Last Updated: Feb 18, 2024

Come to Kawazu

Enjoy Japan’s Cherry Blossoms in February

Donny Kimball
8 min readFeb 18, 2024

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With a flowering season that begins in early February, the Kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms start to bloom a lot earlier than the blooming season for other variants of cherry trees. Nearby, there are also some onsen like Mine Onsen too.
This story was originally published on donnykimball.com and has been syndicated here on Medium

If you pay attention to Instagram at all, chances are you’ve already seen shots of the annual Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival floating around online. Generally running from mid-February to early March, this celebration is a herald of what comes later in spring. Allegedly the birthplace of the Kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms that take their name from this part of eastern Japan, these trees are some of the earliest blooming cherry blossoms in all of Japan. Characterized by their large petals and bright pink color, these trees are perfect for visitors who also want to get in a bit of winter.

Now, it’s true that there are plenty of places within the confines of Tokyo where you can see some Kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms (just take a look at Sakura Jingu for example). Alas, few places can hold a candle to Kawazu when it comes to sheer volume. All along the banks of the Kawazu River, you’ll find an endless array of pink cherry blossoms to enjoy. Moreover, due to their comparatively slow blooming, the festivities down at the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival actually last for about a month, far longer than elsewhere in Japan.

Of course, given that Kawazu is by far the best spot to see these beauties, you can expect a huge crowd during full bloom. In fact, recently I made a day trip down to the Kawazu area on the Izu Peninsula from Tokyo but was able to take a short walk around the river area for an hour or so before I had to flee from the crowds. If you are planning to make a trip during the peak parts of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival, be sure to get an early start on the day.

How to Get There

The Odoriko and Saphir limited express trains run between the Izu Peninsula’s mountains and ocean and are the fastest way to get down to see some Kawazu-sakura. En route, passengers are treated to an epic sea view. For more detailed instructions, plug in the Kawazu-zakura Tourism Information Center’s address (72–12 Sasahara, Kawazu-cho, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka) into Google.

On that note, let’s quickly cover some key logistics before discussing what to see and do in Kawazu. By far, the easiest way of getting down to this portion of the Izu Peninsula is to take one of the Odoriko or Saphir limited express trains. These will take you down the east coast of the landmass all the way to Kawazu Station and afford amazing sea views of Sagami Bay. Seeing as they are the most…

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/