RAW (.NEF) file and post processed in DxO Optics Pro. I made following adjustments: Default Camera and Lens corrections applied; DxO Smart Lighting applied at 25%; DxO Clear View Applied at 50%; Contrast +25%; Microcontrast +25%; Vibrancy +25%; and PRIME Noise Reduction applied at 30%.