Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival / 根津神社つつじ祭

The last week of April I set out into my neighborhood and headed over to one of my most favourite places-- Nezu Shrine. During the end of April and beginning of May, the shrine's annual Azalea (つつじ / Tsutsuji) Festival is held and it's always a spectacular sight! Nezu Shrine's extensive gardens are planted with over 6,600 square meters of azaleas which include over 100 different varieties, some of which are quite rare.

Some of the azaleas on display are extremely unique with shapes and colours I have never seen anywhere else before.

So why azaleas? Firstly, no one could argue that they're beautiful, of course, but besides that, the azalea is the official flower of Bunkyo City (文京区 / Bunkyō-ku) in which Nezu (根津) and Nezu Shrine are located.

The shrine, of course, has a beauty and wonder all its own at all times of the year, so natually it makes a truly lovely background in which both visitors and regulars can enjoy the gorgeous flora.

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