If you are planning to travel to Izu in February to March, you may have opportunities to appreciate Kawazu cherry blossoms. There is also an event which is an exhibition of doll’s in Inatori at the same time. The location of two event is close so you can visit two events on the same day.
Kawazu cherry tree is a kind of cherry blossoms. The time of bloom is earlier than the common kind cherry tree (Yoshino cherry tree), and the middle of February through the middle of March is the best time to see it. It is blooming for a long time than ordinary cherry blossoms. The same day a man who lived in Kawazu, found cherry blossoms blooming in riverside and planted the trees in his home garden. A few years later, cherry blossoms bloomed. It was very beautiful, so he planted along the Kawazu River. Kawazu town investigated this characteristic early-bloom cherry tree and this cherry tree was named Kawazuzakura (Kawazu Sakura) in 1974 because there is the original tree in Kawazu-town. In 1975 it was designated as a tree of Kawazu town.
The highlight is about 800 Kawazu cherry blossoms blooming over 4 km along the Kawazu River. There are yellow rape blossoms nearby cherry trees and it is colorful and beautiful. Kawazu cherry blossoms may bloom for a long time rather than ordinary cherry blossoms, so there may be opportunities to see them.
In conjunction with the blooming of cherry blossoms, Cherry blossom festival is held every year in Kawazu Town. (From the middle of February to the beginning of March) During this festival, stalls, souvenir shops, cafe and dining hall will be opened extraordinarily along the main venue of the Kawazu River. At the sunset time and night, the cherry blossoms along the river light up and it is very beautiful. Because I went in the daytime, I missed it.
Lacation: Kawazu, Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access: From Tokyo to Odawara or Atami on Tokaido Line (100 min) or Shinkansen (50 min). Atami to Kawazu on JR Ito line about 75 minutes.
Season: Middle of Febraury to Middle of March (Please check HP before you visit)
Leaving Kawazu, I went to Inatori area to see an exhibition of doll’s decoration. I took a train from Kawazu station to Inatori station for 10 minutes.
Hanging dolls are a decoration displayed with Japanese traditional events called peach festival held on March 3. The peach festival is called the doll festival. It is a day to pray for healthy growth and happy future of girls. Especially the first peach festival for a baby girl after born is called first sekku. there is a traditional celebration that the family on the mother’s side gives dolls to the baby girls and have a big party for her. The type of doll decoration depends on the region. In the Izu area, hanging type is famous for doll festival and it is rare.
There are some places in Inatori the same event is held but that of in Culture park is the largest scale, 100 pairs (11000 pieces) of dolls are displayed. Generally speaking, if parents have daughters, the family displays Hina dolls in their house around February. And soon after March 3rd. we must put the decoration dolls in because it is said that if the decoration is left even after March 3rd. the daughter might be late to get marry.
Lacation: Inatori, Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access: From Tokyo to Odawara or Atami on Tokaido Line(100 min) or Shinkansen(50 min). Atami to Kawazu on JR Ito line about 65 minutes.
Season: End of January to End of March (Please check HP before you visit)
Inatori association of Sightseeing http://www.inatorionsen.or.jp/hina_sp/sp_old.html