Kawazu Cherry Blossom 2024: the Earliest Sakura Festival in Eastern Japan

Last Updated: February 08,2024

The Kawazu cherry blossom (also referred to as Kawazu Zakura in Japanese) is the earliest cherry blossom variety to bloom in Japan each year, from early February to early March. The petals of the Kawazu Sakura are larger and pinker than normal Japanese cherry blossoms, and because the clusters overlap, they have a rich and layered pink color. As the Kawazu cherry blossom festival is around the corner, plan your private guided trip now if you hope to enjoy viewing the Kawazu Sakura.

Table of Contents

1. Kawazu Cherry Blossom Forecast

2. Ways to Celebrate Kawazu Zakura Festival

3. Highlights of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Viewing

4. Best Places to Admire Kawazu Cherry Blossoms

5. Kyoto's Kawazu-Zakura Cherry Trees in Yodo

6. Tokyo to Kawazu

1. Best Time to View Kawazu Cherry Blossom

Are the cherry blossoms in Kawazu in February? The blooming time of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom is the earliest among all the Sakura season festivals in Honshu, Japan. The Kawazu cherry blossoms begin to bloom in February, while the cherry blossom season usually starts in March or April. (>>>More Details on Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast)

Kawazu Sakura Festival

Kawazu is the birthplace of the Kawazu cherry blossoms, so how can you not go to Kawazu to enjoy the Kawazu zakura festival? Kawazu is located on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, a two-hour drive from Tokyo, and there are plenty of places to visit in the surrounding area, making it perfect for a small trip in early spring. Kawazu Sakura blooming time is a month earlier than the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, so if you want to avoid the peak of the cherry blossom season, Kawazu is a great place to view Japanese Sakura. And it can be considered as a secret cherry blossom viewing spot to view Japanese Sakura during cherry blossom travel in spring.

2. How to Enjoy the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Season

Japan has been enjoying cherry blossoms viewing for 500 years, and it is a tradition known as "Hanami". During the period of flowers in full bloom in Japan Sakura season, Japanese people invite their friends, family, favorite people, and colleagues to enjoy Hanami, and welcome the arrival of spring by eating snacks and sushi, singing and dancing under the cherry blossom trees. Although cherry blossoms are not commonly seen until March or April, in Izu's Kawazu, you can already view a vast of cherry blossoms in February. Every year, Kawazu holds the Kawazu Sakura festival from February 10 to March 10, so that the early cherry blossom can bring the message of spring to everyone. But where is the Kawazu Sakura festival? During the Kawazu zakura cherry blossom season, Kawazu Town organizes a grand blossom viewing party, during which visitors can buy seasonal local souvenirs and eat limited-edition cherry blossom season food. Pink snapper yakisoba is the most unique local festival food, and it is a must-try for its beautiful taste and color in Kawazu Sakura Season.

Kawazu Cherry Blossom

3. Highlights of the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Viewing

Sea of Cherry Blossom Flowers

A sea of 8,000 cherry blossom trees is a stunning and moving sight in early spring. The cherry blossoms in Kawazu are famous for their "large pink flowers," which make them ideal for detailed portraits. However, it is important to take care of the cherry blossom trees when photographing the Kawazu Sakura.

Cherry Blossoms & Rapeseed Flowers

Another unique feature of Kawazu's hanami is the fields of rapeseed blossoms under the cherry blossom trees along the riverside of the Kawazu River. Every year, when the local Kawazu cherry blossoms are in full bloom, rapeseed flowers also bloom, and visitors can take stunning pictures of the fields in pink and yellow, which is impossible to see in other cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan.

4. Best Places to Admire Kawazu Cherry Blossoms

The Kawazu cherry blossom is a natural cross between the early-blooming Oshima cherry blossom and the Himawari cherry blossom, and has not only large flowers but also sweet pink color. With the blooming of Izu Sakura, Kawazu is filled with the scent of spring.

For the itinerary to appreciate the Izu Kawazu Sakura, you can take the JR Ito Line to Kawazu-cho Station and walk to the Kawazu River. The best cherry blossom viewing spot in the area is located along the river, as well as several popular cherry blossom viewing spots, the site of the Hanami Matsuri festival, and the nighttime cherry blossom lighting site are also located near the river. This itinerary can be considered as a 1-day trip, and even if you don't stay overnight, it's a very fulfilling way to organize your 1-day tour there. If you spend 1 week in Japan during the cherry blossom season, you can also check the 1-week Japan Sakura itinerary Ideas to get more inspirations on Japan cherry blossom trips.

Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Along the Kawazu River: the most recommended cherry blossom viewing spot to view Kawazu Sakura. Along the Kawazu River from the Hamabashi Bridge from the mouth of the river, there are large areas of Kawazu cherry blossoms along a distance of nearly 5 kilometers to the Minami-Ohashi Bridge. Two places, in particular, are recommended: Kinomiya Bridge to Oarikon 1 Hida Bridge, and Hamabashi Bridge to Tatebashi Bridge. The Kawazu River has the largest number of cherry blossoms in Kawazu, with 1/10 of the cherry blossoms in Kawazu Town, and it is also the best place to enjoy cherry blossoms and rapeseed flowers.

Kawazu Sakura Original Tree, Imai-so, and the neighborhood of Odoriko Onsen, one of the hidden Onsens in Japan, are all worth a visit. The Cherry Blossom Path behind the Odoriko Onsen Clubhouse is a beautiful and romantic path made of blooming cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms in Kawazu Sakura Original Tree are planted in 1955, which has a very important place in the history of cherry blossoms in Kawazu.

Kawazu Nanadaru: Kawazu Nanadaru is in Kawazu's northern district, and because it is in the mountains, the cherry blossoms here bloom later than that of other Kawazu cherry blossoms, so if you go late, you can consider this place. The Kawazu Nanadaru Loop Bridge next to it is an interesting bridge.

5. Kawazu-Zakura Cherry Trees in Yodo: The Earliest Cherry Blossoms in Kansai

Generally speaking, Yoshino cherry blossoms bloom at the end of March and the beginning of April, while Kawazukura cherry blossoms bloom in February and March. When it comes to Kawazu cherry blossoms, the first attractions that come to mind are the Izu-Kawazu cherry blossoms and the Miura Beach Kawazu cherry blossoms. However, in fact, Kyoto, Osaka, and other Kansai regions also have good places to enjoy Kawazu Sakura, and among them, we have to mention the cherry blossom tunnel of Kawazu-Zakura Cherry Trees in Yodo, Kyoto.

Located near the Kyoto Racecourse, the Yodo Suiro Waterway is a famous Kawazu cherry blossom tunnel to enjoy the Kyoto cherry blossom season. Local residents planted 200 Kawazu cherry blossoms along the waterway more than ten years ago, and you can enjoy the Kawazu Zakura in full bloom from mid-February to the end of March every year. It is about a 10-minute walk from the nearest station, Yodo, and the route from the station to Kawazu-Zakura Cherry Trees in Yodo is not complicated, as you can walk straight along the viaduct or follow the crowds to get there.

Kawazu Zakura

Although the cherry blossoms of Yodo Suiro Waterway are small and it is a bit far away from Kyoto city center, they are quite beautiful when in full bloom. If you are staying in Osaka and want to visit Kyoto, you can take the Keihan Electric Railway to get there.

There is a small field of rape flowers in the second half of the Kawazukura on Yodo Suiro Waterway. Although it is not very big, and the Kawazukura is not very thick, the golden rape flowers and pink Kawazukura have a beautiful color collision, which is very suitable for taking pictures. In Kansai, where there are almost no Kawazu cherry blossoms to enjoy, it is quite nice to have this Yodo Suiro Waterway Cherry Blossom Spot to walk around, as it is enough to feel the arrival of early spring.

Address: Yodoshinmachi, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 613-0906, Japan

Access: 9-minute walk from Keihan Electric Railway Yodo Station.

6. Tokyo to Kawazu

Where is Kawazu? How do I get to Kawazu cherry blossom festival? Kawazu is located in the southern part of Izu, a peninsula very close to Tokyo. And Tokyo is the closest major city to Izu in terms of popular travel destinations, and the entry and exit destination for many people who choose to travel to Izu. Take the Osaka-bound Shinkansen from Tokyo and get off at Atami Station with 1 hour's drive, then transfer to the JR Ito Line/Izu Kyushita Line, a coastal train line that passes through the major towns in eastern Izu and finally arrives at the southernmost area.

The journey from Atami to the south takes about 110 minutes, and 90 minutes to Kawazu-cho, with a total of 17 stops. Express trains directly from Kawazu to Tokyo also stop at major stations. Some trains run for a limited time depending on the popular season, but the popular season is usually summer, so you won't have a chance to take it when you are enjoying Kawazu cherry blossoms in early spring.

Kawazu Sakura Tokyo


Unlike the Someiyoshino cherry blossoms which bloom and fade quickly, the Kawazu cherry blossom blooms for up to a month, so you can stay in Kawazu for a while, enjoying the sea of blossoms and slowing down to feel the softness of Kawazu. If you are still in Japan after viewing the Kawazu Sakura in March, you can also head to Tokyo, or Kyoto, or Osaka to enjoy more Japanese cherry blossom festivals. Check our 2-week Japan Sakura itinerary inspirations to get ideas on planning your Japan Sakura tours now.

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