The whimsical hydrangea known as Meigetsu-in Blue
The hydrangea of Meigetsu-in are basically restricted to the ancient Japanese variety known as hime ajisai (princess hydrangea), and their blue blossoms at the beginning of June give a refined and mysterious atmosphere to the path from the main gate to the Chuumon gate. The initially light blue blossoms change into a deeper blue as the flowers enlarge. This beautiful appearance is called Meigetsu-in Blue and is greatly admired. The time that the hydrangea start blooming in conjunction with the blossoming of the irises in the rear garden behind the main hall which is only open to the public at that time is not to be missed.
Besides the hydrangea, there are plenty of highlights such as the garden, yagura and well water
The main hall has 2 gardens with a dry landscape garden in front and a rear garden. The dry landscape garden, unusual in Kamakura, is rich in seasonal colors which include cherry blossoms and azalea. The rear garden is only open in June for the irises and from late November to early December for the autumn leaves. There is a round window in the back of one room, the Satori-no-Mado, that has become synonymous with Meigetsu-in, and symbolically expresses truth and understanding through the circular shape of the cosmos. The normally inaccessible rear garden can only be seen from here. Kamakura’s largest yagura tomb is located in Meigetsu-in. With an entry width of 7m, a length of 6m and a height of 3m, it is the final resting place of Shigefusa Uesugi, the man who built Meigetsu-in, and on the wall face is carved the Buddha and the 16 Arhats (Buddhist saints). The Tsurube-no-I (Tsurube Well) is one of the Ten Wells of Kamakura (ten wells which have water of especially high quality) and its interior resembles the bulge of a water jar. It is a precious well that is being used even now.