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[Beautiful Natural Scenery] Ten Select Spots for Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto

Not to be missed if you are visiting Japan in the spring are the cherry blossoms. The ancient capital city of Kyoto has a large number of wonderful spots to see the cherry blossoms and thoroughly enjoy the beautiful scenery. This article introduces 10 recommended places to view cherry blossoms.

1. Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park is a park with an area of 86,641 sq.m. in the Higashiyama area. It has a great atmosphere, with a high-end Japanese restaurant and Japanese tea houses centered around a Japanese garden. It is one of Kyoto's most famous spots to see cherry blossoms, with approximately 800 cherry trees blooming from around mid-March. In particular, the 12m tall weeping cherry is a must-see. It is known as Gion no Yozakura (night cherry of Gion) and presents a mystic sight when lit up after sunset.

Best time to see the blossoms: Late March to early April

1. Maruyama Park

Around Maruyama-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. Gion Shirakawa

Gion Shirakawa, located about 3 minutes on foot from Gion-shijo Station on the Keihan Railway, is an area that retains a townscape from times past. Traditional houses line the cobblestone streets, creating a quintessentially Kyoto scenery. In the spring, more than 40 cherry trees blossom, adding to the atmosphere. They are lit up at night, letting visitors enjoy a charming and mystic scene.

Best time to see the blossoms: Late March to early April
Light up: Friday, March 29 - Sunday, April 7

2. Gion Shirakawa

Yamato Oji-dori Shijo-agaru, Sueiyoshi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. Yodogawa Riverside Park

Yodogawa Riverside Park’s Sewaritei Area is an embankment that divides Yodo River and Uji River with approximately 250 cherry trees planted on a 1.4km stretch that, in the spring, create beautiful scenery together with the surrounding nature. The trees are lovely up close, but the Sakura Deai-kan, from which you can see the trees from 25m up in the air, and the Sakura Deai Cruise, on which you can enjoy the blossoms from a boat, are also recommended. The park is about 10 minutes on foot from Yawatashi Station on the Keihan Railway.

Best time to see the blossoms: early April
Cruise fare: 1,500 JPY/adult (junior high age and above), 500 JPY/elementary school student

3. Yodogawa Riverside Park

On the grounds of Yawata Zaio-ji, Yawata-shi, Kyoto

4. Tetsugaku-no-michi Street

Tetsugaku-no-michi Street (Philosopher's Walk) is a path that one of Japan's most famous philosophers, Nishida Kitaro (1870 - 1945), is said to have favored for walks. It stretches for about 2km along a canal south of Ginkaku-ji Temple. There are approximately 300 cherry trees along the path, making it a popular spot to see the blossoms. When in bloom, the cherry trees create a lovely tunnel of blossoms to walk through. The petals painting the surface of the canal pink is another lovely sight.

Best time to see the blossoms: Early April to mid-April

4. Tetsugaku-no-michi Street

Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. Haradanien

Haradanien, which is located among the mountains of northwestern Kyoto City, is a private garden that is open to the public for a limited time each year. There are more than 400 cherry trees in the approximately 130,000 sq.m. grounds. The red weeping cherry that covers the grounds is stunning and is sometimes described as a “flood” of cherry blossoms. There are more than 20 different types of cherry trees, so the blossoms can be enjoyed for a long period of time. The park is right by the Haradani bus stop on City Bus routes.

Best time to see the blossoms: Early to late April
Entrance fee (changes by season): 1,200 JPY and up/adult, 500 JPY and up/junior high and elementary school student

5. Haradanien

36 Inui-cho, Okitayama Haradani, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

6. Okazaki Canal

Okazaki Canal is a canal that flows through the eastern part of Kyoto City. There are many trees on both its banks that, in the spring, create a scenery like a painting. Recommended is the Okazaki Jikkokubune Boat Ride to enjoy the scenery from the water. The small boat takes about 25 minutes to travel a distance of 3km (round trip). Passengers can relax and take in the cherry blossoms and retro architecture along the way. The trees are lit up at night during the cherry blossom season, so you can also take an evening boat ride to enjoy the charming view.

Best time to see the blossoms: Late March to early April
Fare: 1,200 JPY/adult (junior high school age and older), 600 JPY/child (elementary school age), 300 JPY/toddler (age 3 and older)

6. Okazaki Canal

Nanzenji Funatamari Josenjo, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

7. Kamogawa-tei

Kamogawa-tei, an embankment upriver of Kamo River (a river that flows through eastern Kyoto City), has approximately 470 cherry trees and is a fantastic spot to see the blossoms. In particular, Nakaragi-no-michi Street - located between Kitayama-dori and Kita-oji, along the right bank of the river - is a place where you can stroll through a tunnel of cherry blossoms. The 1.8km strip on the east riverbank, right between Oike-dori and Gojo-dori, is also famous for cherry blossoms. The area around the Sanjo Ohashi and Shijo Ohashi bridges is particularly popular and filled with people gathering to see the blossoms every year.

Best time to see the blossoms: Late March to early April (Nakaragi-no-michi Street: early to mid-April)

7. Kamogawa-tei

Shimogamo Hangi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

8. Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden is an approx. 630,000 sq.m. park around Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the former palace of the Emperor of Japan. With more than 50,000 trees, it is filled with nature despite being in the middle of Kyoto City and is a place where the locals go to relax. With approximately 1,000 cherry trees, it is also a popular spot for cherry blossoms in the spring. The 60 weeping cherry trees in the Site of Konoe Residence in the northeastern region of the park are particularly stunning. The earlier blossoms start to bloom in mid-March and the late ones can be enjoyed till early May.

Best time to see the blossom: Late March to late April

8. Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

3 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

9. Arashiyama Park

Arashiyama is a tourist area with numerous Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines scattered among a beautiful natural landscape. In the spring, it is popular as a place to enjoy the blossoms on approximately 1,500 cherry trees. Recommended is the view from the Nakanoshima area in Arashiyama Park which is just a five-minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama Station. From this spot, you will see the beautiful mountains, Togetsukyo Bridge (considered to be the symbol of Arashiyama), and Katsura River beyond the cherry blossoms.

Best time to see the blossoms: Mid-March to late April

9. Arashiyama Park

Saga, Ukyo-ku and Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku in Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

10. Kasamatsu Park

Kasamatsu Park, located in northern Kyoto Prefecture, is a view spot from which one can see Amanohashidate, one of Japan's three great scenic views. Amanohashidate is a shoal that is about 3km long and has more than 6,000 pine trees growing on it. In the spring, this beautiful view can be seen beyond the cherry blossoms in the park. The park is lit up at night during the cherry blossom season. The best way to visit this spot is by cable car from Fuchu Station.

Best time to see the blossoms: Early to mid-April
Cable car fare: 660 JPY/adult, 330 JPY/child

10. Kasamatsu Park

75 Ogaki, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto

There are more places in Kyoto to see cherry blossoms, so if you plan to visit in the spring, be sure to enjoy the beautiful blossoms.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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