I went to the 2019 Azalea Festival at Nishiyama Park in Sabae.

May/3,5/2019

Nishiyama Park is a historic park, which is designated as one of Japan’s top 100 historical parks. I wrote about the history of this park in a previous post(2018 Autumn Leaves Festival at Nishiyama Park in Fukui Prefecture), so please read it.

Nishiyama Park is a good place to visit all year round. In April, you can see cherry blossoms, in May, you can see azaleas, and in November, you’ll see autumn leaves. Also, you can see a snowy landscape in January and February.

Among these attractions, Nishiyama Park is best known for its azaleas. The park has about 50,000 azaleas, and it’s said that this park is the best place to see them on the Japan Sea coast. Every May, the Azalea Festival is held in and around Nishiyama Park. In 2017, about 200,000 people went to the festival.

Azaleas have funnel-shaped flowers, which appear in bunches. They’re commonly found in the northern hemisphere. In Japan, the names of the different kinds of azaleas appeared in poems from the Manyoshu(the oldest anthology of Japanese poems), written before the 8th century. Japanese people have loved azaleas since ancient times.

It’s a 15-minute train ride from JR Fukui Station to Sabae Station, and a 15-minute walk from there to Nishiyama Park.

I went to the Azalea Festival twice this year.

5/3/2019

On the way to the park, I was worried about whether the flowers would be in full bloom or not. Actually, only 60 percent of them were in bloom, but they were wonderful and beautiful.

When I was walking near the azaleas, I saw some bees. I realized that not only humans but also bees waited for the azaleas.

At 12:30, there was a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the festival. Some performers walked through the park and played music.

Then, some musical and dance performances began at the large lawn area. They played anime music like the Doraemon theme. Women with big flags danced to the music. They waved the flags and tossed them into the air. The performance and the music went well together.

Finally, two men from the band came forward and danced to the music. They looked embarrassed, but I thought their performance was amazing. The audience clapped their hands to the music and the dance.

At the Azalea Festival, you can enjoy music and entertainment on the large lawn surrounded by a lot of azaleas. I think this is the most important feature of the festival. (If it rains, the performances are cancelled.)

5/5/2019

I was able to see the azaleas in nearly full bloom today.

I think there are three ways to enjoy the azaleas at the park.

  1. You can enjoy looking at them from below.
  2. You can enjoy looking at them by walking among them. (There are a lot of small paths through the azaleas.)
  3. You can enjoy looking at them from high up.

A small girl looked at the azaleas from the hill, and said, “They’re very beautiful!!” I also thought that looking at them from the hill was very pleasant.

There were musical performances by students from Sabae High School and Tannan High School. They wore colorful T-shirts and entertained the audience with music. At the end, they played “The Galaxy Express 999,” which is the theme song of a Japanese cartoon. Their playing was great, and it seemed that the audience, performers and the park had become one.

You can enjoy performances among the azaleas at the Azalea Festival!

( If you’re interested in this kind of event and want to know when the next one will take place, ask me. I’ll look into it and tell you. )

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<Nishiyama Park Information>

Open: 24 hours, 365 days

Admission: Free

Access: A 20-minute walk from JR Sabae Station

A five-minute walk from Fukui Railway Nishiyama Park Station

<Nishiyama Zoo Information>

Open: 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., closed Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday)

Admission: Free

(References)

「散歩で見かける四季の花」(著:金田一)(編集:蔭山 敬吾)(日本文芸社)

福井県観光客入込数(推計)平成29年(福井県観光営業部観光振興課)

Author: Taru

Thank you for visiting my site. I was born in Fukui, and I now live in Fukui. I would like to know more about Fukui, and I also like to tell people around the world about Fukui. My hobby is reading books. I practice and learn English every day. This blog's articles are checked by native English speakers.

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