Known as the "flower temple," Mimuroto Temple in Uji City near Kyoto showcases a vast array of seasonal flowers. Starting in early April, Japan's famous cherry trees show off their pink blossoms for a short time around the grounds. From late April to early May, 20,000 azaleas bloom, and more than 10,000 hydrangeas open up in June. Lotus plants complement the bright summer months of July and August, and autumn foliage colors blossom in late November.
The foliage-laden grounds surround the deeply religious temple, originally constructed in the early 1800s and an honor head temple of the Honzan-Shugen-shu sect of Buddhism. The temple houses an image of a thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva, a deity and Buddhist symbol of wisdom and compassion. A three-tiered pagoda rests on temple grounds, as well. Touching the statues outside of the temple's main hall is believed to grant wishes and give good luck.
Mimuroto Temple is most easily accessed by bus number 43, which runs hourly between JR Uji Station, Keihan Uji Station and Mimurotoji Temple. A one-way bus tickets costs 220 yen ($3USD) and takes 20 minutes from JR Uji station. By train, the temple can be reached by a 15 minute walk from Keihan Mimuroto Station. Mimuroto Temple is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm (until 4:00pm from November to March), and admission costs 500 yen ($5USD). The temple is open almost every day of the year, except for December 29-31. At night, the temple garden is lit up, allowing visitors to take in the seasonal flowers, even when the temple is closed.