Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (Kawazu Sakura Matsuri)

Posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 | 1 comments

   Here are some shots from the Kawazu Matsuri yesterday. While it's not cherry blossom season here yet, Kawazu is famous for a type of cherry blossom tree that blooms early every spring, usually starting in February but sometimes in late January, even. The blooms are a darker pink than the typical Japanese cherry blossom, and they seem slightly less delicate, too. This fact means that they tend to stay in bloom for a month or more, as opposed to the regular cherry blossoms, which reach full bloom in about a week and are falling off the trees by around two weeks' time from when they first opened.

  While the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival used to be relatively undiscovered, in recent years it has become famous throughout the nation. I've seen varying stats stating that between one million and two million people visit it every year. Judging by the crowds we saw yesterday, I'm not surprised! Maybe it was just my imagination, but it seemed to me like it was even larger than when we last visited it, two years ago. I didn't remember there being nearly so many people, nor so many vendors or booths there.
  We had a great time sampling various festival foods, including some seasonal specialties like sakura (cherry blossom) manju and cherry blossom ice cream. The ice cream was surprisingly delectable--not too sweet, as I'd been imagined, with just enough richness to make Yuki and me glad that we'd decided to share one.
Side note: ** For those of you who are grammar sticklers--in this case, 'Yuki and me' is indeed correct. I wouldn't say '...with just enough richness to make I glad....'***
 Other food for sale included fresh wasabi, home-made takuan (a kind of pickled Japanese radish) and mushroom miso soup, along with typical fesitval foods like takoyaki.

                               Fresh wasabi 

             Takoyaki: bits of octopus and seasoning encased in doughy balls then grilled

Takuan: Home-made pickled Japanese radish

Sakura (cherry blossom) ice cream

  The crowds made it rather hard to get many decent pictures, but here are some that turned out ok. Enjoy!


strwberrryjoy said...

Wow! That is so pretty! I bet the air smelled amazing. And me, the prego lady wants some of that ice cream! YUM!