From mid-April to mid-May, it seems like there are bright pink bushes whipping by the train window everywhere you go in Tokyo, but there are a few special places that just beg you to take the kind of snaps that make everyone scream “I want to go to there!”
Here are my favorite places to take azalea photos in Tokyo…
They’re BACK and better than ever this year! Last year the legendary azaleas at the Nezu Shrine were struck with a perfect storm of misfortune, but they’re making it up this year by being extra-spectacular.
Open: Every day, 9:00-17:00
JINDAI BOTANICAL PARK
This is a new discovery that’s a little ways outside of metro Tokyo (in Chofu) but it’s well worth the trek!
SHIOFUNE KANNON-JI TEMPLE
This one is also not actually in metro Tokyo – it’s out in Ome, which is about an hour and a half from Shinjuku Station – but as you can see, it’s well worth the trip during azalea season!
To get there, plug your nearest station into the Train Finder or download a free Japan Travel mobile app to your phone (I use Navitime Japan Travel) with Kabe Station as the destination.Getting to Shiofunekannon-ji Temple without a car takes about 1.5 hours by train, then it’s about a 35-minute walk to the temple entrance. Or you can take a bus from the station – the one bound for Nishi-Tokyo Danshi – and walk 10 minutes from the Shiofune Kannon-iriguchi bus stop.
Another newly-discovered azalea spot is closer to metro Tokyo:
SHOWA KINEN PARK
This giant park is in Tachikawa, about an hour from Shinjuku Station, and although it’s a long way to go just to see the azalea hedge, it’s such a big park, there’s a lot more to see than just what’s famously in season. For example, at the same time the azaleas are blooming, you can catch the tail end of the “Flower Festival”:
But of course, there are plenty of spectacular places to see azaleas just a short train ride away from anywhere in Tokyo. For example…
NI NO MARU, Imperial Palace East Garden
The first azaleas to bloom are the red ones, the last are white. At any one time, several colors are in full riot, but the mix changes every day.
Open: 9:00-17:00, closed Mondays & Fridays
Open: Every day, 9:00-17:00
If you’re anything like me, maybe you’re wondering why cherry blossoms are such a big deal when azaleas can look like this. So I asked one of my Japanese friends the question…
5 thoughts on “Where To See The Most Amazing Azaleas In Tokyo”
Well, you’ve done it, I’m screaming (in my head), “I want to go there.” Especially Shifune! Polka dot azaleas, swoon.
You have to go! It was SO worth the trip. Or trips, I should admit. The first time I went out there, four trains and that 35 minute walk later, I gazed out upon… totally green azalea bushes. (><;;) Turns out that this place is about a week behind Tokyo, so even though the Nezu Shrine and Ni no maru garden were in full bloom, the flowers hadn't even started out in Ome.
I am just so much in awe of all that beauty! It’s too beautiful.. Like how I imagine paradise must look like.
Hi Jonelle, Would like to know if the Azeleas will still look this gorgeous in the second week of May? Or what there will be to see then
Ooo, the second week in May! There’s great stuff to see in mid-May! The azaleas will be over, but the wisteria ought to be gorgeous (https://jonellepatrick.me/2017/04/29/where-to-see-best-wisteria-tokyo/) It usually peaks around the end of the first week in May, but it should still be magnificent, especially if you go to spots northeast of Tokyo, like the Ashikaga Flower Park and Hitachi Seaside Park. Which is where you can also see fields and fields of Baby Blue Eyes (https://jonellepatrick.me/2017/05/13/endless-fields-of-blue/). Well worth the trip! A bit closer in is the Jindai Botanical Garden out in Chofu – I’m going to do a blog post about this one as soon as I get plum and azalea pix there this spring, so stay tuned! Their wisteria is to die for (will post pix and put post up in April sometime, so you should have maps & such before your May visit ^^;;) Enjoy enjoy!