20-Best-Places-to-See-Cherry-Blossoms-in-Kyoto

20 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto

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Get ready to dive into the vibrant world of Kyoto’s cherry blossoms, where nature transforms the ancient city into a breathtaking floral paradise. As spring approaches, the burning questions echo: when do cherry blossoms bloom in Kyoto, and where are the best places to witness this natural spectacle?

Fear not, fellow sakura enthusiasts, for I’m about to show you the prime spots for cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto. From iconic temples to hidden gems, discover where to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto and make the most of this ephemeral beauty. Grab your camera and sakura map – let’s unravel the secrets of Kyoto’s enchanting springtime bloom! 🌸✨

When do Cherry Blossoms bloom in Kyoto?

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto typically bloom during late March to early April. The exact timing depends on various factors, including weather conditions and the specific type of cherry tree.

Kyoto’s renowned cherry blossom spots, such as Philosopher’s Path, Maruyama Park, and the Higashiyama District, burst into a breathtaking display of pink and white hues during this period.

For an enchanting experience, plan your visit during these weeks to witness Kyoto adorned in the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms.

Keep in mind that nature’s schedule can vary each year, so it’s advisable to stay updated with Japan’s official bloom forecasts for the most accurate information.

20 Famous Cherry Blossom Viewing Locations in Kyoto

Map courtesy of Wanderlog, the best trip planner app on iOS and Android

Maruyama Park

Located in the Higashiyama District, Maruyama Park is one of Kyoto’s premier cherry blossom viewing spots. Home to the iconic weeping cherry tree, “Shidarezakura,” this park transforms into a mesmerizing sea of pink during sakura season. The park offers a serene atmosphere, making it a popular spot for hanami (flower viewing) parties.

Address: Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0071, Japan

Philosopher’s Path

Take a contemplative stroll along the Philosopher’s Path around 7:30 AM, where hundreds of sakura trees line the canal. This picturesque setting offers a serene escape, especially early in the morning. If you arrive later in the day, be prepared for crowds. It’s still incredibly beautiful and lots of street food options are available!

Address: Philosopher’s Path, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-0847, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Situated on the eastern hills of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its wooden terrace offering panoramic views of the city. The temple’s cherry trees, especially the cherry blossom stage, make it a must-visit during spring. The vibrant contrast between the historic wooden structures and the blooming sakura creates a truly enchanting experience.

Address: 294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan

Heian Shrine (Heian Jingu)

Heian Shrine, with its iconic vermilion torii gates and expansive gardens, is a captivating cherry blossom destination. The temple’s wide open spaces provide a stunning backdrop for the blooming sakura. The pond, bridges, and pagoda complement the cherry blossoms, creating picturesque scenes throughout the shrine grounds.

Address: Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8341, Japan

Heian Jingu Shrine Grand Torii & Biwa Canal

In Kyoto’s heart, Heian Jingu Shrine Grand Torii and Biwa Canal make for a great cherry blossom spot. Walk through the impressive torii gate, and you’ll see delicate pink blooms along the canal. The weeping cherry trees turn the waterway into a beautiful tunnel during spring, especially when traditional boats pass through.

Address: 9 Okazaki Seishojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8343, Japan

Arashiyama

Arashiyama, on the western outskirts of Kyoto, is renowned for its bamboo groves, historic bridge, and the Iwatayama Monkey Park. During cherry blossom season, the Togetsukyo Bridge and the riverside are adorned with blooming sakura, offering a magical setting for a leisurely stroll.

Address: Arashiyama, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0007, Japan

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts impressive gardens that come to life during cherry blossom season. The castle’s Ninomaru Garden, with its teahouses and serene ponds, provides a peaceful escape amidst the blossoms. The historic setting adds a cultural dimension to the cherry blossom experience.

Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8301, Japan

Gion Tatsumi Bridge

Witness the ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms at Gion Tatsumi Bridge, where the delicate pink hues reflect in the gentle flow of the Shirakawa River. The best time to visit is around 5:40 AM, as the early morning light bathes Gion’s historic streets in a soft glow.

Address: Gion Tatsumi Bridge, Gion, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0001, Japan

Nanzen-ji Temple

Nanzen-ji Temple, nestled at the base of Kyoto’s eastern mountains, is renowned for its serene atmosphere and stunning cherry blossoms. The Hojo Garden, within the temple complex, features a beautiful pond surrounded by cherry trees, creating a tranquil space for contemplation. Visitors can enjoy the blossoms against the backdrop of Nanzen-ji’s historic architecture.

Address: Nanzenji Fukuchi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8435, Japan

Imperial Palace Park (Kyoto Gyoen)

Kyoto Gyoen, the Imperial Palace Park, is a vast green oasis in the heart of the city, offering a peaceful retreat for cherry blossom viewing. The park is adorned with various cherry tree varieties, creating a tapestry of colors during spring. The iconic Seiryu-en Garden within the park features a cherry blossom tunnel, adding a touch of magic to the imperial surroundings.

Address: Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-0881, Japan

Kyoto Botanical Garden

Kyoto Botanical Garden is a haven for nature enthusiasts, especially during cherry blossom season. The garden showcases a diverse collection of cherry tree species, providing a comprehensive view of the blossoms. Visitors can explore themed gardens and enjoy the serene ambiance while marveling at the different hues of pink and white.

Address: Shimogamo Hangicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-0823, Japan

Keage Incline

For a mesmerizing blend of nature and history, head to Keage Incline around 5:50 AM. The old railway track transforms into a breathtaking tunnel of cherry blossoms during spring. This early visit ensures a tranquil experience before the crowds arrive.

Address: Keage Incline, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0001, Japan

Yoshida Shrine

Nestled in the scenic Yoshida area, Yoshida Shrine is a hidden gem for cherry blossom enthusiasts seeking a tranquil experience. The shrine’s grounds are adorned with beautiful sakura trees, creating a serene atmosphere for contemplation and reflection. Visitors can enjoy the blossoms in a more intimate setting away from the bustling crowds.

Address: Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8316, Japan

Kamogawa River

Kamogawa River, flowing through the heart of Kyoto, offers a simple yet enchanting cherry blossom experience. The riverbanks come alive with vibrant pink hues during the sakura season, providing a picturesque setting for a leisurely hanami stroll. You can enjoy this natural spectacle at various spots along the river, such as the Kamogawa Delta and the nearby parks.

Address: located near the intersection of Kawabata-dori and Shijo-dori in

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Located in the northwestern part of Kyoto, this shrine is a true cherry blossom gem. The shrine’s peaceful surroundings and historical significance add to the charm of hanami. Kitano Tenmangu offers a delightful blend of history and nature, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking both cultural enrichment and the beauty of cherry blossoms.

Address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8386, Japan

Hokanji Temple

Found in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, Hokanji Temple, also known as Yasaka Pagoda, is one of the city’s most photographed spots, especially during cherry blossom season. This five-story pagoda becomes a picturesque setting when sakura blooms in spring. Visit at sunrise if you want to capture this iconic place without the usual crowds.

Address: 388 Yasaka Koshin-cho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0827, Japan

photo taken at 6:30 am
photo taken at 5:30 pm

Takenaka Inari Jinja

Delve into serenity at Takenaka Inari Jinja around 6:30 AM, where a hidden path leads you through vibrant torii gates under a cherry blossom canopy. It’s a secluded gem, best enjoyed before the day awakens.

Address: Takenaka Inari Jinja, 142 Honmachi, Gion, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan

Hirano Jinja

Hirano Jinja, in the northwest of Kyoto, is a straightforward yet charming spot for cherry blossoms. With plenty of sakura trees, the Shinto shrine turns into a pink haven in spring. Its relaxed vibe and local appeal make it a top choice for those looking for a genuine hanami experience without the crowds.

Address: 1 Hirano Miyamotocho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8322, Japan

Toji Temple

Explore the magnificent cherry blossoms at Toji Temple, known for its towering pagoda. Arriving at 8 AM ensures a peaceful visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site before the day unfolds.

Address: Toji Temple, 1 Kujocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8473, Japan

Myokenji Temple

Myokenji Temple is a lesser-known spot for cherry blossoms that always is relatively uncrowded. Founded in 1378 and moved by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, Myokakuji Temple is part of the “Kyoto Nichiren Shu Meisho Sanguzan.” Linked to historical figures like Ashikaga Yoshiteru and Date Masamune, it played a role in Nobunaga’s retreat and the Honnouji Incident. Explore the picturesque Hoshien garden and get a glimpse into the past when Sen no Rikyu hosted tea ceremonies in its halls.

Address: Myokenji Temple, 44-6 Bentencho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0853, Japan

Kyoto Hotels during Cherry Blossom Season

Hotels in Kyoto during cherry blossom season can be incredibly pricey. That’s why I recommend to book early. Very early. January at the latest.

Keep your options open with Booking.com’s convenient free cancelation for many properties and book several hotels around the cherry blossom season until the exact peak cherry blossom dates are revealed to avoid missing the flowers!

Budget Hotel Options in Kyoto

  1. Guest House Oumi: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option with a local touch, Guest House Oumi is an excellent choice. Located in the central Higashiyama area, this guesthouse offers clean and simple accommodations with a friendly atmosphere. It’s within walking distance of popular attractions like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Gion.
  2. Piece Hostel Kyoto: Piece Hostel Kyoto provides a stylish and affordable stay in the heart of Kyoto. With its modern design and comfortable amenities, this hostel offers both private and dormitory-style rooms. The communal spaces are welcoming, and the hostel is conveniently located near popular sights like Nijo Castle and the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
  3. Kyoto Hana Hotel: Kyoto Hana Hotel, located in the central Nakagyo Ward, offers affordable yet comfortable accommodations. The hotel provides a variety of room options, including family rooms, and is within walking distance of popular attractions such as Nijo Castle and the Kyoto International Manga Museum.
  4. Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select: Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select provides a stylish and reasonably priced accommodation option in the bustling downtown area. The hotel features modern rooms with chic decor and is within walking distance of Nishiki Market and the Kawaramachi shopping district. Enjoy a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.

Luxury Hotel Options in Kyoto

  1. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto: Embrace luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, situated along the peaceful Kamogawa River. This upscale hotel features elegant rooms with panoramic views, exquisite dining options, and a serene atmosphere. During cherry blossom season, the hotel’s riverside location provides a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the blooming sakura.
  2. Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion: Located in the historic Gion district, Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion provides a contemporary and stylish stay. The hotel’s sophisticated design, comfortable rooms, and proximity to Gion’s traditional atmosphere make it an excellent choice. Explore the nearby Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park for enchanting cherry blossom views.
  3. Hyatt Regency Kyoto: Enjoy a blend of modern luxury and Kyoto’s cultural charm at Hyatt Regency Kyoto. Located near Sanjusangendo Temple and the Kyoto National Museum, this hotel offers spacious rooms and excellent amenities. During cherry blossom season, explore the nearby Kiyomizu-dera Temple for a memorable hanami experience.
  4. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto: Indulge in sophistication at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, set against the backdrop of Higashiyama Mountain. This five-star hotel offers elegant accommodations, gourmet dining, and a serene ambiance. Stroll through the hotel’s gardens or explore nearby attractions like Nanzen-ji Temple for cherry blossom viewing.

More Things to do in Kyoto

Besides the stunning cherry blossoms, don’t miss some of the other must-see attractions in Kyoto, like the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest or the Golden Pavilion Kinkakuji! Delve into my Kyoto itinerary to check out what else there is to see & do. You might also want to check out some popular Kyoto day trips and some fun activities, like the ones below:

Have Fun exploring Hanami Season in Kyoto!

Get ready to paint Kyoto pink because the cherry blossoms are about to unleash their annual magic! Whether you’re planning to stroll through the historic Gion district, capture the perfect shot at Kiyomizu-dera, or just chill under the blooms at Maruyama Park, Kyoto’s sakura spots are gearing up for an epic show.

It’s not just about the petals; it’s a full-blown celebration of spring, and Kyoto knows how to throw a floral fiesta. So, charge your camera, pack a picnic, and brace yourself for the sakura spectacle of a lifetime.

Kyoto’s waiting, and the cherry blossoms are ready to steal the show. 🌸✨

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Linda

Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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