VIDEO: Spider lilies kick off the fall season in Kamakura

VIDEO: Spider lilies kick off the fall season in Kamakura

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Take advantage of the nice, early autumn weather to get out and explore the beautiful parks Japan has to offer. It is now peak time for fall blossom viewing including chrysanthemums, bellflowers, gentians and higanbama or manjushage (spider lilies).

Starting in late Sept. through mid-Oct., you can enjoy the autumnal spider lilies cropping up in some surprising spots around town. Keep your eyes peeled for them on walks, in temple gardens or even cemeteries around your neighborhood. The uniquely shaped and bright reddish flowers are a reminder that summer is finally over.

In Kamakura, head to any of the many temples and shrines for some spider lily-viewing. Eishoji Temple is one of the most popular Kamakura spots for these crimson beauties.

Founded in 1636, Eishoji is an elegant Buddhist temple, home to refined wooden temple buildings and a bell tower that are designated as National Important Cultural Assets. The temple is also known for its large variety and population of flowers in the garden, which attract visitors throughout the year. Eishoji is home to early summer wisterias and early autumn spider lilies.

After your visit to Eishoji, visit Jufukuji, considered one of the five most prestigious temples in Kamakura, next door.

Another must-visit spot is Kaizoji, known as a temple of flowers, situated in a rocky valley. In fall, violet bellflowers and gentians bloom, bringing color to the temple grounds.

After the temple visits, head to busy Komachi-dori street which has plenty of cafes, souvenir shops and street food to enjoy.

Kamakura is a great autumn walk destination. And fortunately, it is only within an hour from most of U.S. military installations in the Kanto Plain.

Location: 1-16-3 Ougigaya, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture (10-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station)
Hours: Fri - Wed, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: adult 300 yen, high schoolers 200 yen, middle schoolers and younger 100 yen
Tel: 0467-22-3534

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