Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sightseeing in Izu: Sakura Viewing at the Kawazu Sakura Festival (伊豆河津桜まつり)

Picture from Izu-Sakura
Spring is on its way here in Japan, and with spring comes yet another cherry blossom (sakura) season. While it is still too early to see the sakura here in Tokyo there are other places further south in Japan where the sakura already is in bloom, and one of them is Izu, a peninsula to the southwest of Tokyo.
Last week I traveled to Kawazu in the southern part of Izu to experience the Kawazu Sakura Festival (伊豆河津桜まつり), an event that is held annually from the beginning of February until the beginning of March. To be specific we visited Kawazu on March 4th, but unfortunately most of the sakura had already bloomed when we visited (which is why I chose to borrow a photo from Izu-Sakura for the photo above), so for those of you considering a visit I would recommend traveling mid-February instead.
Although it was too late to catch the cherry blossoms at the peak we still enjoyed visiting the area around the Kawazu river. We went on a stroll alongside the river and took pleasure from the magnificent view.


It was particularly nice to see the pretty yellow flowers called Nanohana (菜の花) which also happened to be in bloom at the same time as we visited. You can look at the picture below and imagine that the trees are filled with pink sakura flowers.. Beautiful..







Around the river area there was also a number of food stands (yatai - 屋台), many of them giving out free food samles. We got to try out various local specialities, and I ended up buying a little sakura tree that I'll try to keep alive (I tried to keep a sakura tree a couple of years ago but unfortunately it withered during the winter season).


We also visited a small shrine close to the Kawazu river called Kinomiya Shrine (来宮神社). At the shrine one could see a couple of trees that were more than a thousand years old. A marvellous sight!

Despite being a little bit too late for the mankai (満開 - full bloom) we still enjoyed Kawazu a lot. I guess the bad timing is a good excuse to come back next year.!

Finally, here's a group picture with one of the last blooming sakura trees.
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
-Anette

Basic Info
  • ・Event: Kawazu Sakura Festival (伊豆河津桜まつり)
  • ・Time: 10th February - 10th March
  • ・Homepage: http://kawazuzakura.net/ (Japanese only)
  • ・Cherry blossom spots in Izu: http://izu-sakura.com/ (Japanese only)


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About Me

The Cosmopolitan Expat:
The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff. Stricken by 職業病 I also write about hotels and share updates about new opening hotels and/or time sales in the Kanto region.

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