|Admiring the Azaleas|
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|Tsutsuji Matsuri (The Azalea Festival)|
|N 26 38.235||E 128 09.413|
Tsutsuji Matsuri (Azalea Festival), Higashi Village
Every March, Higashi Village hosts the Azalea Festival, or better known to the Okinawans as 'Tsutsuji Matsuri'. The Azaleas are part of the genus Rhododendron, with these particular flowers being part of the subgenus 'Tsutsuji' (or 'Tsutsusi'), which are evergreen Azaleas versus their North American counterparts that are deciduous in nature (leaves fall off in the fall). The festival occurs at the Azalea park about 500 meters away from Highway 70. The festival itself last about 3 weeks long with various events and entertainment spread out during this period. However, you can still view the Azaleas for the entire month of March. Please visit the Higashi Village website for more information (Japanese only). They will have a schedule of major events and entertainment during the festival period.
The park itself is a nice walk on both high and low ground. Down below are small nature walk areas where you can see the Higashi greenery and some of the streams that flow between the hills. High up on the hills are several areas where you can view down and out toward the Higashi landscape. If you love nature and especially flowers, then this is great place to bring the family.
Time Frame: Entire Month of March (2015 Festival Period March 1-22, Flowering Viewing March 1-31)
(For update and current information please visit website below)
Phone number for festival information. 098 043 2265
Food stands. Hot foods starnds are available during the festival period
Stroller Friendly. For the most part, the park is baby stroller friendly
For related articles on the Tsutsuji Matsuri see, http://www.okinawastory.jp/en/special/festivals_hotels/special/f_festivals.html
2012 Azalea Festival Photo Essay by Michael Lynch (Mike's Ryukyu Gallery)
For information about Azaleas, please visit,
Directions. Take Highway 329 into Nago City. Then take Highway 331 going north on the eastern side of Okinawa. From Highway 331 take Highway 70. Look for the road signs off of Highway 70 that point to the Azalea Park. During the festival period you may see numerous banner flags along the road side that lead you to the Park. See map for other landmarks of the area.
Other places of interest nearby: The Sakishima Sappanwood Tree (Higashi), The Higashi Museum, Meoto Waterfall.