Travel Guide for a Two-Day Trip to Kyoto During Cherry Blossom Season
Kyoto is a place packed with spots that are well known for their sakura (cherry blossoms). With that, we present a travel plan for a two-day, one-night excursion in Kyoto that will take you around the famous cherry blossom sites in the region. If you plan to stay in a hotel near Kyoto Station, then you must check out this plan!
From in front of Kyoto Station, take the City Bus Line No.50 or No.205 to Kinugasa Koen-mae Bus Stop (around 30 minutes). If you head north, then you will soon arrive at your first destination – Hirano Shrine. This shrine, boasting a long history spanning more than 1,200 years, is a famous hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spot that has long represented Kyoto. There are about 400 cherry trees of about 60 varieties planted there today.
Ryoanji is a temple that has been named as a World Heritage Site that you can reach in about 20 minutes from Hirano Shrine on foot via the Kinukake no Michi road. Famous for its rock garden called “Tora no Ko Watashi” (tiger cub passage), the flowers of cherry blossom trees bloom across the mud walls of this garden during spring.
Admission fee: Adult/high school student: 500 JPY, Elementary/junior high school student: 300 JPY
This is also a famous temple that has been registered as a World Heritage Site. After you leave Ryoanji, if you walk for about 15 minutes on the Kinukake no Michi road, then this temple will come into view. It is famous for the late-blooming cherry blossoms called Omuro Zakura, and the flowers of this type of cherry blossom trees go well together with the buildings here, such as the national treasure Kondo (main hall).
Special entrance fee for the temple during cherry blossom season: Adult/high school student: 500 JPY, Elementary/junior high school student: 200 JPY
Omuro Kaikan Bon
For lunch, the Japanese restaurant Bon that is directly operated by Ninna-ji is recommended. It is a restaurant enveloped in a pure Japanese atmosphere and is located within the temple grounds. Famous here are the Yuba-don (tofu skin on a bowl of rice) (880 JPY) and Kyo-yuba Soba (Kyoto-style tofu skin on buckwheat noodles) (880 JPY).
Taizo-in is a sub-temple of Myoshin-ji Temple that you will reach if you go south along Prefectural Road 130 for about 15 minutes. It has a gorgeous traditional dry landscape garden, where you can see crimson weeping cherry blossom trees gracefully spreading their branches.
Admission fee: General (including high school students): 500 JPY, Elementary/junior high school student: 300 JPY, Child under elementary school: Free
This spot is about a 10-minute walk from Taizo-in along Prefectural Road 130. The highlights of this temple are the cherry blossoms on the side of the bell tower. The petals that look purple in color are so beautiful that the sight just might take your breath away.
Fees: Adult/college student: 500 JPY, Elementary/junior/senior high school student: 300 JPY
This is where Day 1 of your excursion in Kyoto ends. Make your way back to Kyoto Station from JR Hanazono Station, located near Hokongo-in. Have a good rest at your hotel so that you'll be ready for the next day!
From Kyoto Station Hachijo-guchi Bus Stop, get on City Bus No.71, ride for about 12 minutes and then get off at Kujo Omiya Bus Stop. If you walk a little after getting off the bus, you will reach To-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site. It is famous for the cherry blossom called Fuji-zakura, and the view of these cherry blossoms alongside this temple’s Goju-no-to (Five-Story Pagoda), a national treasure, is the kind of scenery that you can only find in Kyoto.
Admission fee: Adult: 500 JPY, High school student: 400 JPY, Junior high school student or younger: 300 JPY
Gokonomiya Shrine is located on a site that is right next to Momoyamagoryomae Station after you ride on the train for about 15 minutes from Toji Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. This is a temple that legends claim sprang fragrant water that healed diseases. Inside the shrine grounds are many different kinds of cherry trees, including Somei Yoshino, mountain cherry blossoms and weeping cherry trees, and the flowers of these trees paint the approach to the temple and the main shrine in gorgeous colors during spring.
Both sides of Horikawa River, which flows on the southwest side of Gokonomiya Shrine, are elegant spots with rows of cherry blossom trees. If you ride on the sightseeing boat called Fushimi Jikkoku-fune, you will be able to leisurely enjoy the beautiful view of cherry blossoms while feeling the spring breeze on your skin. You can get on the boat from the south side of Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum.
Fare: Adult (junior high school student and above): 1,200 JPY, Elementary school student: 600 JPY, Child under elementary school: 300 JPY
After marveling at the cherry blossoms along Horikawa River, ride a train from the nearest Chushojima Station on the Keihan Main Line for about 15 minutes to get to Fushimi-Inari Station for some lunch. Kendonya, which is a 4-minute walk from the station, is definitely recommended. Kitsune Udon (630 JPY) and other udon (thick noodles) dishes are famous here, with guests enjoying the springy texture of the noodles and the rich taste of katsuo (bonito) in the broth.
Foreign language: English menu available
Fushimi Inari Taisha
After your meal, head to the last destination of this guide – Fushimi Inari Taisha. One of the most famous spots in Kyoto, it is known for the thousands of torii gates that line the approach to the shrine. Cherry trees are planted near the main temple, in front of the shrine office and other locations, treating visitors to a magical view of petals falling like snow against the backdrop of the vermilion shrine.
Once you’ve had your fill of Fushimi Inari Taisha, you can head back to Kyoto Station from JR Inari Station.
Make sure to refer to this guide for your next visit to Kyoto in the spring.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
popular article ranking
Kyoto × Genre
Best of Tags
Best of Area
Recommended articles for you
- Follow WOW! JAPAN
- Can't find it in a guidebook? Looking through this app will definitely make you want to go to Japan.
Sightseeing information to make you say "Wow!", updated every day!