Lonely Planet Writer

The cherry blossoms are here! Kawazu in Japan experiences the first bloom of the season

A town on the east coast of Japan has welcomed a pleasant arrival this week, as the cherry blossom trees in the area came into bloom, announcing the beginning of the season.

Cherry Blossoms Kawazu
The town of Kawazu has experienced the first bloom of the season. Image by shuzo serikawa / CC BY 2.0

A post shared by yumi♡ (@yumihr) on Feb 15, 2017 at 3:15am PST

A post shared by @shino_photravel on Feb 19, 2017 at 7:44am PST

Located in Shizuoka Prefecture, approximately three hours south of Tokyo by car, the Kawazu-zakura are a unique type of blossom, famous for being some of the earliest-blooming in the area. According to a recent forecast by the Japan Meteorological Corporation, flowers in the wider Shizouka Prefecture are not expected to bloom until next month at the earliest, with buds expected to open on 25 March, with a full bloom being projected for 3 April. However, locals and visitors alike are delighted that the zakura have come to Kawazu, taking to the streets of the town to photograph and enjoy the natural beauty on display.

A post shared by Masami (@oshimaf1.0) on Feb 19, 2017 at 12:21am PST

A post shared by mika (@mika05011972) on Feb 15, 2017 at 2:10pm PST

Kawazu is currently holding a special festival celebrating the cherry blossoms that will run until 10 March and will see millions of foreign and domestic visitors making their way to the town to take part in Hanami, or ‘cherry blossom viewing’. Kawazu has approximately 8000 cherry trees that stretch for four kilometres along the banks of the Kawazu River, creating a breath-taking and vibrant stroll for visitors. The festival also includes food stalls and night illuminations of the trees.

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.