Kawazu cherry blossoms (also known as Kawazu-zakura) are early blooming sakura that make their appearance around a month earlier than the more common Somei Yoshino cherry blossom variety. The town where Kawazu-zakura was discovered (Kawazu Town if you couldn’t guess) has its annual cherry blossom festival in February.
To celebrate the blooming of the flower, the town of Kawazu in Izu Prefecture will hold a festival, but this is usually just an opportunity to walk along the town’s river and marvel at the many blooming cherry trees. Special picnic lunchboxes will be prepared, but they are pricey.
There will also be nighttime illuminations from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tip: Keep track of the blooming siutation with this handy live camera.
How to get there
The cherry blossoms are a short walk from Kawazu Station. To get there from Tokyo Station takes around 2.5 hours by train if you use the Super View Odoriko Limited Express (¥6,050). If you have a JR Pass, it is worth taking the Shinkansen to Atami Station and changing to the local line towards Kawazu.
Other options with a change in Atami Station are around ¥1,000 cheaper but take an hour longer.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.