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Colorful Hydrangea flowers now showing off in Motobu

Date Posted: 2012-06-01

Thousands of brilliant colored hydrangea flowers are now in full bloom on a 9,900 square meters plot of Motobu land that once was worked as a tangerine farm.

The Ajisai-en’s purple flowers are the handiwork of Uto Yohena, a 95-year-old lady who’s been toiling at raising and perfecting the flowers for more than three decades. “My garden was actually a tangerine field until 31 years ago,” she explains, noting “I love flowers so I planted the hydrangea flower garden along the paths between the tangerine trees.” Eventually, the flowers began dominating the tangerine trees and the garden grew,.

There are now more than 9,000 hydrangea in park in Motobu Town’s Izumi area, with a total of 78 species or varieties of hydrangea. Says Yohena, “I’ve got three dozen of them.” Many are a bit taller than three meters high, but she points out “my garden is a member of the nationwide Hydrangea Flower Association, and my garden won sixth best from the West District Japan Hydrangea Garden Contest only five years ago.”

Yohena patiently explains to visitors how “in my garden the hydrangea change colors depending on the soil’s acidity rate,” noting that most grow very well. “There are many colors blooming, like pink, white and blue, and all together, more than 30 colors are now showing in my flowers.”

Tourists are invited to drop by and visit, with the garden open most days. Admission is ¥300 for adults and ¥100 for kids 6~18. Says Yohena, “I had to begin asking visitors to pay an entrance fee ten years ago, because operating the garden requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance, and that means expenses.”

Parking is available near the gardens. To reach Ajisai-en, drive north past central Nago on Highway 58, then turn left toward Motobu and Ocean Expo Park on Route 84. Continue until you see a Jomo gasoline station on the right and a police box on the left. Turn immediately left, and Ajisai-en is on the left about 200 meters down the road.

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