Have you heard about “Hana-chouzu” which has been a hot topic on SNS and throughout Japan for several years? If you visit Japan on vacation, you should definitely see it.
In this issue, we would like to introduce in detail the origin of “Hana-chouzu” and the spots where you can see “Hana-chouzu”!
What is Hana-chouzu?
Representing the spirit of the Japanese people who have enjoyed the beauty of Kachofugetsu (beauties of nature).
When visiting temples and shrines in Japan, it is customary to purify one’s hands at a water spot called “Chouzu” located near the entrance to the temple or shrine.
“Hana-chouzu” originally referred to the practice of purifying one’s hands with dewdrops of flowers and grasses when it is difficult to do so with chouzu, but in recent years it has come to refer to the practice of floating seasonal flowers in one’s chouzu.
The Hana-chouzu ceremony, in which seasonal flowers are floated in the chouzu, began several years ago at a temple in Kyoto, and quickly became a hot topic of conversation in Japan, especially on social networking sites, because of the beauty of the flowers shining in the wet water, making them a good subject for photos!
From there, it spread to temples and shrines throughout Japan.
Hana-chouzu expresses the ancient Japanese love of nature. If you visit Japan as a tourist, please enjoy the atmosphere.
If you would like to see a Hana-chouzu in person, here are some temples and shrines in Kansai where you can see Hana-chouzu!
*The type and amount of flowers in the flower handmade water shown here changes depending on the season and the day.
Yanagidani Kannon Yokoku-ji Temple
This temple is the birthplace of Hana-chouzu. A flower box given as a gift inspired the idea of floating flowers in the water feature.
There are five Hana-chouzu locations on the temple grounds, and they are held throughout the year. They are all as beautiful as works of art! It is a spot you should visit at least once.
In particular, the month of June, when the hydrangeas are in bloom, is the most crowded with tourists, with limited edition red seals and sales of Japanese sweets with hydrangea motifs.
2, Donotani, Jododani, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto [MAP]
Take the Hankyu bus from Hankyu Kyoto Line Nagaoka-tenjin Station and alight at Oku Kaiinji.
It's a 8-minute walk from there.
Kamo Wakeikazuchi Jinja Shrine (Kamigamo Jinja)
Kamo Wakeikazuchi Jinja Shrine (Kamigamo Jinja) is registered as a World Heritage site. Throughout the seasons, a variety of red, yellow, and blue Hana-Chouzu.
The Hana-Chouzu, which seems to blend in with the nature, is very elegant.
339, Kamigamo Motoyama, Kita-ku, Kyoto [MAP]
Take the Kyoto city bus(46) from Hankyu Kyoto Line Kyoto-kawaramachi Station
and alight at KamigamoJinja-mae. It's a short walk away.
The Hana-chouzu at Nomi Jinja is gorgeous and spectacular. The reason for this is that local flower stores regularly dedicate flowers to the shrine. Combining flowers of various shapes, hues, and sizes, the Hana-chouzu is a work of art! Professional taste shines through.
The Hana-chouzu is held throughout the year, and the flowers are changed once a week. Looking at the gorgeous flowers seems to purify both body and soul.
6-6, Nomi-cho, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka [MAP]
6-minute walk from Hankyu Kyoto Line Takatsuki-shi Station
Kyuanji is a popular spot for “ajisai ukabe,” in which hydrangeas float in a pond on the temple grounds that is much larger than a chozu!
Known as the Kansai Flower Temple, Kyuanji holds a “Ajisai Ukebe” once a year in June, when the hydrangeas are in full bloom, in a pond on the temple grounds. The temple is famous for its hydrangeas, and the “Ajisai Ukebe” event was started as a memorial service for the hydrangeas on the temple grounds that have passed their prime.
Kyuanji is also close to the Cup Noodle Museum Osaka-Ikeda, a very popular tourist attraction for travelers, so you can stop by there as well.
▼Check out this article!▼
697, Fushio-cho, Ikeda-shi, Osaka [MAP]
Take the Hankyu bus from Hankyu Takarazuka Line Ikeda Station
and alight at Kyuuanji. It's a short walk away.
Located in Takarazuka, the hometown of cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, the Iwashizu Jinja attracts attention for its Astro Boy illustrations and red seals with colorful kanji designs.
The Hana-chouzu, a year-round ritual, is replaced by new flowers on the first day of each month.
The Hana-chouzu, composed of stone bowls, bamboo, and natural products, is in perfect harmony with the landscape.
This is Hana-Chouzu trapped in a clear glass vessel!
This bowl’s Hana-Chouzu is held on an irregular basis and you will be lucky if you can see it! The bright flowers are cool and pleasing to the eye.
1-4-3, Isoshi, Takarazuka-shi, Hyogo [MAP]
6-minute walk from Hankyu Imazu Line Sakasegawa Station
Ikuta Jinja is well known as a god of love and fortune-telling, and “mizu-mikuji,” or water fortune-telling for marriage, can be performed in the pond on the shrine grounds.
The Hana-Chouzu at Ikuta Jinja is characterized by its three-dimensional arrangement, which also uses foliage. The shiny green color, which glistens when wet with water, gives the plants a lively life force.
During the summer months, when the heat is more intense, Hana-Chouzu is suspended because the flowers are more susceptible to damage.
1-2-1 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo [MAP]
3-minute walk from Hankyu Kobe Line Kobe-sannomiya Station
6-minute walk from Hanshin Main Line Kobe-Sannomiya Station
Kansai is home to many famous temples and shrines, but why not discover Japanese culture by touring temples and shrines from a new angle of “Hana-Chouzu”?