Imagine strolling around in a beautiful island full of flowers, surrounded by blue seas. Celebrate the Camellia season in Izu Oshima island with more than 3 million trees welcoming you from January 31st up until March 21st in 2016.
Izu Oshima is the largest of the Izu islands – islands which were formed from volcanic activity. These islands happen to be under the administration of Tokyo. Izu Oshima is located at a distance of almost hundred kilometers south of Tokyo in close proximity to the Izu peninsula. It is a popular tourist spot and is a great weekend escape from the bustling and crowded Tokyo streets. Many people come here to enjoy the sun doing snorkeling, beach activities and soak themselves in various hot springs on the island.
It is also famous for the Camellia flowers that can be spotted everywhere from January’s end to the third or so week in March. The camellia is a type of flower with pink or red petals and it is grown mostly in East Asia and South Asia, with variations in some other parts of the world. They are in full bloom in February in Japan.
Tsubaski Matsuri is the Japanese for Camellia Festival that is held island-wide in Izu Oshima. The Camellia Plaza usually serves as the main venue with traditional folk dances and sales of local products. The folklore includes traditional dances originating from the island itself. You can find Camellia related products like perfumes, soaps, and others. Oshima Island Park is next to the Camellia Plaza where you can see some 400 varieties of camellia blooming in the camellia garden. There is an exotic looking yellow petal camellia named ‘kinkacha’ in the garden as well. You can also enjoy many activities during the festival such as processions, beauty contests, camellia dyeing and more. Many people buy ‘Tsubaki Oil’ here made of camellia seeds which are good for hair growth and glowing skin. The oil is popular through the ‘Oshima Tsubaki’ brand.
The festival was canceled in 2013 due to landslides caused by a serious typhoon. But there seem to be no worries for 2016! So, what are you waiting for? Get a boat ride to Izu Oshima if possible and get your senses enthralled at the beautiful and colorful Camellia Festival. It wouldn’t hurt to feel rejuvenated every day with all the camellia products you can get at the festival too!