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The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (͒ÍՂ, Kawazuzakura Matsuri) is held yearly from early February to early March in the city of Kawazu, located on the Izu Peninsula. The popular event celebrates the flowering of the Kawazu Cherry Trees (Kawazuzakura) and attracts almost two million visitors annually as one of the earliest opportunities in the year to see large numbers of cherry blossoms near Tokyo.

Kawazuzakura are an early flowering variety of cherry tree. The trees usually start opening around the beginning of February, but do so at an uncharacteristically slow pace compared to most other cherry tree varieties. Consequently, visitors have a longer time frame (about a month) to enjoy their beautiful flowers. The best viewing time usually last for about two weeks around late February and early March, although this can vary quite a bit from year to year depending on the temperatures.

As their name suggests, Kawazu Cherry Trees were first discovered in Kawazu in the 1950s. They were then systematically planted across the city by the various neighborhoods of the city, mostly along the Kawazu River, which flows west of Kawazu Station. A short walk from the river, the original Kawazuzakura tree that led to the fame of this sakura variety stands in a residential district. Visitors can see the over 60 year old tree up close.

Fittingly, the festival takes place along the banks of the Kawazu River, which is lined by seemingly never-ending rows of Kawazu Cherry Trees stretching approximately four kilometers. Typically, the trees in the town center start to open their cherry blossoms first, before the season gradually spreads upriver towards the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls.

Almost equally numerous are festival stalls that line the walking path along the river, offering a wide selection of cooked food, dried foodstuff, locally produced citrus fruits, souvenirs, and small kawazuzakura trees that can be taken home and planted. Yellow rape blossoms which open at about the same time as the Kawazuzakura add to the lovely scenery. Night illuminations are held during part of the festival (February 10 to March 10, 2020) from 18:00 to 21:00.

Getting there and around

The festival venue is most easily accessed from Kawazu Station on the Izukyu Railway Line. Immediately upon exiting the station you will come across the festival stalls and Kawazuzakura trees. It takes less than five minutes to walk to the Kawazu River from the station.

How to get to and around the Izu Peninsula

Hotels around Izu Peninsula

Top rated on the Izu Peninsula
Budget:
    • Watei Kazekomichi
      Luxury
      Located in Atami, 1.4 km from Atami Sun Beach, Watei Kazekomichi provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Each accommodation at the 4-star ryokan has sea views, and guests can enjoy access to a terrace. The ryokan features a hot spring bath, room service and free WiFi. At the ryokan, every room is fitted with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. At Watei Kazekomichi, each room is equipped with a seating area. An Asian breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Kinomiya Shrine is 1.2 km from Watei Kazekomichi, while MOA Museum of Art is 3.5 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 82 km from the ryokan.
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    • Ryokan Izuna
      Budget-friendly
      Located a 20-minute walk from JR Atami Station and 1.7km from Atami Onsen, Ryokan Izuna offers ocean views and Japanese-style breakfast. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. All rooms at Ryokan Izuna feature an ocean view with tatami (woven-straw) floor. All rooms have a private bathroom. The dormitory room features a bamboo garden. Free luggage storage is available at Ryokan Izuna. Guests can relax in the shared lounge, which overlooks the on-site garden with cherry blossoms in spring. Food and drink is offered at the property at an additional cost. There are a few restaurants and a supermarket within a 3-minute walk from the property. An array of activities are offered in the area, such as golfing, scuba diving and hiking. Izusan Shrine is a 10-minute walk from Ryokan Izuna, while Jyukkoku Pass is a 30-minute drive away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 80 km from the property.
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    • atami onsen guesthouse nagomi
      Budget-friendly
      Boasting a garden, terrace and views of sea, atami onsen guesthouse nagomi is set in Atami, 1 km from Atami Sun Beach. This 1-star guest house offers a shared kitchen and luggage storage space. The air-conditioned rooms provide a garden view and come with a desk and free WiFi. At the guest house all rooms include a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. Atami onsen guesthouse nagomi offers 1-star accommodation with a hot spring bath and hot tub. Kinomiya Shrine is 600 metres from the accommodation, while MOA Museum of Art is 2.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 82 km from atami onsen guesthouse nagomi.
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    • Guesthouse Nishihara
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring a shared lounge, garden and views of garden, Guesthouse Nishihara is located in Atami, 600 metres from Atami Sun Beach. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a barbecue. The accommodation provides a hot spring bath, free WiFi and a shared kitchen. Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a hot tub, a hairdryer and a desk. All units will provide guests with a stovetop. Popular points of interest near the guest house include MOA Museum of Art, Kinomiya Shrine and Izusan Shrine. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 80 km from Guesthouse Nishihara.
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    • Atami Onsen Guest House Megumi
      Mid-range
      Situated in a quiet neighbourhood in Atami, Guest House Megumi is just a 5-minute walk from JR Atami Station. Atami Sun Beach is can be reached via a 4-minute stroll. Private parking and free WiFi are available on site. Every room has a sea view, and guests can enjoy fireworks during Atami Fireworks Festival in a guest room. A shared bathroom comes with free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is a shared lounge with a TV at the property. For guests' comfort, a natural hot spring bath is provided free of charge. Rental towels and washing machine are available at a fee. There are some dining options and convenience store within a 10-minute walk. Izusan Shrine is 1.6 km from Guest House Megumi, while Nagahama Beach is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 81 km from Guest House Megumi.
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    • Guest House MARUYA
      Budget-friendly
      Located in the central area of Atami and a 15-minute walk from JR Atami Station, Guest House MARUYA offers capsule rooms fitted with Japanese futon-bedding. Guests can take a few minutes' walk to soak in the nearby hot springs or a 10-minute drive to visit the Atami Castle. JR Shinyokohama Station can be reached with a 50-minute ride on the shinkansen (bullet train). Haneda Airport is a 2-hour drive away from the property. There is a shared kitchen and lounge, where guests can socialise and relax. Washing machines and towel rentals are available at a surcharge. Each room at MARUYA Guest House comes with a power outlet and clothes hangers. Bathroom facilities are shared with other guests. Meals are not provided at the property; however, there are several dining options nearby.
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    • Onsen Hostel Hinoemi
      Budget-friendly
      Onsen Hostel Hinoemi is located in Atami, 1.2 km from Atami Onsen. The on-site public hot spring bath is open between 08:00-10:00 and 15:00-23:00. The shared shower and shared kitchen at the property are open 24 hours. Some units include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Each room is equipped with a shared bathroom. The nearest airport is Haneda Airport, 80 km from the property.
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    • Atami Koro
      Mid-range
      Boasting beautiful sea views from its hilltop location, Atamikoro provides Japanese and Western-style rooms. The property is a 5-minute drive from JR Ajiro Station and a complimentary shuttle service is provided. Free WiFi is available throughout the premises. Renovated in July 2015, all rooms at Atami Koro feature ocean views and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV with video games. They have a tatami (woven-straw) floor, traditional futon bedding and a seating area with chairs and a coffee table. Toilets and bathing facilities are shared. Guests at Atamikoro can relax on comfortable sofas in the shared lounge. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling, hiking and snorkelling. Free-use laundry facilities (detergent not included), free-use bicycles and free parking are on site.
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    • Hotel Micuras
      Mid-range
      Located along Atami Sun Beach and looking out to the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Micuras boasts spacious hot spring baths, a sauna and a massage spa. This modern and stylish hotel offers large guestrooms and free Wi-Fi at the public area. JR Atami Station is a 10-minute walk away. Fitted with a relaxing ambience and wide windows, each room comes with a comfortable sofa, a flat-screen TV and a DVD player. A fridge and an electric kettle with tea bags are also included. Rooms with sea views feature a shower booth with a rain shower head. While staying at the Micuras Hotel guests can unwind in the public hot spring baths with a great ocean view, or receive rejuvenating massages at on-site Sanacion Spa. Free luggage storage services are offered. The hotel is a 12-minute walk from Kinomiya Shrine. MOA Museum of Art is a 10-minute drive or taxi ride away. Micuras Dining restaurant offers exquisite French cuisine and fine wine in an elegant setting. The hotel serves American breakfast daily.
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    • Izu no Umi
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring a terrace and views of city, Izu no Umi is located in Atami, 600 metres from Atami Sun Beach. Featuring a shared lounge, the 2-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Guest rooms in the guest house are equipped with a kettle. At Izu no Umi each room is fitted with a desk and a flat-screen TV. Languages spoken at the reception include Japanese and Chinese. Kinomiya Shrine is 1.4 km from the accommodation, while Izusan Shrine is 3.5 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 82 km from Izu no Umi.
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