Best time to travel to Japan

Azaleas in Japan

A colourful miracle of spring!

Best time: late May–June


Visit Katsuragi Plateau about 100 km away from Kyoto to see these wild flowers transform everything into a spectacular sight. These flowers are of great cultural importance to Japan. Their bloom is celebrated with festivals all over the country, including the capital.

Practical info

When can one observe the azaleas in Kyoto?

Visitors can enjoy the spectacle of azaleas in Kyoto from late May to June when the area's Katsuragi Plateau is in full bloom. Although the blooming period isn't uniform each year, visitors can inquire beforehand to determine when the sighting is possible. During this time, the Plateau transforms into a stunningly vibrant display of azaleas that is a sight to be appreciated. Show more

What mode of transportation can you use to get to Katsuragi Plateau from Kyoto?

The Katsuragi Plateau is situated roughly 100 km away from Kyoto. One can take the Kintetsu Yoshino Line to Gose Station, then take a bus, taxi or rental car to the mountain. The journey is long, but the striking view of the azaleas around the mountain makes it a worthwhile trip that is sure to leave visitors awed. Show more

What is the cultural significance of azaleas in Japan?

In Japan, azaleas have considerable cultural significance. They are deemed to be a symbol of good luck and have close ties to the samurai culture. A majestic sight, every year, the Higashi Honganji Temple Festival is held in celebration of azaleas' blooms in Kyoto. The flowers' beauty is immortalized in Japanese artists' exquisite pottery, paintings, and crafts that have achieved worldwide acclaim. Show more

Where else in Japan can one observe the blooming of azaleas?

In addition to Kyoto's Katsuragi Plateau, other locations offer stunning annual sightings of blooming azaleas. Nezu Shrine in Tokyo is an excellent option for visitors who appreciate gardens. Others can visit the Kirishima Kokubunji Temple in Kagoshima or alternatively Ueno Park in Tokyo, where numerous varieties of azaleas can be seen. Show more

What other festivals in Japan are dedicated to celebrating blooming azaleas?

In Tokyo's Nezu Shrine, the Tsutsuji Matsuri or Azalea Festival takes place, which celebrates the blooming of azaleas. Likewise, The Kirishima Azalea Festival in Kagoshima is an excellent opportunity to see the wonderful blooms. These three festivals are among the most captivating locations to see azaleas showcased in their glorious bloom in Japan. Show more

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