One of the most beautiful visions I’ve ever seen is the combination of pink sakura and yellow nanohana. Kawazu town in Izu, Shizuoka, comes alive each February when these stunning flowers bloom simultaneously.
Last week, I made a fairly last-minute decision to go to Kawazu, a place that had been on my must-go list since moving to Tokyo and hearing about it from literally everyone here. I booked a cheap hostel, packed an overnight bag, jumped on the train and headed 3 hours south to the Izu peninsula, a place most commonly known as a summer/beachside holiday destination.
As soon as I got off the train, I was met with a town packed with flowers… thousands and thousands of baby pink flowers. Stretching for about 4km along the Kawazu River, it is the most famous place in the country to see the special, early-blooming variety of cherry blossom, called kawazu-zakura.
The kawazu-zakura was actually ‘created’ right here in this town, and you can see the original tree still standing where it was planted over 60 years ago. It’s crazy to think any kawazu-zakura you see around Japan exists because of this one tree! The main difference between this variety and the more commonly seen somei-yoshino, is the petals are bigger and the pink is more intense.
The first day of my weekend getaway, it was overcast but I still had the best time walking through sakura tunnels, sitting by the calm river, soaking my feet in natural hot spring water, and eating all the sakura-flavoured foods I could find: sakura daifuku, sakura taiyaki, sakura ice cream, sakura-mochi… all so delicious!
The second day, I was up early to try make the most of area before all the crowds arrived. I was blessed with perfect blue skies. Matched with the sakura in full bloom and yellow and green nanohana, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.