Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival in Miura

Did you know that there are hundreds of varieties of cherry blossom trees and the earliest variety blooms from February each year? This species of cherry blossom is called ‘Kawazu Sakura (河津桜)’ and can not only be found in its’ originating town called Kawazu on the Izu Peninsula, but also in a few spots close to Tokyo. It’s actually quite crazy that within an hour from Tokyo, you can either go north for peak powder snowboarding or go south to take part in peak cherry blossom viewings while enjoying spring temperatures! One of the best features of Japanese winters is definitely the clear blue skies on most days, which is ideal for any kind of outdoor activity.

Komatsugaike Park

Visit the Cherry Blossom Festival in Miura

One of the most popular areas to see the early cherry blossoms is on Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa, south of Tokyo and Yokohama. The exact area of the Kawazu cherry trees is between Misakiguchi Station and Miura Kaigan Station along the Keikyu railway line. You can take part in their annual, large-scale cherry blossom festival, called ‘sakura matsuri'(桜祭) in Japanese. These festivals all over Japan traditionally offer lots of food and drink stalls with Japanese snacks, such as taiyaki (fished shape waffle), yakisoba (fried noodles), yakitori (grilled chicken), amazake (sweet fermented rice drink) and more. Another characteristic of traditional Japanese cherry blossom festivals are the pretty colourful lanterns nestled along the cherry blossom-lined streets, often lit up at night.

The best route to see Kawazu cherry blossoms in Miura:

  • Start by taking the train to Miura Kaigan Station and explore the large variety of food booths and specialist restaurants around the station.
  • Walk along the train line to Komatsugaike Park – a park around a lake, where you will find a large area with beautiful views, more food stalls and if you’re lucky, some space to sit and eat.
  • Follow the train line southwest to the final stop on the Keikyu line – Misakiguchi. Along the way, there are many signs and guiding staff, so you won’t get lost.

Here are 4 tips when visiting the cherry blossom festival in Miura Kaigan:

  1. Leave your car at home and arrive by train, walking along the cherry blossom-lined streets, as there is limited parking and the streets are very congested.
  2. If you can, go on a weekday and as early as it opens, as it can get extremely crowded. (Or if you’re not bothered about the food stalls, go before everything opens.)
  3. Make sure you follow the official homepage to find out the exact dates of the festival, as it may take place a bit later/earlier than the actual bloom.
  4. Some of the best cherry blossom viewing spots are from the steps and bridges, that you have to cross over to get on either side of the train line.
Bring a bag, if you plan to go daikon picking 😊

Go Daikon picking!

Coincidentally, just before going visiting the cherry blossom festival on Miura Peninsula, we watched an NHK documentary about daikon (Japanese white radish) in Miura. Apparently, Miura is famous for it and we saw fields along the route, where you can pick your own daikon for a small fee. This seemed to be especially popular with families.

Exploring Miura by bike

We actually took our bikes on the train down to Miura and then cycled along the sea all the way back up to Yokohama, via the outskirts of Yokosuka. This was a fairly easy, 45km cycle, but it’s a shame that the road along the seaside has heavy traffic and there isn’t a dedicated cycling lane.

Mount Fuji Sunset Views on our Cycle Back to Yokohama

What are your favourite cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan?

– Her

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