Okinawa’s Azalea Festival to be held Mar. 1 - 21

Okinawa’s Azalea Festival to be held Mar. 1 - 21

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Starting March 1 through 21, Tsutsuji Matsuri, or Azalea Festival, will return to Higashi-son, for its 41st installment. Although the cherry blossom season is coming to an end on the island in February, flowers will continue to adorn the subtropical island.

The Higashi-son municipality is about a 40-minute drive from Camp Schwab and 90 minutes from Camp Foster, best known for beautiful flowers, clean water, and pineapples. Every year about 50,000 azaleas bloom there, drawing around 40,000 visitors the this northeastern municipality, according to the village office.

Also noteworthy is a superb view of the east coast and forests that the venue commands. Take a walk and enjoy the colorful azaleas against the backdrop of vibrant blue and green.

While you’re visiting the flower park, don’t forget to check out other sites which make this “village of the east” a great place for some fun.

Only a 10-minute drive away from the azalea parks, Hirugi Park offers a boardwalk through a forest of Rhizophoraceae mangrove trees.

Also, less than a 10-minute drive from Azalea Park is Matayoshi Coffee Farm where you can have fun harvesting coffee beans. You can even try a zipline course or an ATV ride there as well.

Unlike cities and towns on Okinawa’s west coast, which are busy with resort hotels, Higashi-son on the east coast tends to be a more relaxed zone. However, when a spring comes around, it is buzzing with visitors.

Come to Higashi-son and explore what the “village of flower, water, and pineapple” has to offer.

Things to know

Higashi-son Tsutsuji Matsuri (Higashi Village Azalea Festival)

Location: Higashison Min no Mori Tsutsuji en (Azalea Park in Higashi villagers’ Forest)

GPS: N 26.636561, E 128.156162

Dates: Mar. 1 – 21

Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.)

Admission: 300 yen (approx. $2.30) for high school students and above; free for middle school students and below

* Free Parking

Hirugi Park

GPS Coordinates: N 26.604012, E 128.144792

* Free Parking

Matayoshi Coffee Farm

GPS Coordinates: N 26.60990, E 128.14384

Hours (coffee farm): 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (9:30 a.m. – on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays)

*Hours for zipline and ATV can be different from the above.

* Free Parking

Zipline ride costs 4,500 yen for 16 years old and above, 3,500 yen for 15 years old and below.

For more details and reservation check out the link below.

Website (for zipline and ATV)

Website (coffee farm)

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