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The Matsuda Sakura Matsuri is held from mid-February to mid or late March. The cherry blossoms bloom in mid-March or later if it's a cold winter like in 2012. Near Odakyu Shin-Matsuda Station (80 min. from Shinjuku).
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On a hillside near Odakyu Shin-Matsuda and JR Matsuda Stations, a large patch of cherry blossoms bloom in March. These are early-blooming (hayasaki) sakura. The place is spectacular when the cherries are in full bloom.
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Welcome sign
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From Odakyu Shin-Matsuda Station, signs point the way to the shuttle bus stop in front of JR Matsuda Station.
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Shopping street toward JR Matsuda Station with a view of Mt. Fuji.
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The pink patch of early-blooming (hayasaki) cherry trees on the slope of Mt. Matsuda-yama near JR Matsuda Station.
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In front of JR Matsuda Station, a long line forms to board the shuttle bus to the Matsuda Sakura Matsuri. This was on a weekday when the flowers were in full bloom. Possible to walk, but it's uphill. Bus (150 yen) comes frequently when it's crow
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Map of Matsuda Cherry Blossom Festival site on the slope of Matsuda-yama. It is a hillside park called Nishihirabatake Park. Lots of Kawazu sakura trees.
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The site is spectacular with views of the town below, the ocean, and Mt. Fuji.
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These Kawazu cherry trees bloom in late February to mid-March. They bloom for about a month and have a pinker color than the Somei Yoshino sakura.
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Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms from Matsuda, Kanagawa. Kawazu cherry trees (河津桜) are named after a place in Shizuoka Prefecture called Kawazu where the original tree was first discovered in 1955.
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Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms from Matsuda, Kanagawa.
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After arriving by bus, walk uphill to see the upper cherry trees here.
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Kawazu cherry trees along the upper part of Nishihirabatake Park.
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Kawazu sakura (河津桜) is a variety of cherry blossom which blooms earlier and longer than the Somei Yoshino variety. They also have a darker pink color.
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Train ride for kids.
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At the end of the short trail is a small Nature Museum.
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Inside the Nature Museum.
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Tangerine trees.
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View of Mt. Fuji. Somewhat hazy this day in late March 2012.
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Driving is not recommended. Parking lot is small and road is snarled.
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Mt. Fuji and kawazu sakura cherry blossoms in Matsuda, Kanagawa.
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Mt. Fuji and kawazu sakura cherry blossoms in Matsuda, Kanagawa.
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Marker for one of the 100 Best Views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto region.
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The road going up to the park is very narrow and kind of hairy. The crowded bus chugged along upward. One giant earthquake and I bet it would toppled over and down the slope.
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There is a spectacular trail lined with cherry blossoms going down the mountain.
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Mt. Fuji and kawazu sakura cherry blossoms in Matsuda, Kanagawa.
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Another element making the park spectacular are these numerous, bright-yellow rape blossoms (nanohana).
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Lookout deck.
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View of Matsuda town.
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Food stalls next to the Herb Pavilion.
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Crowded food stalls.
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Nishihirabatake Park also has a Herb Garden.
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Views of Matsuda from the Matsudayama Herb Garden.
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Cherry trees on the slope of Matsudayama.
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Shop inside the Herb Pavilion.
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Lookout deck.
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Slider for kids.
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Slider for kids.
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In the evening from mid-March, the trees are lit up.
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The cherry trees just go on and on as you go walk down the slope. It's a lot easier to take the shuttle bus up to the park and walk down rather than hiking up and taking the bus down.
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These small flowers got no attention. Poor thing.
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Mt. Fuji
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Cherry trees on the slope of Matsudayama.
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Cherry trees on the slope of Matsudayama.
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Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms.
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Matsuda Sakura Festival brochure.
     
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