Azalea Blooming in Spring!
Near Omura City, just about an hour drive from Nagasaki city, you have the opportunity to experience a magical wonderland. These multicolored blooms will make you feel as though you are inside a painting. Plan your trip to the Flower Festival in Matsumoto Azalea Park!
If you intend to visit the south west of Japan, known as Kyushu, we recommend you include in your schedule a day trip to see this wonderful floral paradise. The Matsumoto Azalea Park usually opens only in April, so if this April is too soon, start planning your visit to the flower viewing for next year! This garden is at the top of a mountain with a wonderful view of the Omura Bay, and is well worth the trip.
The Azalea flower, called “Tsutsuji” in Japanese, has a long history of being cultivated in Japan. They date back to ancient times, and have gained popularity mainly because of the beautiful varieties that exist, and how picturesque they look as the different colors bloom alongside each other. Azaleas will provide a marvelous view in any garden.
Run by a single family who decided to grow the fields of Azaleas, the property was then open to the public, rather than dedicating the soil for growing vegetables or fruits.
The entrance fee is ¥500 per person, and that money is contributed to the year round maintenance of the garden.
Beautiful Multicolored Shiba-Sakura Flowers
The Azaleas are not the only flowers blooming on the grounds, but they definitely take the spotlight. You will also find the very cute “Shiba-Sakura” or “Lawn Cherry Blossoms,” (if you directly translate the name), but they are better known as “Creeping Phlox.” These multicolored flowers fill the field and help it feel like a paradise on earth.
We recommend you to put on comfortable walking shoes and bring water!! Many people stroll through the hills to catch the best views of the flowers, and, because as it is in the middle of the mountain, it will consequently be difficult to find something to drink.
As the festival is gaining popularity from year to year, it is recommended that visitors choose to go on a weekday rather than the weekends. The roads are narrow and therefore it does not take much to cause a traffic jam!
The Matsumoto Azalea Park is handicap and stroller friendly, so do not be deterred if you are in a wheelchair or have young ones traveling with you! They made slopes to allow access all the way to the top for enjoyment of the view from above.
This wonderful field of Azalea bushes, along with the fresh breeze coming from the Omura bay, make you feel as though you are relaxing inside a painting by Monet. Thus, the need for a camera is huge! You will definitely want visual evidence of this experience.
Take your time through the paths, and enjoy yourself as you soak in this amazing spectacle of nature.
Take the Nagasaki City Bus from Nagasaki Cocowalk Bus Sation bound for Omura City. It takes about 45 minutes to get there. From the Omura Bus Terminal, take a bus on the “Yokoyama gashira” route and get off the bus at the final stop, The trip takes about 26 minutes, and the fare is about ¥370.
The last stop is near a soft drinks vending machine, and from there you will walk straight down the road about 1.1 km to the Matsumoto’s Azalea festival entrance. It is approximately a 15 minute walk. Please be advised that with rare exceptions, the time tables are usually very punctual and the buses can be sparse, so do your best to plan ahead and be on time!
The buses on the Omura Terminal-Yokoyama Gashira-Omura Terminal routes run every day of the week including weekends and holidays.