These Are the Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kyoto
Catch their illumination shows at night.
Higashiyama has beautiful landscapes with Kiyomizudera on top of the list. This place is also made more captivating with the blooming cherry blossoms. Since these are just within walking distance from the city, might as well take a walk and see these breathtaking cherry blossom viewing sites!
Kyoto’s most famous temple, Kiyomizudera, has spacious grounds with many national treasures and important cultural properties. The Main Hall, a designated national treasure, is under renovation until March for the repair of its cypress roof. Other structures such as Okuno-in Hall and Nio-mon are kept open. Enjoy the harmony of historical buildings and a variety of cherry blossoms in the compound. You should also see the cherry blossoms during the evening when they are lit up, conveying a different charm from its daytime appearance.
Hojochi Pond (pond for releasing living things). See Japan’s tallest three-story pagoda at 31 meters from the Hojochi Pond and be mesmerized by the contrast of colors.
Kiyomizudera has around 1,000 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed around late March to early April.
Kiyomizudera is located at 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. It is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (schedules may vary). Entrance fee costs ￥400. You may contact them at +81-75-551-1234. It is a 10-minute walk from Kiyomizu-michi, a bus stop 7 minutes away from Keihan Gion Shijo Station via City Bus Route 207.
Kita no Mandokoro (Nene) had Kodaiji built in memory of her husband, Hideyoshi Toyotomi. You can appreciate Momoyama culture in the compound, where around 50 cherry blossoms, including the Kodaiji cherry trees and Yaezakura trees near the entrance, bloom elegantly. The spring illumination gives you a magnificent view of the weeping cherry tree and the bamboo grove.
The front garden of Hojo Hall called Hashin-tei by the Japanese rock garden is a famous tourist spot during spring.
Kodaiji has around 50 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed around late March to early April.
Kodaiji is located at 526 Kodaiji Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Entrance fee costs ￥600 (￥900 for All-in-one Pass including Kodaiji Sho Museum and Entoku-in). You may contact them at +81-75-561-9966. It is a 7-minute walk from Higashiyama Yasui, a bus stop 5 minutes away from Keihan Gion Shijo Station via City Bus Route 207 going to Kujo Shako-mae.
Maruyama Park is the oldest park in Kyoto with a Japanese stroll garden at the center, and traditional Japanese restaurants and tea houses near the area. Around 690 cherry blossom trees paint the park with baby pink hues, including the weeping cherry tree with a breathtaking form. Aside from the illumination at night, food stalls open during the cherry blossom viewing season, making the evening livelier.
Gion no Yozakura (Cherry Blossoms at Night in Gion), the park symbol.
Maruyama Park has around 690 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed around mid-March to early April.
Maruyama Park is located at Maruyamacho, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. You may contact Kyoto City Greenery Association at +81-75-561-1350 for more details. It is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijo Station.
Ryozen Kannon was built in 1955 to commemorate the fallen of both sides from the Pacific War during World War 2. A 24-meter high Kannon statue looms over the area. Higanzakura blooms mid-March, while the weeping cherry blooms during early April, and Yamazakura can be enjoyed until late April.
Worship the statue of Eleven-faced, Thousand-armed Kannon and the 28 Legions.
Ryozen Kannon has around 30 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed from late March to late April.
Ryozen Kannon is located at 526-2 Kodaiji Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. It is open from 8:40 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. daily. Entrance fee costs ￥300. You may contact them at +81-75-561-2205. It is a 15-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijo Station.
Kenninji is the main temple of the Rinzai Kenninji school, which is also known as the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. The best view that you have to see during spring is the arched bridge crossing over the Hojochi Pond. Other spring sceneries such as the light pink flowers reflecting over the water and the scattered petals floating on the pond are just as equally attractive. You shouldn’t miss the weeping cherry tree standing near the chahi (a stone monument commemorating the contribution of Eisai, the temple’s first chief priest, to tea culture in Japan) too.
A big Yamazakura tree blooms at the east side of the lecture hall.
Kenninji has around 20 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed in early April.
Kenninji is located at 584 Komatsucho, Yamato Ooji Dori Shijo sagaru, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except April 19 and 20 (schedules may vary). Entrance fee costs ￥500 (￥600 from April 1 on Districts). You may contact them at +81-75-561-6363. It is a 7-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijo Station.
Chion-in: the world’s tallest temple gate and big cherry blossoms in one frame
Chion-in originated in 1175 when Honen built a thatched hut on the land of then-Yoshimizu. The weeping cherry trees in the famous Yuzen-en Garden and Hojo Garden, are an amazing place of scenic beauty. The view of the cherry blossoms by the temple gate from Yuzen-en Garden is stunning too. Illumination shows are also held at night.
The beauty of Yoshino Cherry trees is strong enough to match the impact of the 24-meter high temple gate.
Chion-in has around 200 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed from late March to early April.
Chion-in is located at 400 Rinkacho, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Entrance fee for Yuzen-en Garden is ￥300, Hojo Garden is ￥400. You may contact them at +81-75-531-2111. It is an 8-minute walk from Higashiyama Subway Station.
Yasui Konpiragu: pray for good relations in the temple grounds where cherry blossoms and lanterns form a line
Yasui Konpiragu is known for its Enkiri Enmusubi Stone, a monument that removes bad relationships in your life and makes good relationships prosper once you pass through it. In springtime, the delicate pink flowers of Yoshino Cherry and weeping cherry trees bloom and contrast the vibrant Japanese yellow roses in the compound.
The contrast between vermilion lanterns and Japanese yellow roses in the compound is also beautiful.
Yasui Konpiragu has around 20 cherry blossom trees. They are best viewed from late March to early April.
Yasui Konpiragu is located at 70 Shimobentencho, Higashioji Matsubara-agaru, Higashiyama District, Kyoto. You may contact them at +81-75-561-5127. It is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijo Station.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, most hanami festivals have already been canceled but public parks remain open in some areas. We encourage you to take the necessary precautions if you choose to step out and view the cherry blossom trees. Your health is much more important than an Instagram photo.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (7 March 2020)