Where is Kawazu?
Kawazu city, the birthplace of Kawazu Zakura, is located in Shizuoka prefecture which is about 2.5~3 hours from the central Tokyo by trains or a car. Kawazu Zakura or Kawazu cherry blossoms are early cherry blossoms that bloom from early February to early March. Kawazu has about 8,000 Kawazu cherry trees and about 850 trees over 4 kilometers on both banks of the Kawazu River. Its popular Kawazu cherry blossoms festival is held every year from early February to early March.
On one Sunday in February, I went on a Kawazu day trip to enjoy the 30th Kawazu cherry blossoms festival! The 30th Kawazu cherry blossoms festival was held from 10th February to 10th March in 2020. Below would be the brief report of my day trip.
This time, I went to Kawazu via Atami station as below.
(*Time table and fare may change.)
- Shinagawa station (10:10)→ Atami station (10:39) by Shinkansen ‘Hikari #507’
JPY 3,740 *Non-reserved seat
- Atami station (10:57) → Kawazu station (12:00) by Express train ‘Odoriko #5’
JPY 4,133 *Reserved seat
Direct trains from Tokyo station, Shinagawa station, and Shinjuku station are available by Express train Saphir Odoriko, yet the seats are easily fully booked during the Kawazu festival (especially weekends). As I couldn’t get a seat of Saphir Odoriko, we highly recommend reserving the seat in advance. The tickets would be on sale from 1 month prior to the boarding date.
Finally arrived at Kawazu station in Shizuoka prefecture! It took about 2 hours from Shinagawa station. As it is during the festival, Kawazu station was packed with lots of people.
This is the statue of “Dancer and me” in front of Kawazu station. The Izu Dancer written by Yasunari Kawabata, the winner of Nobel Prize for literature, is the story about his trip to Izu in Shizuoka prefecture. The book’s depictions of dancers and students in Kawazu are famous.
Beautiful Kawazu cherry blossoms and canola flowers welcome you!
Within 5 minutes walk from Kawazu station, the Kawazu river filled with Kawazu cherry blossoms and canola flowers is there.
Kawazu cheery blossom’s dark pink colored petals are so pretty.
The red bridge over the river is also beautiful!
You can enjoy lots of food stands along the river. Best way to enjoy the local food!
A small beach at the end of the Kawazu river! The left island is Oshima Island and the right is Toshima Island.
Had a little late lunch at Hamano-ya, a Japanese restaurant. It is located in front of the Kawazu station.
I enjoyed Japanese soba noodle and a bowl of rice with dried bonito!
Then I went to the Mine Onsen Water Spout Park or Mine Onsen Daifunto Park. It took about 10 minutes walk from the Kawazu river.
You can enjoy the blown up of Mine Onsen hot spring at this park. About 600 liters per minute of 100 degrees Onsen blow up to 30 meters height. The blown up is usually held every hour from 9:30am to 15:30pm.
Public foot bath is also available for free at the park!
Next, I headed to see the first Kawazu cherry tree! It is located 1.2 kilometers away from Kawazu station. The tree is said to be 54 years old in 2020. How fantastic that all the Kawazu Cherry Trees in Japan started from this tree.
Then I came across Kawazu Kinomiya Jinja Shrine.
Kawazu Kinomiya Jinja Shrine is famous for its beautiful camphor tree which is said to be more than 1,000 years old. The tree is designated as a national natural treasure.
Near Kawazu river, there is a little canola flowers farm! It was a stunning view with the sunset.
I came back to Kawazu station at 17:00 and returned to Tokyo as the same route to get to Kawazu. I changed trains at Atami station and arrived at Shinagawa station at around 19:00. As almost all the stores in Kawazu close before 17:00, we recommend getting on the return train at around 17:00! If you would like to enjoy the night illumination, it would be better to stay at Kawazu!
Kawazu in Shizuoka prefecture is filled with beautiful cherry blossoms, local food, nature, and wonderful views. Even it took about 2 hours to get there, I surely had a great day and enjoyed beautiful cherry blossoms! If you’re planning to visit Japan in February or early March which is before the top season, we recommend Kawazu to enjoy wonderful Japanese cherry blossoms!