Kawazu Sakura cherry blossoms blooms the earliest 🌸

Spring in February!
27 Feb 2022
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Kawazu Sakura comes from a tree that was discovered in 1955 in the city of Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Kawazu Sakura cherry blossoms
Kawazu Sakura cherry blossoms

In the city of Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, spring comes early. This is because of the Kawazu cherry blossoms which start to bloom in early spring.

Kawazu-zakura begins to bloom around early February. The flower's name comes from the region where it was found--Kawazu, a town on the coast of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka.

In addition to blooming early, these flowers also last longer before wilting, generally blooming for about a month. The warm coastal climate is ideal for flowers, allowing them to thrive.

Kawazu-zakura flowers are darker and lighter in color than Yoshino cherries, creating a wonderful contrast against blue skies on sunny days.

Festival Welcoming Cherry Blossom Season

The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (河津桜祭り, Kawazuzakura Matsuri) is held annually from early February to early March in the city of Kawazu, located on the Izu Peninsula. In 2022, the Kawazu Sakura festival takes place from February 1 to March 6.

Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (Kawazuzakura Matsuri) in Kawazu city /
Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (Kawazuzakura Matsuri) in Kawazu city / Izu Travel

This popular festival event celebrating the blooming of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Tree (Kawazuzakura) attracts nearly two million visitors each year as one of the earliest occasions of the year to see a large number of cherry blossoms near Tokyo.

This festival is characterized by rows of beautiful cherry blossom trees, night illuminations, and food stalls. Located in Shizuoka Prefecture, visitors can easily visit the flower festival from Tokyo via train.

The atmosphere of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom festival, filled with food stalls /
The atmosphere of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom festival, filled with food stalls / Izu Travel

To be precise, the festival takes place along the banks of the Kawazu River, which is lined by a seemingly never-ending line of Kawazu Cherry Blossoms stretching for some four kilometers. Usually, the trees in the city center begin to bloom first, before the season gradually spreads upstream towards the Kawazu Seven Falls.

Almost as many are the festival stalls that line the trails along the river, offering a wide selection of cooked foods, dried groceries, locally produced citrus fruits, souvenirs, and small kawazuzakura trees that you can take home and plant. The yellow radish flowers that bloom at about the same time as Kawazuzakura add to the beautiful scenery. Evening illuminations are held during the festival from 18:00 to 21:00.

Kawazu Cherry Blossoms blooming along the Kawazu river /
Kawazu Cherry Blossoms blooming along the Kawazu river / Izu Travel

Sakura Food and Snacks at Festival

Apart from taking pictures at the cherry blossom festival, tourists and visitors can also enjoy flavorful cherry blossom-themed food and snacks by the river. Vendors here sell freshly made Japanese sweets such as mochi and taiyaki, and local seafood such as unagi (eel). There are also many shops selling cherry blossom-themed souvenirs that are perfect for souvenirs.

Mochi Dango: Traditional Sweet Snack

Mochi dango is mochi (daifuku mochi) on a skewer filled with red beans. Each daifuku mochi has a different taste according to its color. The light pink color has a slightly tart cherry blossom flavor, and the green is yomogi (Japanese mugwort), which has a unique and earthy taste. The light yellow daifuku on the bottom is a refreshing citrus flavour.

Sakura-flavored mochi dango snack at Kawazu Sakura festival /
Sakura-flavored mochi dango snack at Kawazu Sakura festival / matcha-jp

Sakura Taiyaki: A Must-Try Seasonal Snack!

This cherry blossom-flavored pink taiyaki is adorable to eat. Taiyaki is a common street and festival food in Japan, but the pink cherry blossom color of this cake is extremely rare.

The dough is fluffy, springy, and seasoned with cherry blossom leaves. The result is a sweet but slightly fruity and sour taste. This cute dessert is also very beautiful and can be shared on social media.

Sakura-flavored Taiyaki (fish-shaped waffle) snack /
Sakura-flavored Taiyaki (fish-shaped waffle) snack / matcha-jp

Where to stay in Kawazu?

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