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Where Spring Arrives Early: Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road

When most of us think about visiting Japan during the sakura season, we’d usually plan our trip from mid-March to early April. During this period, streets are crowded with foreign visitors who want to spend a wonderful time in Japan surrounded by the gorgeous cherry blossom.

However, the truth is that we don’t actually have to visit Japan during this period in order to enjoy the view of the cherry blossom. In several parts of Japan, sakura trees bloom earlier which creates an opportunity for visitors to experience the early arrival of spring. 

Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road, Matsusaka, Mie

One of such places is Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road, located in Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture. Here, sakura blooms between mid-February to mid-March (may be earlier or later depending on the weather each year), and it is one of the most popular sakura viewing spots among the locals. 

Why do the sakura bloom earlier at Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road?

Somei-Yoshino sakura at the entrance of Matsusaka Shrine by Fugamaru-chan

Depending on the type of sakura tree, the shape, size, color, and blooming period of the cherry blossom is different.

The cherry blossom that everyone is used to seeing – also the most common cherry blossom tree in Japan – is the Somei-Yoshino tree (also known as Yoshino Cherry). Depending on the location, the Somei-Yoshino sakura blooms between mid-March to early April, which is known to many as the ‘sakura season’.

Close-up view of Kawazu-zakura at Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road

The cherry blossom at Kasamatsu comes from Kawazu-zakura tree, of which the sakura has a deeper pink bloom and larger petals compared to the Somei-Yoshino tree, and it blooms earlier as well.

Cherry blossom at Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road

It was already so beautiful even before full-bloom

On good days without strong wind or rain, you’ll be able to take stunning photos with the reflection of the cherry blossom on the river. If you’re an early bird, the view of the cherry blossom will be even more magnificent with the background of the rising sun. 

One of the popular photo taking spots at Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road

One of the popular photo spots is where a boat is parked as seen from the photo above. The boat is placed (conveniently) to make it more instagrammable. Coupled with the reflection of the cherry blossom and beautiful sky, it was indeed a brilliant idea of whoever that thought of this, as it makes a perfect addition to the photo.

Local photographer conveying the beauty of Kasamatsu’s sakura

Local photographer ‘Fugamaru-chan’ (ふがまるちゃん), has been taking and sharing stunning photos of the cherry blossom at Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road every year. 

‘Sunrise Reflection’ by Fugamaru-chan
‘Embraced by Kawazu-zakura’ by Fugamaru-chan
‘Water Mirror’ by Fugamaru-chan

Besides Kasamatsu, he also travels around Mie Prefecture to take photos of different sceneries and food across all four seasons. In addition, Fugamaru-chan has a website where he generously upload his photos which can be downloaded for free! Feel free to check out the following for more information about Fugamaru-chan:

Instagram: @mie_eetoko
Photo Gallery:


If you’re looking to avoid the crowd during the peak cherry blossom season, why not consider moving up the plan and visit Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura road? 

Besides offering a more peaceful and quieter environment, the view is definitely more stunning than many other cherry blossom spots in Japan!  Moreover, you can complete the journey with some delicious Matsusaka beef after enjoying the view of the cherry blossom! 

Lastly, you may find more information about Kasamatsu Kawazu Sakura Road here.

Thank you for reading and let’s meat at Matsusaka!

Visitor Information

Access: Private transport only
Period: From around mid-February to mid-March