May 6, 2012 we relaxed in Ome for a while, had lunch and then four of us walked to see rhododendrons (azaleas) just starting to bloom. The colours were more vivid than our memories recalled and the amphitheatre of rhododendron bushes now seems to be expanded to about 340 degrees. Being a temple of course we had to pay entrance fees. Earlier in the winter I walked to see the winter azaleas and then no fees were required. Now people bringing their cars were required to pay parking fees of about ¥700. I find this park to be incredibly beautiful. The internet gives it high ratings for Ome, but I feel it deserves ranking with any of the parks we have seen. To be surrounded on almost every point of the compass with such magnificent colour, no photograph can do full justice to. So I have tried to capture the beauty with a couple of brief videos. The colours maybe more vivid than we recall due to the flowers being so fresh and in fact many of the bushes were still green. This green in conjunction with the flowering bushes just seemed to enhance the visual feast. On the walk back we encountered thunder and lightning and some rain. When we got back there was heavier rain and bit of hail. But it will be another marvelous memory and a visit I had been promising myself for the month of May.
Back on the farm I have seen a number of azalea bushes with flowers having a subdued peachy orange colour. Yayoi says that this is the wild azalea or yamatsutsuji.
Please see further photographs on Picasa at Rhododendron.