Updated: April 17, 2018
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Your Guide To The Top 10 Sakura Viewing Spots in Kyoto!

If you're lucky enough to be visiting Kyoto during the cherry blossom season, here are the spots you need to visit to see all the beauty the city has to offer!

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Cherry Blossom Viewing: 花見 (hanami)

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Kyoto is a stunningly beautiful city to begin with, but during sakura season, it is simply breathtakingly magical! While you are wandering through the city, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the scenery and it will make your stay that much more memorable.
Here are the top ten spots to visit while you are cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto!

Tips

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In Kyoto, cherry blossoms are expected to open on March 21st. The best viewing period is estimated to be from March 28th to April 5th.

Although it is officially Spring in Japan, it is recommended to bring a warm jacket and a scarf. The average weather in March is 13 degrees Celsius in the daytime, and in April it is 20 degrees.

1. Philosopher's Path 哲学の道

Philosopher's path is one of the most popular hanami spots since the stone path is surrounded by hundreds of cherry trees. What an amazingly beautiful sight!
The path is approximately demarcated by Ginkakuji, from which it starts, to Nanzenji temple. It is a must-see area for its spectacular beauty.

2. Maruyama Park 円山公園

Maruyama Park is immensely popular during the cherry blossom season for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). During hanami season, Japanese people love to bring a blanket, some snacks and some drinks. They then sit under the trees and talk among friends and drink. If you would like to enjoy hanami like a local, this is the place to go! Plus, there is also a huge cherry blossom tree to admire at the park.

3. Kiyomizudera Temple 清水寺

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Kiyozumidera is a particularly stunning area to visit, especially at night. During cherry blossom season, you can exceptionally visit the temple from 6 to 9 PM. It is usually open from 6 AM to 6 PM.

4. Kamogawa River 鴨川

Kamo river is a popular date spot all year round, as it is lined with delicious cafes and restaurants, or people go sit directly by the river. During hanami, it is particularly popular as it is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, making the river an especially attractive spot.

5. Kyoto Botanical Garden 京都植物園

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Kyoto Botanical Garden is popular all year-round as it has a wide-range of seasonal plants, as well as conservatories which make it possible to enjoy beautiful flowers and gardens no matter the season. It also happens to be the oldest botanical garden in Japan!
During cherry blossom season, there are over 500 cherry blossom trees blooming. It is a magnificent sight!

6. Arashiyama 嵐山

Arashiyama is known for its bamboo forest, where, unfortunately, you will not see any cherry blossoms. It is still incredibly beautiful to visit. You will, however, see cherry blossoms around Togetsukyo Bridge. You can enjoy hanami by the riverside.

7. Hirano Temple 平野神社

Hirano Shrine is a huge area surrounded by very large gates. Hirano holds a festival every year where you can see many food stalls selling tons of delicious Japanese street food! There's a University nearby and is very popular with University students for cherry blossom viewing.

8. Nanzenji Temple 南禅寺

Nanzenji Temple is connected to the Philosopher's Path and is also a great area to visit during cherry blossom season. Across Japan, it is one of the most important Zen temples. The temple grounds is free to get to, however, there are fees for other areas. It is impressive to see the beauty of the cherry blossoms surrounding the temple.

9. Ninnaji Temple 仁和寺

Ninna-ji Temple, with its five-story pagoda is a beautiful spot to visit. It was designated as a cherry blossom site for almost 100 years. There are mini cherry blossom trees, which quite rare to spot. It really is a sight!

10. Haradani-en Garden 原谷苑

Haradani-en Garden is a beautiful area to view the weeping cherry trees. It isn't a free site, however, as it is a private garden, it is 1,200-1,500 yen to get it. It is slightly difficult to access, but it is well worth it.

Finally...

Have a lovely trip in Kyoto during the breathtaking sakura season!
Lili Wanderlust
I love traveling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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