A hidden temple of hydrangeas
Chokyu-ji Temple in Ikoma, Nara Prefecture, is famous for its hydrangeas.
There are various theories about the temple’s founding, but according to a book in the temple collection, it was founded by Gyoki at the behest of Emperor Shomu.
The main hall is a valuable representative of Kamakura period temple architecture and is the only building in Ikoma City designated as a national treasure.
The eleven-faced Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) wooden statue is enshrined as the main image, and is designated as a National Important Cultural Property.
In early summer, colorful hydrangeas bloom along the approach to the temple and in the temple grounds. There are 800 hydrangea plants, including Gaku hydrangea, Hong hydrangea, and Anabelle hydrangea. Nara has some famous hydrangea viewing spots such as Yada-dera Temple and Hase-dera Temple. Visitors can enjoy hydrangeas at a more relaxed pace as Chogyumi-ji Temple is less touristy.
Address : 4445 Kamimachi, Ikoma, Nara 630-0131
Access : 18-minute walk from Gakken Kita-Ikoma Station on the Kintetsu Keihanna line or
Take the bus bound for Gakken Kita Ikoma to Mayumi 4-chome and 5-minute walk from the bus stop.
Admission : Free