Ajisai – hydrangea in English- a tsuyu season bloomer. These beauties are in my garden.

It’s the beginning of tsuyu or the rainy season in Japan. It is said that Japan actually has five seasons- spring, tsuyu, summer, autumn and winter. After having lived here now for over five years I’d say this is true.


I have come to love this season. To be honest at first I did not appreciate it very much but then I began to notice it as a separate season filled with beauty, wonder and even a bit of excitement.


Tsuyu, when the rains transform the Japanese countryside into brilliant green. The ajisai bloom and their gorgeous blossoms of bright blues, pinks, white and purple seem to glow in the misty woodlands. Plump bushes burst over stone walls, beside ancient farm houses and line fairy tale like river beds.



I saw today that the farmers have prepared the rice fields. They are plowed and flooded and ready for planting. How I love walking through the little lanes that connect the fields at this time of the year- a thousand croaking frogs sing to me!

Soon the fireflies will be here and that’s the magical time that I just treasure! Hundreds and hundreds of them floating over gurgling streams and rice paddies in the misty evenings. They only live about 7-10 days so we truly appreciate the time of their visitation.

In the mornings I look out toward the mountain hidden by tsuyu mists and I savor …..knowing that in a few short weeks we will be deep in the sweltering Japan summer.

8 thoughts on “Ajisai

  1. Our summer isn’t as hot as yours but it is arid. I cherish this time of lushness to carry me over to the autumnal rains and re-growth.
    My hydrangeas aren’t quite where yours are – they’ll start opening in a couple of weeks.
    (…comments reappeared…)

  2. Hope you are feling much better. I love the pictures of your garden. You are blessed with a “green” thumb!!! Hydrangea are one of my favorite flowers. The venue where my son married had a garden that was banked with hydrangea. Just beauitful. The picture on your blog is adorable!!!

  3. This week looks like it isn’t as bad as last week – yes the hydrangea are just so pretty! I’ve let my bushes just go wild this year and I’m glad because the are just bursting with blooms!!

  4. Just today the weather guy said they predict this summer will be super hot. I’ve just agreed to putting a small cooler in the kitchen- never agreed to it before but now that I’m cooking my apron off… I agreed.

  5. Returned from a visit to Japan a week ago; we noticed the beautiful Ajisai – hydrangea blooming! Beautiful.

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