In the space of just a couple of days, the season across much of the country has passed its peak and begun to wind down. Following my report yesterday from the Kobe area and Raina's from Tokyo, I was today in Kyoto for our final report of the season here, checking in on the cherry blossom at three of its best loved viewing spots.

Despite some attractive scenes, overall it was clear that the city is quickly reaching the end of its season. From this point, only a few days remain to catch the last of the blossom, but visitors can still enjoy the sight of little storms of blossoms falling like confetti, known in Japanese as hanafubuki. See also our guide on where to go if you missed the cherry blossoms in Kyoto.


Past Peak

My first stop was from the popular sightseeing district of Arashiyama on the city's western outskirts. While I was still able to find a few relatively full branches here and there, the overall picture was very much of an area past its peak, with many blossoms completely bare and even a light breeze enough to bring down sprinklings of petals.

The Philosopher's Path

Past Peak

Next, I revisited the Philosopher's Path, a peaceful canalside walk extending through the Higashiyama district from Ginkakuji to Nanzenji. While the crowds remained, the majority of trees had progressed noticeably past their peak, showing whole patches empty of petals.

This has always been one of my favorite spots to see the petals falling, and may still be well worth a visit for a few last looks at the blossom before the season completely draws to a close within the next few days.

Heian Shrine

Past Peak

My final stop was at the Heian Shrine, a large and relatively new shrine modeled in part on the imperial palace of the Heian Period. In the shrine's extensive paid garden, the blossoms were broadly in line with those at the two previous locations - still beautifully complementing the surroundings, but clearly past their best viewing for the year.

Perhaps because of their closeness to the water, some of the trees placed around the park's large central pond appeared just a little fresher, making it worth considering for visitors hoping for some last minute blossom.