Most of us may still be drearily dealing with gloomy weather and cold temperatures, but spring is already in full swing in Kawazu, Shizuoka.
Even though the region's Kawazu cherry trees bloom pleasantly prematurely each year, a recent spell of warm weather has welcomed the iconic flowers even earlier than usual. The pretty pink flowers made their much anticipated appearance on February 15—their earliest arrival date in 15 years—and will be viewable until the start of March. Kawazu is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the pastel blooms, as an impressive 800 cherry trees line the winding Kawazu-gawa River, making the picturesque landscape even more charming than usual.
Like many areas in Japan (and even in the United States), the town celebrates the colorful, natural phenomenon with a festival. This year marks Kawazu's 27th cherry blossom festival, which runs until March 10 and will likely attract about 1 million visitors. In addition to an awe-inspiring view of the gorgeous trees (which, at night, are beautifully illuminated), the festival also features stalls that offer food, regional citrus fruits, souvenirs, and adorably tiny cherry trees that visitors can plant at home!