Unshoji Temple – A Temple Home to 1,500 Blue Hydrangeas... Experience the Beauty of "Blue Heaven" in Akita, Japan
Festivals & Events
Unshoji Temple in Oga, Akita: Video Introduction
This video, titled "[4K] A Temple Where Hydrangeas in All Shades of Blue Bloom Across the Precincts: Oga, Akita｜nippon.com" (【4K】青一色の紫陽花（あじさい）が境内一面に咲き誇る寺：秋田県男鹿市| nippon.com), was uploaded by "nippon.com."
The 1,500 hydrangeas that cover the temple grounds, also known as 'Blue Heaven,' make Unshoji a popular spot in Oga, Akita. It was also selected as one of "The Best Scenery in Japan" in 2017.
Hydrangeas at Unshoji Temple
Photo：Hydrangeas at Unshoji Temple, Oga, Akita
The highlight of Unshoji Temple is the beautiful blue world that can be seen there. On a clear day, the blue of the cloudless sky, the blue of the sea in Oga, and the blue of the hydrangeas at Unshoji Temple all combine to create a unique view that you won't find anywhere else.
Hydrangeas at Unshoji Temple, also known as "hydrangea temple," date back to when the temple's deputy chief priest was captivated by the beauty of a single hydrangea that was blooming quietly in a corner of the temple's grounds. After seeing this he began to take cuttings and plant the hydrangea to the delight of his parishioners and local residents.
After 15 years, the hydrangea bloomed like a carpet of blue, moving the hearts of all who saw it.
At night, when the hydrangeas are lit up, their blue color becomes deeper and more beautiful than in the daytime, creating fantastic scenery. The best time to view the hydrangeas is usually from mid-June to early July, and they are in full bloom in late June.
[Video] 0:55 - Hydrangeas Lit Up at Unshoji Temple
Unshoji Temple and Highlights of the Temple
Photo：A cute Jizo statue at Unshoji Temple, Oga, Akita
Usually in June and July, the precincts of Unshoji Temple are filled with vivid blue hydrangeas. Even before you pass through the temple gate, you'll be overwhelmed by their beauty, and your soul will be spirited away. Now we'll introduce some of the other highlights of Unshoji Temple besides the hydrangeas.
Unshoji Temple belongs to the Soto sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple was founded in 1624 (early Edo period).
In the main hall, there are statues of the Gautama Buddha, Kannon, the Goddess of Compassion, Bodhidharma, and Manjushri.
In addition to the joint tomb of the statues of Kannon and Kshitigarbha, the temple grounds are dotted with photogenic spots where you can take great pictures for Instagram, including elegant bamboo groves, Japanese umbrellas (wagasa), and the view from the observation deck.
There are also "heart stones" in seven locations around the temple, which are said to grant wishes if found, and the gentle-looking Smiling Jizo. Be sure to check them out when you visit.
[Video] 1:26 - Smiling Jizo
Charms and Souvenirs at Unshoji Temple
Charms and other souvenirs, like shuin stamps available only at Unshoji Temple, are also popular. One charm containing a single hydrangea petal costs 700 yen. Hydrangeas are believed to ward off evil spirits, prevent women from getting sick, bring families together, and bring good luck.
There are three types of shuin stamps available at Unshoji Temple, all Hydrangea-themed, and they can be purchased for 500 yen each. However, during the hydrangea viewing period, there are special shuin stamps you can collect as well.
Summary of Unshoji Temple, a Hydrangea Temple in Akita, Japan
Photo：Hydrangeas at Unshoji Temple, Oga, Akita
The deputy chief priest of Unshoji Temple spent 15 years painstakingly cultivating the hydrangeas, and this 4K video enhances their beauty and transports the viewer into a fantastical world.
With 1,500 blue hydrangeas blooming all over the temple grounds, Unshoji Temple is a must-see spot!
【Address】Kitaura-57 Kitaurakitaura, Oga, Akita 010-0683
・Approximately 45 minutes (34 km) by car from the Showa Oga Peninsula IC.
・Approximately 1 hour from JR Akita Station to Oga Station or Hattachi Station on the Oga Line. Approximately 20 to 40 minutes (16 km) by Namahage shuttle (なまはげシャトル), local bus, or cab.
・From Oga Onsen (Oga Hot Spring), it's about 7 minutes (4 km) by car.
【Parking】Designated parking lots are available. Free parking for standard cars.
【Hydrangea viewing (2022)】
Period: Saturday, June 11, 2022 - Monday, July 18, 2022
Viewing Hours and Admission Fees:
・Daytime: 9:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30) 500 yen (200 yen for admission fee + 300 yen for special admission fee during hydrangea viewing period) ※6/25 (Sat), 6/26 (Sun), 7/2 (Sat), 7/3 (Sun): 800 yen (200 yen for admission fee + 600 yen for special admission fee during hydrangea viewing period)
・Special nighttime illumination viewing: 18:45 - 21:30 (last admission 21:00) 1,000 yen (200 yen entrance fee + 800 yen special nighttime admission fee)
※6/24 (Fri.) - 6/26 (Sun.) and 7/1 (Fri.) - 7/3 (Sun.) 1,300 yen (200 yen for admission fee + 1,100 yen for special nighttime admission fee)
Free for junior high school students and younger.
Regular admission fee outside the hydrangea viewing period is 200 yen.