Let’s go see some early blooming cherry blossoms!

Every year in February, the KAWAZU sakura (cherry blossom) festival takes place in the small coastal town of Kawazu, located in the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

This festival is one of the earliest opportunities to see cherry blossoms, which typically bloom in late March or early April.

The KAWAZU sakura (cherry blossom) is a variety of cherry blossom that is unique to the area, with bright pink flowers that bloom earlier than other cherry blossom varieties.

Left: Somei-Yoshino, Right: Kawazu


The festival is a celebration of these early blooming cherry blossoms and attracts visitors from all over Japan and around the world.



The 33rd (2023) KAWAZU Cherry Blossom Festival

The festival usually runs for about a month, starting in early February and ending in early March.

During this time, the streets of Kawazu are lined with over 8,000 cherry blossom trees, creating a stunning pink canopy.

KAWAZU cherry blossom along Kawazu river


Visitors can enjoy the blossoms while taking a leisurely stroll along the Kawazu River or through the town’s various parks and gardens.

In addition to the beautiful cherry blossoms, the festival also features various events and activities for visitors to enjoy.

One of the highlights of the festival is the nightly illumination of the cherry blossom trees, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.

Nightly illumination


There are also traditional Japanese performances, such as TAIKO drumming and dance, as well as food and souvenir stalls.


The 33rd (2023) KAWAZU Cherry Blossom Festival
Period: February 1 – March 5, 2023 *scheduled
Best viewing time: Full bloom today, February 26
Venue: JR Kawazu Station, along Kawazu River


Visitors can also participate in the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls Hike, which is a popular trek in the area that takes hikers through seven waterfalls surrounded by cherry blossom trees.


Origin of Kawazu Cherry Blossoms

The was planted in its present location by Mr. Iida of Kawazu-cho, who found a seedling of the cherry tree sprouting and blooming among winter weeds along the Kawazu River one day in February around 1955.

Origin KAWAZU cherry tree


The cherry tree has been in bloom since 1966, and its light red flowers bloomed continuously for about a month starting in late January, attracting the attention of the neighborhood.

Mr. Katsumata, who lives in Ito City, has propagated this cherry since around 1968, contributing greatly to the spread of this cherry tree.

Since the original tree is located in Kawazu Town, this cherry was named Kawazu-zakura in 1974, and in 1975 it was designated as the Kawazu Town tree.


KAWAZU Sakura little-known spots

While the KAWAZU sakura festival is a popular destination for viewing cherry blossoms, there are also some little-known spots where visitors can enjoy the early blooming cherry blossoms away from the crowds.

The Hamaoka coast of Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the most beautiful and serene places to view the Kawazu cherry blossoms.

Hamaoka Sand Dunes White Sand Park


Along the 600-meter east-west stretch of the bicycle path at the entrance to the Hamaoka Dunes, some 230 KAWAZU cherry trees are in full bloom!

The Hamaoka Dunes Cherry Blossom Festival is being held again this year.

The long stretch of beach, the rocky cliffs, and the boardwalk that runs alongside the cherry trees make a vivid contrast between the pink of the KAWAZU cherry blossoms and the light blue of the blue sky, and are sure to be a photo-worthy sight!

The path is flat, so everyone from small children to the elderly can enjoy a stroll in peace.


Hamaoka Dunes Cherry Blossom Festival
Period: February 18 (Sat.) – March 5 (Sun.), 2023 *scheduled
Best viewing time: Late February – early March
Venue: Hamaoka Sand Dunes White Sand Park


Today, February 26, 2023 (Sun.), the blooming status is 50~70% in bloom.


You can enjoy a scenic stroll while admiring the pink flowers reflected in the blue sea.



The KAWAZU sakura festival is a must-visit for cherry blossom enthusiasts who want to experience the beauty of these delicate flowers earlier than usual.

The festival is easily accessible by train or car from Tokyo, and visitors can combine their trip with a visit to nearby attractions such as the beaches of the Izu Peninsula or the hot springs of Atami.

In conclusion, the KAWAZU sakura festival is a unique and unforgettable experience that celebrates the early blooming cherry blossoms of Japan.

It is a perfect destination for anyone who loves nature, culture, and adventure.

So why not plan your trip to Kawazu and witness the beauty of the KAWAZU sakura for yourself?