A hill behind the Takahata Fudoson temple is covered with hydrangea (ajisai) which bloom in June. It is one of Tokyo's most famous places for ajisai. Numerous varieties of hydrangea are planted. The top of the hill was also the site of the medieval Takahata Castle of which little is known. The hill is dotted with 88 stone statues of Kobo Daishi (founder of Shingon Sect), mimicking the 88 pilgrimage temples in Shikoku.
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Opened in 1958, Tama Zoo is one of Japan's largest zoos on par with Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Officially named the Tama Zoological Park, the zoo is spread over a very large and spacious area. What the panda is to Ueno Zoo is what the koala bear is to Tama Zoo. Three cute koala bears are on display in the Koala House. A baby koala was born on Oct. 25, 2008 and by June 2009 when these photos were taken, the baby koala grew large enough to be cute and recognizable as it clinged to its mother's belly. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Another major sight in Hino, this garden is famous for plum blossoms. About 800 plum trees are in the garden. Near Mogusaen Station on the Keio Line. Keio Railways operate the garden. Small admission charged.
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