My original plans were to go Atami for the Plum festival but a few days before my trip, I chanced upon Kawazu, slightly further down from Atami, and the cherry blossoms there were set to full bloom during the period I was travelling. (Just FYI the variety of cherry blossom that is grown there, kawazu-zakura, is on of the earliest blooming variety thus blooming outside of the usual blooming periods for the rest of Japan)
Wanted to reserve seats for the Ltd Exp Odoriko train which brings me straight to Kawazu from Tokyo station but unsurprisingly, it was fully reserved. (If you can, take the Ltd Exp Odoriko Superview version with much much bigger windows allowing for very nice sight seeing along the journey) Left with no choice, I had to join the queue for the non-reserved seats which I luckily manage to snag a seat. If not I would have to stand for the whole 3 hours journey.
Ekiben bought from inside Tokyo station for breakfast! It was good.
I expected a lot of people to be there, but the sheer amount of people actually there was even more than what I could imagine. Cherry blossom could be found on the banks of the river and the stretches for a good 4 km. The first 1.5 km (I think? A very rough estimate) has stalls lined up side by side of each other selling a variety of products, ice cream, dried goods, yakisoba etc etc.. the typical festival stores. And of course, many stalls have sakura flavored/related products since its a cherry blossom festival!
So enough reading and just enjoy the pictures below!
The tree of origin for Kawazu-zakura
The further you are from the station, the lesser the people you will encounter
A 3/4 cup of Hand Pressed Mikan Juice that cost me 600 YEN. So expensive but I must say it tasted really really sweet and refreshing!
Spent my whole day here, slowly walking, relaxing & eating.Waited for the night illumination to start and I regretted it. Was not that impressive as I thought it will be and only certain areas have the light up. Didn’t bother with much night shots but overall was still nice. As the last Ltd Exp Odoriko train leaves Kawazu before night. I had to take a gruesome 4 hr journey back to Tokyo using the local trains. Stood half of the trip back and had to do 3 train transfer.
Reached back at my Hostel at around 10, bought some food from a combini nearby and had them for dinner. Had to rush to pack my luggage as I am checking out my hostel tomorrow to head to Karuizawa for my next night!