Kyoto Cherry Blossom Spots!

By Anissa Ratna Putri - April 16, 2017

It's the middle of April, the peak time of cherry blossom (or "sakura") in Japan - especially in Kyoto and around. There are several places with sakura trees that I went to during my stay in Kyoto that gave me beautiful pictures - which is quite rare because I rarely able to capture the beauty of sakura (sometimes they are too pale, sometimes they are too few of them, etc). So here are three spots with beautiful sakura trees that you might want to visit if you're happen to be in the old capital this spring!

1. River bank of Kamo river and Yamashina river
Most people adore sakura trees in Kamo river bank in the center of Kyoto. However I never got a chance to capture those beautiful flower. When I went to Kamo river, it's usually raining, or the sakura is already falling. But seeing my friends' picture, I can say if you come in a right time the river bank of Kamo river is really convenient to have a picnic under sakura trees (known as 'hanami' in Japanese).

If you are looking for a more anti-mainstream location, come to Yamashina river bank in the eastern part of Kyoto. Although not wide enough to have a picnic, the riverbank has lots of beautiful sakura trees where you can pose and take pictures! And since it is not in the center of the city, there are less people here - making your time with sakura trees more private.
Sakura at Kamo river bank
Wina at Yamashina river bank
Dea at Yamashina river bank
2. Haradani-en
How does it feels like to have a private garden full of sakura trees? If you are curious, come to Haradani-en. Located near to Kinkaku-ji or known better as The Golden Temple, Haradani-en offers various type of sakura trees - from the soft pink to the shocking pink.  Haradani-en sakura trees bloom quite late compared to other places, usually in the middle of April. Other than sakura trees they also have some other flowers and plants. I even found a maple tree right beside sakura tree here! It's like the combination of spring and autumn in one spot. 

Since it is a private garden, a cost to enter is applied: 1500yen for an adult and 500yen for elementary and junior high school students. However, for me, the cost is worth it because it was the best sakura viewing I ever had. For my full experience, read it here.

Opening hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Fees: 500yen-1500yen
Transportation: Kyoto city bus M1 from Waratenjin-mae bus stop (230yen)
or take taxi from Kinkakuji-mae (around 870yen)

3. Hirano Shrine
I have never heard the name of Hirano Shrine until my Japanese friend asked me to join sakura light up event. They said, this place is where the first sakura in Kyoto blooms every year. Curious, I decided to join and later glad that I did so. 

The place was magical. Combination of sakura trees and ancient shrine brings a mystical yet beautiful ambience, captured in a frame. Hirano Shrine offers three area to be explored: the gate area where food stalls are located, the shrine area where the sakura trees looks best, and the garden area where sakura trees are mixed with other plants. Sakura trees here last until the middle of April.

Hirano Shrine
Opening hours: Sakura light up 18:00-21:00
Fees: Free
Transportation: Kyoto City Bus No.205, 50, 55, 204, 15

And that's the three spots in Kyoto where I enjoyed sakura trees the most. If you have another preference where to spend the time with sakura trees in the old capital, please do share to me :) Have a nice spring!


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