Kyoto is vintage Japan. Its status of being the former capital of Japan for over 1000 years has earned it the moniker of thousand-year capital. With such a rich history and ancient culture, it’s little wonder that Kyoto serves as the ideal backdrop for many when it comes to sakura viewing.
Here is a list of some of the prettiest sakura spots in Kyoto.
Kiyomizudera, a UNESCO world heritage site that’s over 1200 years old, is one of the best sakura spots in Kyoto. The mix of cherry and maple trees add abundant colour to the atmosphere and people are usually seen by the droves.. From late March to Early April, there will be special evening illuminations (flower and light displays) that look utterly beautiful.
Toji is an iconic structure that stands tall among other pagodas. Quite literally, since it’s the tallest wooden tower in all of Japan. It is widely referred to as ‘the symbol of Kyoto’ owing to its historical and spiritual significance. While entry into the main temple is only permitted for a few days in a year, the location itself makes for a fantastic sakura spot.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter this massive temple complex – located at the base of the mountain – is the stunning architecture. As for a sakura spot, the weeping cherry trees in the complex come into their blooming glory during early April.
Shidare sakura or the famed weeping cherry tree, stands out during the day and at night when it is lit up like a star of the park. If you had to see just one cherry blossom tree in the sakura season in Kyoto, this has to be the one. The park also has hundreds of cherry trees and it is open round the clock.
Tetsugaku no michi
The Philosopher’s path is among the most popular sakura spots of Kyoto as hundreds of cherry trees line a canal and a stone path for approximately two kilometers. The cherry blossom festival isn’t just about the spectacular view, but also eating, drinking and making merry. With the popularity of the Philosopher’s path, lots of restaurants and cafes have opened along this space.
Okazaki Canal cruise and Heian Shrine
Club two sakura viewings in one go with a beautiful cruise in the Okazaki Canal and get to the Heian Shrine to top off the boat ride. The canal gets the shade of cherry blossoms like the most dramatic canopy on a beautiful day, and then you enter the shrine to witness 20 different types of cherry trees.
Passing through central Kyoto, the banks of Kamo River during cherry blossom season is busy with picnic spots and people cycling and walking along it. Wide open spaces give a nicer viewing angle.
Not many might know of Haradani-en garden as a sakura viewing spot because it’s not easy to access this privately-owned garden. However, if figuring out transport isn’t an issue, this is one place where there are no crowds and the late blooming weeping cherry blossom tree will totally amaze you with its beauty.
Kyoto is estimated to kickstart the its cherry blossom season on 29th of March and full bloom is expected to last from April 4th to April 12th.
And if you’ve set your heart on Kyoto, we’ve got the following HomeAways for that cosy holiday lined up below:
Luxurious traditional home in Kyoto
This traditional home with four bedrooms, ties it up perfectly. The property can house up to 10 guests and is easily accessible, as the subway station is just six minutes away.
Newly refurbished home in Kyoto
This wooden house was renovated recently but continues to wear its over-100 year old charm. The HomeAway boasts of a Tatami room and indoor garden, and is a 12-minute walk to the station.
Traditional Japanese home in Kyoto
Close to Arashiyama,the house comes with a cosy bedroom and dining area, a beautiful garden and is a short walk away from all amenities.