Spring in Japan presents an impressive array of beauty for floral fans to enjoy - there are almost too many options to choose from. For those who want to optimize their time and enjoy multiple spring blooms at once, the Matsumoto Azalea Park in Nagasaki showcases both azaleas and moss phlox (also known as shibazakura) in a range of colors.
The grounds of the park here used to be home to a mikan orange farm, but those operations ceased back in 1971. Azaleas were planted to replace the mikan trees, which then expanded to shibazakura flowers - and the rest is history!
Based on previous years, the best time to visit to enjoy both flowers in bloom is around mid-April. Updates regarding blooming conditions are posted on the park's official website, so it's advisable to check before your visit to ensure the flowers are at their best.
Due to its off-the-beaten-path location, the Matsumoto Azalea Park is best accessed via private vehicle. It's around a 25 minute drive (approximately 13 kilometers) from Nagasaki Airport. Do note that the roads leading to the park are quite narrow.
If you are utilizing public transport, head to Omura Station on the JR Omura Line. The park is around a 15 minute taxi ride from there.
I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...