Sakura, or cherry blossom trees, are an important part of Japanese culture and one of the national symbols of Japan. Every year, the Japanese follow the forecast of the “cherry blossom front” to schedule their Hanami (cherry blossom viewing picnics) during the short windows when the sakura bloom. Tokyo is still too cold for Sakura this time of year, but the small country town of Kawazu, in nearby Shizuoka prefecture, is famous for its early season sakura cherry blossom festival. This 2017, from late February to early March, Sakura trees lining 4km along the Kawazu River experience an early full bloom and visitors from all over Japan come to stroll by the picturesque cherry blossoms. Go on a full day trip outside Tokyo to experience the Sakura, and sample some of the best local produce and fresh seafood from the Shizuoka region. Your first stop from Tokyo will be at the strawberry fields around the Shizuoka countryside to pick a fresh variety of strawberries. Eat as many as you like and try some of the local strawberry jam provided by the local farms. Afterwards, reach the town of Kawazu and tuck in to your Sakura-themed bento lunch box from one of the town’s oldest restaurants. Enjoy your own Hanami underneath the cherry blossom trees and take a walk along the riverside to admire the unforgettable scenery. In the afternoon, the bus will make a stop at the fishing port of Numazi, where you will have a chance to browse the local markets and try some of the freshest seafood in Japan. Be sure to pick up a snack before getting back on the bus for the ride back to Shinjuku!
View photo instructions