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Myohoji hydrangeas in 2017

One of the last places for me to see hydrangeas in 2017 was at Myōhōji shrine.  That is in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, where I live.  I got there very late in the season, and many of the flowers were starting to fade.  Still, I was glad I went as some flowers were okay for photographs.  It made the hour’s walk to get there worth it.

Myohoji hydrangeas
Myohohi temple

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Myōhōji was built in the early 1600s.  It is in a quiet residential area.  For me, it is everything a Japanese temple should be.  Local people use it to meet others, not only to pray.   Many trees at the rear of the complex offer shade from the summer heat to those sitting on benches.   There are the classic worship hall and long outdoor corridors.  While I was there, I could hear the chanting of monks from inside the buildings.  

Myohoji hydrangeas on path

I enjoyed talking to some locals.  As I walked by, they looked me right in the eye and wished me a good morning with what seemed a genuine smile.  There was no shyness or hesitation.  Everyone seemed to be welcome.

But it was hydrangeas I went for, but once again, I cursed my inability to get up at the crack of dawn.  Well, getting up later than planned is nice.  But, it does mean the light won’t be the best for photography at your destination when you get there.  Still, I got there early enough, and no one was there but me.  It was great to have an entire garden to myself for a change.

Myohoji hydrangeas in 2017

Most of the hydrangeas were arranged in a square around a field, with irises in the middle.  Another group was on either side of a path lined with lanterns, near the rear entrance.  You could tell that the gardeners spend a lot of time looking after the plants.

Myohoji hydrangeas and Japanese irises in 2017
hydrangea flowers

I tried some handheld panoramic shots and stitched them together in Lightroom.  That worked well, but my technique might have been lacking as the main hall shot has a bow in the roof.  In retrospect, the gate with the hydrangeas and lanterns needed this type of picture.  It was a pity that I didn’t think of doing it at the time.

Myohoji blue hydrangeas

When I took these shots, summer was starting to heat up.  And that meant these were the last Tokyo hydrangea season photos of 2017 for me.  It was a good year for flower photography.

hydrangea mop head

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