Early Cherry Blossoms in Kanagawa
Kawazu-zakura along the Keikyu Line at Miura Peninsula
When most people talk about cherry blossoms (sakura), the type usually referred to is what is known as “Somei-yoshino”. These cherry trees usually bloom around late March to early May, depending on the location and the weather. But in Japan, there are other kinds of cherry trees that bloom MUCH earlier than that. If you are lucky enough to catch them in full bloom, you can enjoy the cherry blossom season to the fullest before the REAL sakura season comes. I would like to introduce one of the earlier blooming cherry trees, called Kawazu-zakura.
1000 Kawazu-zakura cherry trees near Miura-kaigan Station begin to bloom in late January to early February and last for a month. This type of cherry tree was originally found at Kawazu-cho in Izu, Shizuoka and the name was derived from it. The original tree is still alive, and starting from around 1968 it has spread out to other places all over the country. The pink color of the flower is a bit deeper than Somei-yoshino and so the petals look truly gorgeous.
From Keikyu Miura-kaigan Station to Komatsu-ga-ike Pond
Miura-kaigan Station is only 1-hour distance from Shinagawa. During this season, pink flags lead you from the station to a row of cherry trees. Just follow the flags or the other people who are also on their way to see the cherry trees. And there are actually a few Kawazu-zakura in front of the station entrance. Here, some people sit on chairs enjoying the lovely flowers with their companions, while others enjoy shopping for local foods at several food-stands set up under white tents next to the station.
Only ten minutes walk from the station there is a curved road with a row of cherry trees along the train line. This is the main place for the flower viewing. In addition to cherry trees, rape weed blossoms are in their full glory almost at the same time as the cherry blossoms. The contrast of the pink of the cherry blossoms and the yellow of the rape weed is truly wonderful. You might feel you have strayed into a fairyland or someplace magical, because of the color.
One photo suggestion: Take a shot when the red body of the Keikyu train is passing by. You will get a nice photo combining the two different colored flowers with the brilliant red of the train.
The row of cherry trees leads to Komatsu-ga-ike Pond in about 15 minutes. Here, frogs are croaking, migratory birds are resting, and the cherry blossoms reflect on the pond’s surface.
Pickles of Miura white radish
Japanese white radish is a special product of Miura Peninsula. At the food-stands in front of Miura-kaigan Station, you can try and buy them. It is crunchy and the taste is sweet and sour with a nice citrus flavor. A small cup of radish pickles goes for 300 yen. Try a local Japanese delicacy!
Miura Peninsula is the closest remote area from Tokyo. Trains and buses are well scheduled and its beautiful nature is always close to you. Why don’t you make a half-day trip to Miura, especially during the early days of Japan’s wonderful sakura season?