Yohena’s Ajisai-en, The Hydrangea Garden of Motobu
As spring moves toward summer, the floral landscape of northern Okinawa is taking on new colors as hydrangea flowers, or ajisai’s in Japanese, are now bursting into full bloom. In a small town of Izumi, Motobu, thousands of brilliantly colored hydrangeas are flowering their petals on a 9,900 square meter plot of land that was once filled with tangerine trees. Welcome to the Yohena Hydrangea Garden!
This beautiful hydrandrea garden, or ajisai-en, is the handiwork of Uto Yohena, a well-known member of the local community. Unfortunately, however, Mrs. Yohena had recently passed away this April reaching the centennial age of a 100 years old. For three decades, Mrs. Yohena raised and perfected her garden of hydrangeas, combining them with an assortment of other exotic plants to create this now, wonderful hillside landscape. With a total of 78 species, over 10,000 hydrangeas, varying in over 30 colors, can be seen on location. In 2006, the Yohena Garden came in sixth in the West District Japan, Hydrangea Garden Contest. Though she has passed on, her family continues to carry out her legacy and passion.
Visitors are most welcome to stop by and check out these wonderful array of flowers, which will stay in bloom till the end of June. June, also happens to be the start of typhoon season, so if you wish to see these flowers in their prime, please stop by and visit before the first typhoon arrives. Admission fees range from ¥400 for adults to ¥200 for children. Opening hours are between 9am to 6:30pm. Parking is available. To reach Ajisai-en, drive north past central Nago on Highway 58, then turn left toward Motobu and Ocean Expo Park on Route 84. Continue until you see a Jomo Gasoline Station on the right and a police box on the left-hand side. There, you will turn immediately left, and the Ajisai-en will be on the left about 200 meters down the road.