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The Best Spots to Catch Kyoto’s Cherry Blossoms


Cherry blossom viewing is one of the popular activities in Japan during spring. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, typically bloom between the tail end of March and the first two weeks of April. If you're aiming to check it off your bucket list, Kyoto is definitely the place to be during cherry blossom season. Read on for the best locations that you can visit for a wonderful hanami (flower viewing) experience!

kyoto cherry blossom


  • Arashiyama, with a historical link to the 88th Emperor of Japan
  • Maruyama Park, the oldest and most popular park in Kyoto
  • Shinbashi-dori, Gion, a cobblestone street in one of Kyoto’s biggest geisha districts




daikakuji temple

Cherry blossoms at Daikakuji Temple


  • Its history of cherry blossoms is linked to Emperor Go-Saga
  • Has various locations for sakura viewing, such as Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, Togetsukyo Bridge, and Daikakuji Temple


Arashiyama is located in the far western area of Kyoto, near the Katsura River. It's surrounded by mountains and teeming with cultural sites, making it one of the most popular spots for tourists. Over 700 years ago, Emperor Go-Saga built a villa in the area and transplanted cherry blossom trees from Yoshino Mountain. Ever since then, Arashiyama's cherry blossoms have been one of the reasons why visitors flock to the area.


Nowadays, you can find these blooms in places like Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, where you will also find over 120 Japanese macaque monkeys. The park is located along the banks of Ōi River (also known as the Hozu or Katsura River), where you can also see the historical Togetsukyo Bridge. Daikakuji Temple, which has cherry blossom trees surrounding a large pond, is also nearby.


togetsukyo bridge

Cherry blossoms along Ōi River ©JNTO


While in the area, don't forget to also visit the world-famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, where tall bamboo stalks grow up into the sky.


Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Address: 61 Nakaoshita-cho, Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 616-0004


Togetsukyo Bridge

Address: Tenryuji-Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 616-8385


Daikakuji Temple

Address: 4 Sagaosawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 616-8411
Website: https://www.daikakuji.or.jp/

Maruyama Park


maruyama park


  • The oldest and most popular public park in Kyoto for cherry blossom viewing
  • Easy access to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto National Museum, and Nishiki Market


Maruyama Park is the site to be in Kyoto during cherry blossom season. The oldest park in Kyoto, this public space is found at the base of the Higashiyama mountains, next to the Yasaka-jinja Shrine. In the beginning of spring, the park is visited by crowds of people looking to enjoy the view of sakura in bloom. It's no wonder, since the park's centerpiece is none other than an old shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree). During cherry blossom season, it gets lit up every evening and food stands are set up around the area for guests.


The park is conveniently located 25 minutes away by train and bus from Kyoto Station. While you're in the area, drop by the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former primary residence of the Emperor of Japan; the Kyoto National Museum, one of the biggest art museums in Japan; and Nishiki Market, where you can find the best of Kyoto's cuisine and goods.

Maruyama Park

Address: Maruyama-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto, 605-0071

Website: https://maruyamapark.jp/

Shinbashi-dori, Gion
  shinbashi-dori, gion


  • A cobbled street located in the Gion district
  • Lanterns artfully light up the cherry blossom trees at night


Shinbashi-dori is a humble cobbled street found in the Gion district of Kyoto. If you want to see the cherry blossoms at their best, go there at night. Glowing lanterns line the sidewalk and river, illuminating the cherry blossom trees and traditional Japanese houses.


Gion is one of the five hanamachi (geisha districts) in Kyoto, so you'll find many shops, restaurants, and o-chaya (teahouses) in the area, where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain guests with traditional dancing performances. While you're in the area, the local government asks that you enjoy cherry blossom viewing following local guidelines.



Address: Motoyoshi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 605-0087

After enjoying the unforgettable sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom, discover the other attractions in Kyoto that deserve a spot in your itinerary.

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