community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-outline destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-links destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-thumbsUp destinations-tours destinations-town destinations-wishlist-heart-outline destinations-wishlist-heart-solid interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat-2 planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-x user-avatar
seasonal-koyo-brown seasonal-koyo-green seasonal-koyo-red seasonal-koyo-yellow seasonal-sakura-aboutToOpen seasonal-sakura-endOfSeason seasonal-sakura-fullBloom seasonal-sakura-justOpened seasonal-sakura-notOpen seasonal-sakura-opening seasonal-sakura-petalsFalling seasonal-sakura-petalsStarting

Kyoto: Full Bloom

Cherry blossoms along the Kamogawa River

This year's cherry blossom season is developing nicely with the majority of the major viewing spots in south and central Japan in full bloom and beyond. This being said, the focus for many sakura fanatics is now on the north and high areas that typically see later progression of the blossoms. Two spots; Takayama and the Fuji Five Lakes region are set to open around this weekend, with more to follow in what should be an exciting next week. Today I was back in Kyoto following on the heels of Andrew, who visited earlier this week.

The ancient capital has experienced some bad weather this week, with rain and, particularly concerning with regard to cherry blossoms, gusty periods during which the wind speed has been potentially threatening to the blossoms. I saw what damage inclement weather had done in Tokyo on my trip yesterday, and today I ventured to three of Kyoto's most popular viewing spots to see the state of things here. What I discovered was that generally the damage to the blossoms isn't huge, despite some evidence of a good ruffling.

Kyoto Botanical Garden: Full Bloom

My first stop today was at Kyoto Botanical Garden renowned for its variety of cherry trees including the ubiquitous Somei Yoshino variety as well as a considerable number of weeping cherry trees. This morning the garden's cherry trees showcased a wide range of blossom progression, with some having shed many of their petals and beyond peak whilst others like the Somei Yoshino were still at their optimum stage despite looking to be on the cusp of slight decline.

The park's later-blooming weeping cherry trees varied too, with some fast approaching full bloom whilst others lagged behind with as of yet only around half of their blossoms open. Calm weather is predicted through this weekend into early next week, meaning that the decline of the earlier bloomers should be slow. Meanwhile the projected warm temperatures should see the steady progression of the later bloomers. With this in mind, I expect that good cherry blossom viewing will continue to be had here into next week.

A maze of color; the garden's weeping cherry trees providing a spectacle
Variations; A later blooming cherry tree approaches bloom with an earlier blooming tree behind it
The park's Somei Yoshino are still looking spectacular
The garden's famous large weeping cherry tree had less than half of its blossoms open this morning
Early picknickers set up camp under a Somei Yoshino cherry tree

Kamogawa River: Full Bloom

My next stop today was a few steps away from the gardens, along the Kamogawa River. The banks of the river were today awash with color, with many of the cherry trees in full bloom and bearing only slight signs of damage from the recent inclement weather. Considering the predicted calm weather, I expect that these trees won't exceed their peak for around 3-4 days. The section of the bank dedicated to weeping cherry trees was very pretty despite being around 3 days from peak should the predicted warm weather prevail. All in all the area remains a great, relatively placid spot to do some cherry blossom viewing.

Looking along Kamogawa River
A beautiful pink canopy
The cherry trees here remain spectacular despite looking to have been ruffled by recent wind
The weeping cherry trees lining the bank
Construction along a section of the river bank

Maruyama Park: Petals Starting To Fall

My final stop today was at Maruyama Park in Kyoto's famed Higashiyama district. Invariably one of the ancient capital's most popular hanami spots when in full boom, today the crowds had seemingly dropped off like a significant number of the petals here. There was the odd cherry tree approaching full bloom, but for the most part the park's cherry trees were on the decline, despite still looking nice. The predicted calm weather bodes well for the blossoms here, and should it prevail, I expect that the park generally won't exceed its peak until this weekend.

Maruyama's famous weeping cherry tree
Starting to lose petals but still looking good
Revelers hanami under the falling petals
A later-blooming cherry tree attracts attention
A nice day to be outside
Setting up for hanami on the ground