Kawazuzakura Matsuri – Cherry Blossom Festival
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (河津, Kawazuzakura Matsuri) is held annually from early February to early March in the city of Kawazu, located on the Izu peninsula.
The popular event that celebrates the flowering of Kawazu Cherry Trees (Kawazuzakura) and attracts nearly two million visitors annually is one of the earliest opportunities of the year for visitors to admire a large number of cherry blossoms. near Tokyo.
Kawazuzakura is a type of cherry blossom that blooms sooner or later. It is so called because the flowers usually begin to bloom around early February, but at a much slower rate than most other types of cherry trees. Therefore, visitors have a longer period (about a month) to enjoy these beautiful flowers. The best viewing time is usually around two weeks around late February and early March, however this time can vary slightly from year to year depending on the temperature.
As their name suggests, Kawazu Cherry Trees were first discovered in Kawazu in the 1950s. They have been systematically planted throughout the city by various neighborhoods of the city, mainly along Kawazu River, flows west of Kawazu Station. A short walk from the river, the original Kawazuzakura tree that led to this sakura's reputation is located in a residential area. Visitors can see trees over 60 years old.
More notable is the festival that takes place along the banks of the Kawazu River, surrounded by the seemingly never-ending line of Kawazu Cherry Trees that stretch for about four kilometers. Usually, the trees near where the river flows into the ocean begin to bloom first, before the festival season gradually spreads northward towards Kawazu Seven Falls.
There are mostly festival stalls along the river walk, offering a variety of cooked foods, dried foods, locally produced citrus fruits, souvenirs and trees. Small kawazuzakura can be brought home to plant. If you visit at night, you can admire the shimmering lights held during the festival from 18:00 to 21:00. The festival venue is easily found from Kawazu Station on the Izukyu Railway.
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