Now Reports

Fukuoka Now Azalea Guide 2022

Azalea is a shrub with red, pink, and white flowers that bloom from April to May. It is commonly used as a garden and roadside shrub in many parts of Japan since ancient times and introduced in Japan’s oldest collection of waka poems, the Manyoshu. During the Edo period (1603-1868), when horticulture became popular among the general public, many varieties of azaleas were bred from those growing wild in Kyushu.

There are now more than 2,000 varieties of azaleas. Typical azaleas with flowers and leaves that are smaller than those of the original species include the Kirishima azalea, which was bred from the yamatsutsuji native to Kirishima in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the kurume azalea, which originated in Kurume and is widely popular in Japan for its many small, brightly colored flowers.

With continued high temperatures in Fukuoka, flowers are blooming earlier than usual. The best time to see the azalea will be from mid-April to Golden Week.

Azalea viewing spots in Fukuoka and its suburbs

Kurume Forest Azalea Park (Kurume City)
World Azalea Center (Kurume City)
Kurume Hyakunen Park (Kurume City)
Ukidake Kohkajuen (Itoshima City)
Japanese Garden in Ohori Park (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)
Nishi Park (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)
Nokonoshima Island Park (Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City)
Sarayama Park (Sue Town, Kasuya)
Chinkokuji Temple (Munakata City)
Daikozenji Temple (Kiyama Town, Saga)
Mifuneyama Rakuen (Takeo City, Saga)

Kurume Forest Azalea Park (Kurume City)

Located at the top of Mt. Kora along the Mino Skyline that runs through the Mino Mountain Range, this is a beautiful and popular azalea viewing spot. The park was created to commemorate the selection of the azalea as the prefectural tree of Fukuoka Prefecture, and as many as 61,000 azalea plants are in bloom. The park is also famous for its view over the vast Chikugo Plain.

Photo provided by Kurume City

• Season: Mid-April ~ Early May
• Types of Azaleas: 100 kinds (Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azalea etc)
• Approx: 61,000 roots
• Free entry
• Address: 299-354 Mii-machi, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: 50 min. on foot from at Mii-machi bus stop
• Parking: Free (90 spaces)
https://bit.ly/3mNdzTv

World Azalea Center (Kurume City)

This facility was established to preserve and cultivate valuable azaleas collected at the World Azalea Festival held in 1989. The facility has 21,000 plants of 1,600 varieties, including the Kurume azalea, the pride of Kurume, azaleas from around the world, and original azalea varieties, making it the most extensive collection in Japan. The Wilson 50, a variety derived from Wilson, the plant hunter who introduced the Kurume azalea to the West, is also displayed. The garden is open to the public every year in mid-April when the azaleas are in full bloom, and during this period, the garden is open to visitors on weekends and holidays.

Photo provided by World Azalea Center Instagram

• Season: mid-April ~ late April
• Types of Azaleas: 1,600 kinds (Kurume Azalea, Azaleas from world, Original Azaleas etc)
• Approx: 21,000 roots
• Free entry
• Closed: Sat., Sun., hol. (open on weekends and holidays from April 8 to 28.)
• Address: 1875-1 Minou, Yamamoto-machi, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: 5 min. on foot from at Yamamoto bus stop
• Parking: Free (140 spaces)
http://www.sekai-tsutsuji.center/

Kurume Hyakunen Park (Kurume City)

Bordering the banks of the Chikugo River, this park was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kurume’s municipal organization and includes a lawn area and an azalea garden.

• Season: Mid-April ~ Early May
• Types of Azaleas: Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azalea, Dodan Azalea
• Approx: 120,000 roots
• Free entry
• Address:2432-1 Hyakunen-park, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: On foot from at Hyakunen Koen bus stop
• Parking: Free (135 spaces, 7:00~22:00)
https://bit.ly/3tg3zEE

Ukidake Kohkajuen (Itoshima City)

An individual fascinated by azaleas gathered azaleas from all over the country and opened this azalea garden about 43 years ago. Centering on the 400-year-old Honkirishima, 5,000 azaleas are in full bloom in an area of 10,000 tsubo (about 1.5 acres). The garden is open only during the azalea blooming season as the “Azalea Festival,” which this year runs from April 9 to May 5. An observation deck is located at the top of the park, offering a panoramic view of the sea and mountains of Itoshima and the azaleas in the park.

Photo provided by Ukidake Kohkajuen facebook

• Season: mid-April ~ late April
• Types of Azaleas: Hon Kirishima Azalea, Kurume Azalea, Mitsuba Azalea, Renge Azalea, Yodogawa Azalea etc.
• Open: 4/9 (Sat.) ~ 5/5 (Thu., hol.)
• Approx: 5,000 roots
• Adult ¥600, child ¥300
• Address: Nijo-yoshii, Itoshima City, Fukuoka
• Access: 8 min by car from JR Chikuhi Line Fukuyoshi Sta.
• Parking: Free (over 100 spaces)
https://www.tsutsuji-matsuri.jp/en/
https://www.instagram.com/itoshima.tsutsuji/

Japanese Garden in Ohori Park (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)

A park for citizens to relax, easily accessible from Tenjin. In Ohori Park’s Japanese garden, azaleas bloom around a beautifully landscaped small pond.

Photo provided by Ohori Koen Japanese Garden photo library

• Season: Mid-April ~ Early May
• Japanese Garden: Adult ¥250, under 15 y.o. ¥120, free for under 6 y.o. and over 65 y.o.
• Closed: Mon.
1-7 Ohorikoen, chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• 10 min. on foot from subway Ohori Koen Sta.
https://www.ohoriteien.jp/

Nishi Park (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)

In Nishi Park’s Azalea Valley, six types of azaleas are planted, including Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azalea, and Kerama Azalea, which is unique to Okinawa and the Amami Islands, and can be admired while walking along the well-maintained promenade.

Azalea in Nishi Park, 西公園のツツジ

• Season: Mid-April ~ Early May
• Types of Azaleas: Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azare, Kerama Azarea, Dodan Azarea, Mochi Azarea, Yodogawa Azalea
• Approx: over 780 roots
• Free entry
Address: 13 Nishi Koen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 15 min. on foot from Fukuoka City Subway Ohori Koen Sta.
• Parking: Free (79 spaces)
https://www.nishikouen.jp/

Nokonoshima Island Park (Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City)

A nature park with magnificent grounds and seasonal flowers. In spring, visitors can enjoy the purple-red, double-flowered Yodogawa Azalea, bright blue nemophila, and poppies.

Nokonoshima Island Park, のこのしまアイランドパークに咲く花々Photo provided by Nokonoshima Island Park

• Season: mid-April ~ late April
• Types of Azaleas: Yodogawa Azalea
• Approx: 5,000 roots
• Adult ¥1,200, under JHS ¥600, over 3 y.o. ¥400
• Weekdays 9:00~17:30, weekends 9:00~18:30
• Address: Nokonoshima, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: catch a ferry from Meinohama Passenger Terminal
http://nokonoshima.com/en/
https://twitter.com/W2Yh7w9NLzeE2qs

Sarayama Park (Sue Town, Kasuya)

Sarayama Park, one of the best-known azalea viewing spots in Fukuoka, is located at the foot of Mt. Wakasugi. A panoramic view of Fukuoka City and Hakata Bay spreads out below, and plum blossoms, irises, and hydrangeas can be enjoyed every season.

• Season: mid-April ~ late April
• Types of Azaleas
• Approx: 30,000 roots
• Free entry
• Address: 21-3, Kamisue, Sue-machi, Fukuoka
• Access: 5 min by car from JR Sue-chuo Sta.
• Parking: Free (100 spaces, 7:00~19:00)
http://www.town.sue.fukuoka.jp/soshiki/6/sarayama.html

Chinkokuji Temple (Munakata City)

Chinkokuji Temple is a temple of flowers and prayers, where seasonal flowers bloom throughout the four seasons. Twenty thousand Kurume azaleas bloom on the western slope of the temple grounds, and Miyama azaleas and Hirado azaleas are planted throughout the grounds.

Azalea in Chinkokuji, 鎮国寺のツツジPhoto by Chinkokuji Temple official Facebook

• Season: mid-April ~ late April
• Types of Azaleas: Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azalea, Miyama Azalea, Satsuki Azalea (best time to view: May ~ June)
• Approx: 20,000 roots
• Free entry
• Address: 966 Yoshida, Munakata City, Fukuoka
• Access: 15 min. by car from Munakata Taisha Shrine
• Parking: Free (140 spaces)
http://chinkokuji.or.jp/

Daikouzenji Temple (Kiyama Town, Saga)

Also known as “Azalea Temple,” this temple has a history of approximately 1,300 years. At the foot of Mt. Chigiri, located behind the main hall, there is a mountain forest botanical garden called “Chigiri-en.” In spring, the garden is crowded with many visitors who come to enjoy the 50,000 azalea flowers and the fresh green of the maple trees.

The “Azalea Festival” is held until early May, and a temporary bus service is available from the nearest station (JR Kiyama Sta.) every 30 min. (9:40~16:40, one-way fare ¥200).

Azalea in Daikouzenji, 大興善寺のツツジ

Azalea in Daikouzenji, 大興善寺のツツジPhoto provided by Daikouzenji Temple facebook

• Season: Mid-April ~ Early May
• Types of Azaleas
• Approx: 50,000 roots
• Chigiri Garden: Adult ¥600, under JHS ¥300
• Open: 8:30~18:30 (Matcha cafe and restaurant: 9:00~17:00)
• Address: 3628 Sonobe, Kiyama-cho, Miyaki-gun, Saga
• Access: 4/23~4/24, 4/29~5/3: A temporary Nishitetsu bus runs from JR Motoyama Station during the season (time table).
• Parking: ¥300 (700 spaces)
https://daikouzenji.com/

Mifuneyama Rakuen (Takeo City, Saga)

The garden has a vast area of 500,000 square meters that has been in existence since the late Edo period. Against the backdrop of the rocky cliffs of Mt. Mifune, as many as 200,000 azaleas are in full bloom in the “azalea valley,” a mortar-shaped area. From the Hanami-dai (viewing platform) located at the end of the walking path surrounded by trees on the left side of Mt.

Mifuneyama Rakuen - azalea valley, 御船山楽園のつつじ谷

Mifuneyama Rakuen - azalea valley, 御船山楽園のつつじ谷Photo provided by Mifuneyama Rakuen

• Season: early April ~ Early May
• Types of Azaleas: Kurume Azalea, Hirado Azalea etc
• Approx: 200,000 roots
• Adult ¥700, ES ¥300
• 8:00~18:30
• Address: 4100 Takeo, Takeo-cho, Takeo City, Saga
• Access: 5 min. By car from JR Takeo Sta.
https://www.mifuneyamarakuen.jp/spring/

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Originally written in April 2022.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to this page.

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in April 2021.

Category
Seasonal Guide
Fukuoka Prefecture
Saga Prefecture
Published: Apr 15, 2022 / Last Updated: Apr 19, 2022

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