Tsutsuji Matsuri – The Azalea Festival is a gorgeous festival. The people are wonderful, the vedors and friendly but the really stars are the azaleas. Okinawa has several flower festivals throughout the year depending on season and the azalea festival is one of the more interesting ones. I find it interesting because of the history behind the park itself.
Thirty-four years ago the village of Higashi planted over fifty thousand azalea plants. The goal was to revitalize their village by providing a relaxing beautiful park and as an added bonus draw in some outside tourism. I have to say they have been very successful. The park draws in an average of 80,000 people over a three week period in March each year.
I don’t know that I’ve every been around azaleas before. They’re a really beautiful flower and the colors are stunning. My favorite are the lavender and yet somehow I didn’t get a decent photo of that particular color!
The bright pink is really spectacular and I say that as a lady who is not a fan of pink.
I also really like the white with little bits of pink in them.
The solid white petals were really spectacular too, and hard to photograph. I don’t know if it was due to the foggy overcast conditions or just that I haven’t learned how to properly deal with such a striking white.
I will say the white flowers make for a gorgous black and white photo.
The whole park really felt like it was straight out of a fairy tale land. I half expected to see a beautiful Japanese princess come walking out of her tower.
As an added bonus there was a whole other unexpected area to the park with curious plants, a waterfall and so much greenery. I’ll make another post for all of those photos.