Monday, May 17, 2021

The season of Tsutsuji azaleas

Japanese Maples along a path of the ground of Toshodai-ji

Strolling around the precinct of a temple is refreshing and soothing.
Especially at this time of year when young small leaves are beautiful full of hopes.
Japanese Maple trees look adorned with green laces. 
The fresh greenery was dotted with the sparkles of  the pastel-colored Azaleas
when I walked around the temple about two weeks ago.

瓊花 Keika, Viburnum macrocephalum f. keteleeri. from the Chinese hometown of Ganjin, 
the founder of this temple,
were blooming at the silent corner of the precinct where people rarely stop by this year.

Some of the Azaleas in the precinct are "Mochi tsutsuji", Rhododendron Macrosepalum,
endemic to western Japan.

The following photos of the flowering shrub are from my garden.
The plant is a horticultural variety of Rhododendron Macrosepalum,
called "花車 Hanaguruma", Rhododendron macrosepalum cv. Hanaguruma.
I photographed the flowers bathed in different light the past weeks.
Before sunset

The shrub looks like a carriage decorated with flowers,
so it would have been named "Hanaguruma" meaning "flower-wagon".

Or, it is said that the flower looks like a wheel of an ox-drawn carriage of the past.
In this case, "Hanaguruma" means "flower-wheel".

In the spot light

I am the third generation to take care of this Hanaguruma
following my grandmother and my mother.

Right after the rain

Satsuki azalea flowers, Rhododendron indicum, are replacing Tsutsuji.
Tsutsuji and Satsuki really look like but the latter bloom later and have smaller flowers.

Satsuki azaleas photographed today

The rainy season called 梅雨 (Apricot rains) arrived in my region 
earlier than ever, 21 days earlier than average.
It's a shame because mid-to-end May is one of the most sunny beautiful days,
but on a positive note, I hope the hot and humid weather be helpful to make the
corona viruses less active.

If interested in lovely mountain Tsutsuji endemic to Japan, please have a look at 

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. Beautiful post ! Thanks for the information and gorgeous pictures shared with us !
    Those flowers are pure beauty ! The climate here is not ideal for those flowers and it's rare to see one....
    Have a lovely week !


  2. ·.
    You have a beautiful garden. It has to be a great pleasure to take care of those beautiful flowers.
    The photos are great.


    LaMiradaAusente · & · CristalRasgado

  3. I have rhododendrons and azaleas bringing color to my world, too. Wonderful captures of the flowers and butterfly, stardust! Three generations of caregiving brings a treasured historical perspective to the blooms in your garden making your flowers extra sweet. :)

  4. How very magical! Love the pink flowering bush.

  5. あまり意識したことはなかったのですが、改めて花車って優雅な名前なのだと思いました。
    おばあ様 お母さまから受け継いだお花。よく手入れをされ、今年も見事に咲きましたね。

  6. Fabulous post and gorgeous colours. I love this time of year when the greens are so rich and the colours are so vibrant. You really know how to capture these moments Yoko. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Yoko - azaleas are so precious - mounds of flowers and so many varieties! What an honor that you can continue to look after the Hanagurama - third generation! It is obviously well cared for! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

  8. Hello,
    What a beautiful post, the butterflies and azaleas blooms are gorgeous. I like the view of the temple peeking out from the trees. Lovely images! Take care, stay safe! Have a happy day and great week ahead.

  9. Oh, what delightful azaleas and your photos.
    I love spring, although this year it is cold and very rainy.
    Hugs and greetings, Yoko.

  10. To witness so much beauty in just one post. It's overwhelming. Thanks for sharing! Have a nice day!

  11. Gracias por compartir las maravillas de la naturaleza Preciosas fotos amiga. Tus hijos y nietos seguiran cuídando de las azaleas.
    Buena semana Yoko. Cuídate.
    Un abrazo.

  12. Hello, Yoko. The walk is really refreshing and soothing. It seemed to smell of dresh blossoms and rain. I tried to single out the one that impressed most and failed. With raindrops or a butterfly or in sunshine - they are all beautiful. You have a lovely garden. And the best flowers there are your grandchildren. We're expecting ours on a visit)) Keep safe, dear friend, have a nice weekend.

  13. May is first extremely hot month of the summer here dear Yoko

    your walk to temple is delightful ,lush and refreshing views filled my heart with joy :)thank you so much for sharing the beauty around you my sweet friend!
    flowers from your own garden are divine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    how amazing you were able to keep tradition alive for looking after this gorgeous plant ,loved it so much as each shot is splendid specially close ups !
    hope weather be kind and sweet to you all there
    wishing more health ,peace and happiness to you and yours!

  14. Beautiful. Love all your pics and thank you for sharing. I love that you are keeping the tradition alive for looking after your grandmother's plant. I hope the Apricot rains are not too heavy. Love and Light <3

  15. How I love to see the successive growth of blooms on your blog! I've never seen azaleas in so many colors. To think that your garden azalea has flourished for 3 generations is wonderful. The butterfly photos are spectacular. Thank you for this post full of light and shadow showcasing the beautiful blooms.


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