The time for cherry blossom, sakura, viewing is just around the corner in Japan. An early cherry blossom, kawazu sakura, has already been in full bloom in Kawazu, located in Shizuoka, since the end of February. Now, slowly as the temperature increases, many places around Japan start to have beautiful pink cherry blossoms at full bloom. Likewise in Izukogen, the streets from Izukogen Station annually showcase beautiful cherry blossoms, which attract people from all over the place. Let’s get ready for beautiful cherry blossom viewing in Izukogen!
You can enjoy cherry blossoms twice in Shizuoka
At some areas in Shizuoka prefecture, you can enjoy the symbol of Japanese spring, cherry blossoms, more than once during this season. In February, you get to enjoy the early cherry blossoms, Kawazu Zakura in Kawazu and other surrounding areas. The characteristics of Kawazu Zakura are that they generally bloom about a month prior to the other kinds of cherry blossoms, and also the flowers are generally larger in size than other cherry blossoms, such as Somei Yoshino.
In Izukogen, which is located approximately a 25 minute train ride from Kawazu, you get to see a few of these Kawazu Zakura blooming at few places around the town. However, Izukogen is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms that generally bloom from the beginning to mid-April, which are different from the other kinds that you’ll see. These cherry blossoms in Izukogen are so spectacular that Izukogen is called the village of cherry blossoms because of the tunnels of cherry blossoms that line the streets of Izukogen attracting people from all over Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Tokyo, and other surrounding areas.
Izukogen as the cherry blossom village
Izukogen’s cherry blossoms are so famous for its beauty and scale, that annually there is a cherry blossom festival held from mid-March to early April. This year, this is the 39th event since it first started, and the kick off day of the event is on March 12th and goes to April 3rd. During the festival, there will be three stages of cherry blossoms, and you get to enjoy various kinds of cherry blossoms, such as Oshima Sakura and Kanshi Sakura. If you happen to visit during the festivals on the weekend, there will be some shows, such as Hula dance performances and concerts, so you get to enjoy cherry blossoms along with fun entertainment. Something you want to be warned of is that it will be extremely popular and very crowded. Because of this, the festival organizer recommends that you to take a train or a bus to visit, rather than driving yourself to avoid any extra stress.
Get a snack and walk under the cherry blossoms
Japanese people particularly enjoy the season when the cherry blossoms bloom to such an extent that many people gather under cherry blossoms and throw a party. This cherry blossom viewing party is called ohanami, and people tend to enjoy these beautiful flowers with some delicious food and drinks.
If you are walking under the arch of the cherry blossoms in Izukogen, why don’t you try some of the local specials? Ichao is Izukogen’s local cream puff store, which is convenient and ideal for those viewing the cherry blossoms because the cream puffs are designed for those who want to eat while you walk around. These cream puffs are shaped like a cone so that you can hold it while you walk around! The store is only open Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, therefore if you are visiting during the weekend or on a Monday, you might want to get a cream puff, have something sweet, and walk under the cherry blossoms. They have special flavors as well as regular cream puffs, so you might want to try green tea and the season’s specials if you are adventurous.
Enjoy Izukogen’s unique museums
If you still have energy after seeing cherry blossoms in Izukogen, you can always make a visit to various museums found throughout the city. Because it is a popular destination for Japanese people as well as increasingly becoming popular for international travelers, there are a lot of fun, entertaining museums around Izukogen as well as fresh sea food, relaxing onsen, and other beautiful seasonal flowers. One of the most popular museums is the Izu Teddy Bear Museum where you can see hundreds of different kinds of teddy bears. If you are looking for a museum where you can actually have a hands on experience, going to Mangekyo-kan, the kaleidoscope museum will be fun. There are approximately 20 museums all around Izukogen, so you can always find something exciting that fits your interests.
Experience spring in Japan by visiting Izukogen
Spring is a very special time of the year for Japanese people because school and work start during this season. For this reason, when the cherry blossoms bloom it is very significant for Japanese people because they symbolize new beginnings and bring hope for the future. If you are visiting Japan during March or April, hopefully you’ll have the chance to see the cherry blossoms from where you’re staying t. If you happen to be in Tokyo, you can always make a day trip to Izukogen or have a two day mini trip so that you get to enjoy these beautiful seasonal flowers, and perhaps the fresh local seafood, a relaxing onsen, and the unique museums. It will be a very luxurious mini trip out of Tokyo for sure!
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