Last weekend Naomi and I headed out to Matsuda, an unassuming little town on the way to Odawara, which comes to life once a year thanks to its stunning sakura grove. Like those in Atami, these cherry trees bloom early, while their buds are thinner and more delicate. Blooming vibrant yellow brocolinni planted at the roots of the trees add another layer of beauty to the place. The tunnel of soft pink blossoms and the warm sun rays sifting through the dainty flower petals create an ethereal atmosphere. You can also enjoy some local eats at the food stalls including fresh mikan (tangerine) and sakura flavored treats. On clear days, you can have an unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji too! You can get to Matsuda on a Rapid Express or Express Train on Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station, the journey shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to an hour. The duration of the festival is February 11 – March 2nd. It can be combined on a day trip to Odawara which boasts with one of the biggest and most beautiful plum gardens in Japan. If you are traveling to Japan in February, but still want to see and enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms, then Matsuda is definitely worth a visit since its so close to Tokyo. Hope you get to go!
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