Mild Winter Brings Cherry Blossoms To Izu 10 Days Early

Mild winter brings cherry blossoms to Izu 10 days earlyAn unseasonably warm January led to an even earlier-than-usual bloom for the famed Kawazu cherry trees here, to the delight of visitors pouring in for a flower viewing festival.
The trees, which always bloom earlier than other cherry species, are already reaching their peak along the Kawazugawa river, about 10 days earlier than usual.

The 27th annual “Kawazu-zakura Matsuri” (Kawazu cherry blossom festival) opened on Feb. 10 and continues through March 10. About 1 million people are expected to visit the town to enjoy the view.

Flowers of 800 Kawazu cherry trees planted along a 4-kilometer stretch along the river are blooming in varying degrees, according to the Kawazu Tourist Association.

Those in the upper river areas are in full bloom, while in the middle and downstream areas many of the trees are half blooming.

The pink blossoms are illuminated at night at several spots during the festival.