Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto 2019

Kyoto is a perfect city full of tradition and nature. It is like opening a window on a view filled with mountains, temples, sanctuaries, and history. On the whole year, the city is beautiful to discover.

However, locals are waiting for two specific times in the Japanese calendar; Momiji Matsuri and Hanami. The last one is a very important time where you can enjoy the cherry blossom season. And Kyoto shows all its wonder at this specific time of the year! Locals prepare their Hanami with their friends, knowing already where the best cherry blossom spots to enjoy are.

But you’re not a local; you don’t know which place or time is the best to enjoy your own Hanami. You’re here for a short time, but you wish to be part of this amazing culture! To help you in that matter, here are the Top 5 places to enjoy the cherry blossom season in Kyoto 2019. Also check out our guide to top 5 places to visit in Kyoto if you are traveling outside cherry blossom season.

 

  1. Heian-Jingu Sanctuary

 

Heian Shrine is famous as an important cultural property of Japan. Its torii gate is one of the biggest in the country! It is a large shrine with beautiful architecture and a huge Japanese garden full of weeping cherry trees (yaebeni shidare in Japanese).

During Hanami season, a concert called “red weeping concert” (紅しだれコンサート) is held after the closure. You can also enjoy cherry blossom viewing during the night as there is evening illumination.

Heian-Jingu is said to be one of the best spots to see weeping cherry blossom. So go there and sit down under one of those trees to enjoy this view of cherry snowflakes dancing around you.

Best time of the year: late March to mid-April.

Concert period: April 4th to 7th.

 

  1. The Philosopher’s walk (Tetsugaku no Michi)


Tetsugaku no Michi
 wears this name after the famous philosopher Kitarô Nishida. He used to walk alongside these 2 kilometers long promenade, wondering next to the small river.

The walk goes from the Ginkakuji temple to the Nanzen-Ji temple. It is surrounded by 500 cherry trees. During high season, their petals fall in the stream and create an astonishing pink river.

You can also find small stalls around. Therefore, you can enjoy a nice cup of tea or some Japanese sweets while sitting on a stone bench.

Best time of the year: early April.

 

  1. Maruyama Park

 

It is one of the most famous parks for Hanami. 680 various kinds of cherry trees are living in Maruyama Park. It is also here you can see the oldest weeping cherry tree and symbol of cherry blossom in Kyoto. The majestic tree is 88 years old and 12 meters high.

Because of its many visitors during Hanami, Maruyama Park offers stalls, free seats and tables to enjoy the event. If you wish to have a Hanami picnic, Maruyama Park is the best place for it.

There is also cherry blossom night viewing until 1 am if you wish to see the cherry blossom differently.

Best time of the year: late March to early April. 

 

  1. Kiyomizudera Temple

The scenery of the triple pagoda is beautiful to see. You can observe the entire cherry blossom in front of you. It is even light-up during the night!  The temple is well known as a Momiji and cherry blossom viewing spot. It is a Hanami attraction with its 1,500 different kinds of cherry trees.

Right now, the main hall is under repairs. But you can still go inside to enjoy the view! However, you won’t be able to take a nice picture of the building.

Best time of the year: late March to early April.

Night Illumination: March 19th to April 7th (18:00~21:00).

 

  1. Keage Incline

 

If you want the best Instagram pictures of a romantic path under cherry blossom, Keage Incline is the place to go!

Keage Incline is the world’s longest inclined railway with its 582 meters long. There are approximately 90 cherry blossom trees following the track.

It is an old railway converted in a pedestrian area. Locals often go there to enjoy cherry blossom viewing. But westerners don’t know much about this place.

There is no night illumination, but cherry blossom viewing is wonderful under the moonlight or at sunset.

Best time of the year: late March to early April.

 

See more: 5 Must-Go Places In Japan You Didn’t Know Existed

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