global "con-fusion" through recreation and relaxation
Folklore says that during the times of castle building in 17th century, all stones were shipped to Edo (now Tokyo) except for one stone, which is the ボ泣き石. “ボ(bo)” is the sound that the stone makes to weep and “泣き(naki)” means ‘to cry’. Some say that the stones still cry at night times in remembrance of it’s solitude over the last 400 years…. that’s the creepy story…
The other story is said that these are the names of the stones that the men carried, which was of course heavy, hence they “weeped” when carrying the stones.
Izu-Okawa is a humble, small village with about 700 residents living together coherently. While it isn’t the flashy urban style living, there are some quite interesting places you can explore while you are in town.
Check out the following PDF for things to do in the area.
It’s spring time! And you can find Sakura and Ume(pronounced “Oo-meh” ) blossoms can be seen in different parts of Japan. These two flowers tend to blossom earlier in the Izu region.
At the ShareHouse Yugawara, it’s a yearly event to visit the Makuyama Park Cherry and Ume blossom festival. We could see the flower petals scatter in the sky, in the very windy weather.
We also have the newest edition to the Sharehouse Yugawara family, the goat! It’s still about 3-4 years old and eating up the grass in the farm. Like many other goats, it cries “meeeehhhh!” all of the time.
Seems like it’s getting used to the environment really well. And when Masato-san comes to the farm, the goat realizes it is time for breakfast/ lunch and approaches Masato-san asking for its daily ration.
There are also 6 hens and chickens that joined the farm, and maybe another animal coming up.
Masato-san is due to start WWOOF really soon. If you have friends interested in serious farm work while enjoying the peaceful town of Yugawara, please search the internet for this secretly humble place, or hit me up so that I can connect you with Masato-san.
Cheers, arigatougozaimashita, mata-ne.
Rob (profile link)
Japan is famous for it’s cherry trees. The cherry blossoms
(sakura) are deeply involved in japanese culture. The floral imagery reflects in
japanese paintings, film, poetry and even in their currency. Beside it’s
astounding beauty, the sakura symbolizes life, death and renewal.
Which months are the best for cherry blossoms in Japan?
The blooming of cherry blossoms is a spectacle but exceptionally brief. Hanami is mostly related to the weeks between late march and early april. The cherry blossom season is considered to only endure a few days of fully bloom. But there are less common, more traditional and rural regions in Japan, where visitors can enjoy the blooming of cherry blossoms earlier and longer. At the Izu Peninsula, about 2.5 hours from Tokyo, people can enjoy watching the bright pink blossoms already start blooming in february until may.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Japan? The best area for Hanami – Visit Izu Peninsula
There are many events in Japan, which take place during Sakura season. While many families and friends are gathering in large groups for a few days of Sakura to the big cities like Tokyo or Kyoto, there’s an insider tip for watching the blooming cherry blossoms (hanami) for a longer duration. This area is known as the Izu Peninsula.
Beside of it’s volcanic hot springs (Onsen), which are very popular in Japan, and the warm winter climate, Izu Peninsula offers visitors scenic views over the ocean and especially one of the earliest blooming cherry trees and cherry blossom festivals in Japan.
A day at the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival – Izu Peninsula
The Kawazu-Sakura has become famous because as one of the earliest blooming cherry trees in Tokyo’s outlying areas. While Tokyos cherry trees are blooming between end of march and early april, the Kawazu Sakura starts to bloom earlier around early february and early march. The Kawazu Sakura are characterzised by its large petals and bright pink colour. There are 8,000 cherry trees in Kawazu.
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival offers further entertaining aspects for visitors. Besides walking next to the river
admiring the blooming cherry blossoms sorrounding you, visitors can choose between many different japanse dishes like fish sticks, noodles and sweets, as well as entertainment programs.
Illuminating the cherry blossom trees
Everyday, between 6PM and 9PM, the Kawazu Sakura trees are lighten up underneath the Loop Bridge. Walk along the 2.4 mile long riverside to fully enjoy the lights and the cherry trees.
Despite the weather and colder months, one million people are visiting the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival located in Izu Peninsula during the period of one month. For travellers, who want to prevent the crowds during hanami season in big cities and who are travelling Japan during the months of february and march, this is the opportunity to experience the magic of cherry blossoms in rural Japan as it’s best.
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan – Dates
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year from early February until early March. As expected, the cherry blossoms fully bloom at the beginning of march.
How to get to the Kawazu cherry blossom festival from TOH in Izu Okawa
From ‘The Other House’ in Izu Okawa, you easily reach the Cherry Blossom Festival by train. Within about 25 minutes and
six train stopps you arrive at Kawazu station. From there, it’s only a short street crossover to the Festival’s entrance.
A great place to visit is the Kawazu 7 Waterfalls (Japanese “Kawazu Nanadaru). Check out our exploration on a summer day.
Video by Derek Ngyuen
Looking for cheap and accessible WiFi?
The eConnect Japan will deliver your wifi to your hotel/accommodation (and of course airBnB’s) within just a day.
You can see with the image above, it has a variety range of SIM card plans.
Hope this helps…
When it comes to eating vegetarian, Japan can be one of those places to eat. One way to go is Soba.
Sobamaebunka : Rikyuuan in Atami.
When it comes down to options of staying at a Ryokan, there are many options on the Izu Peninsula, let alone, the town of Higashiizu.
Here are some of the places I have had affiliations with, so it is not necessarily recommendations based on preferences and likings but rather the ones I have visited. (Either a friend or an affiliate had a chance to stay at one of these accommodations)
熱川荘 starting from 6480yen per person http://www.ataso1.yad.jp/index.html
– a very “showa” taste, humble accommodation. Atagawa is filled with public onsen so you can buy a seperate ticket for ¥1,200 (3 tickets) and you can visit any of one of the 17 onsens located in the nearby hotels. http://www.atagawa.net/yumeguri.html
いさり火 starting from 31400yen per room http://www.isaribi.co.jp/eng/index.html
-private rooms with nice view in a very quite setting.
銀水荘 starting from around 10,000 yen per person http://www.inatori-ginsuiso.jp/
– national award winning ryokan-style hotel. Has gorgeous baths that fit many people.
If you type in specific areas such as “Inatori” and “Atagawa” you will have a variety of recommendations.
Our town name is called “Higashiizucho (or just HIgashiizu) ”.
If you can put this in the search, you will most likely find an accommodation too!