Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of

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2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto

Okazaki Canal

The Kyoto Meteorological Agency announced that the peak of this cherry blossom season had arrived in Kyoto this past Saturday. Today I returned to the city expecting to catch some brilliant views of sakura and I wasn't disappointed.

Elsewhere in Tokyo where Schauwecker is reporting from today, the season is coming to an end. Those that arrive at the capital a little too late may consider alternatives such as locations in Gunma Prefecture which Scott covered on March 28. I will be visiting the cherry blossom spots in Gunma too in a few days to report on the situation there.

April 1, 2013 - full bloom

The cherry trees were in full bloom at Arashiyama, a popular spot for both cherry blossom watching (hanami) and autumn color viewing. Most blossoms were looking fresh and healthy, so I think their peak should last for another three or four days at least.

Togetsukyo Bridge at Arashiyama
Robust-looking blossoms
View from Nakanoshima Park at Arashiyama

Philosopher's Path
April 1, 2013 - full bloom

Philosopher's Path was looking very beautiful today, especially at the sections close to Ginkakuji Temple. The cherry trees were filled with open blossoms and there were hardly any fallen petals. Peak should continue here for another three to four days as well.

Philosopher's Path
Typical state of blossoms

Keage Incline and the Okazaki Canal
April 1, 2013 - full bloom

Walking south from Philosopher's Path leads to Keage Incline, another of Kyoto's popular cherry blossom spots. Every spring when I visit, I spot couples having their wedding pictures taken here. The charming slope, especially when flanked by full-blooming cherry trees as it was today, is indeed an excellent location to take pictures to remember for eternity.

Going downslope from Keage Incline takes you to the Okazaki Canal, another lovely hanami spot. Today, the cherry blossoms at both these places were at their peak, but I found those at Keage Incline at a stage closer to the ones at Philosopher's Path, while those at Okazaki Canal were slightly more advanced and could start to fade a day earlier.

Keage Incline
Pretty blossoms
View at the bottom end of the slope
Okazaki Canal
Blossoms a little past their absolute peak

Maruyama Park
April 1, 2013 - full bloom

There was a lot of activity going on at Maruyama Park. It was quite crowded for a Monday afternoon and there were many tourists, both local and international, having their hanami parties there. Observing closely at the cherry blossoms, I noticed that many of their centers had turned a little pinkish, thus I am not optimistic that peak would last into the coming weekend. Nevertheless, views should still be pleasant here for another few days at least.

Hanami parties
Lovely cherry blossoms
The great weeping cherry tree at the park still going strong

Kiyomizudera Temple
April 1, 2013 - full bloom

The walk from Maruyama Park to Kiyomizudera Temple took longer than expected because of the heavy human traffic. I was somewhat surprised that so many visitors had hit the streets today, although the sunny weather could have encouraged their numbers.

The cherry blossoms at Kiyomizudera Temple are currently at their best. Hopefully, the forecast rain tomorrow will not be too strong, so that the cherry blossom views here and around the city could at least last till the end of the week.

Entrance of Kiyomizudera Temple
Typical state of blossoms
Cherry trees can be even more prominent in a world of black and white

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs