Every year, azaleas cover Mt. Yamato Katsuragi with color around mid-May. The season begins with the buds swelling in early May, reaching full bloom in the middle of the month, and the season ends by late May. During full bloom, when it is said you can see a million azaleas in one glance, the area gets crowded with visitors, so you can expect full parking lots and a wait of 20 minutes or more to ride the ropeway. It is recommended to wait until the crowds subside in the evening to take the ropeway, spend the night at Katsuragi Kogen Lodge, and then enjoy the azaleas in the morning.
Nara Pref. Goseshi Kujira [map]
Information Sources: NAVITIME JAPAN
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Nara Main Areas
With a reputation almost as stellar as that of Kyoto, Nara is a must-visit for those searching for the remains of “traditional Japan.” The largely green Nara city holds the majority of the prefecture’s treasures, such as the iconic Todai-ji Temple, in which a 15-meter tall Great Buddha sits, and Nara Park, where deer flock to befriend passersby. While mountains are by no means hard to come by in this area, for hiking with a reward, head to the Kii Mountains’ Yoshino district in spring, when the hillsides put on an impressive display of white and pink cherry blossoms.