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Below is a list of some of Kyoto's most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing (hanami), including the typical timing for best viewing in the average year and japan-guide.com ratings. See also our nationwide list of famous cherry blossom spots.

What to do if you missed the cherry blossoms in Kyoto

Maruyama Park••

Early April
Next to Yasaka Shrine, admission free
There will be no illuminations and outdoor restaurants in 2021
Maruyama Park next to Yasaka Shrine is Kyoto's most popular public park for cherry blossom parties. Its centerpiece is a large weeping cherry tree that gets lit up in the evenings. Many food stands and temporarily constructed restaurants with tables under the trees are available.

Arashiyama••

Early April
Northwest of central Kyoto, admission free
Arashiyama is a pleasant and busy district in the outskirts of Kyoto. Many cherry trees can be found around the Togetsukyo Bridge at the foot of Arashiyama mountains, especially in the riverside Nakanoshima Park. Another nice hanami spot in the area is Daikakuji Temple whose large pond is surrounded by cherry trees.

Heian Shrine••

Mid April
Behind the main building, 600 yen, 8:30 to 18:00
Large numbers of weeping cherry trees (yaebeni shidare) stand in the garden of Heian Shrine, behind the shrine's main buildings, making it one of the best spots to see weeping cherry trees in Kyoto. The trees reach full bloom a few days after the other cherry trees, making it an ideal spot for visitors who miss the main season by a few days.

Haradani-en Garden••

Mid April
North of central Kyoto, 9:00 to 17:00 (until 17:30 on weekends), admission fee depends on the state of the season, but no specifics are provided; the fee used to be between 1200 and 1500 yen in past years
Haradani-en is another excellent spot to enjoy large numbers of later blooming weeping cherry trees. The pleasant garden is located in the northern outskirts of Kyoto in the hills above Kinkakuji Temple. It is a little bit difficult to reach by public transportation by the infrequent city bus number M1 from Kitaoji Station, Kinkakuji-michi or Ritsumeikan University. Alternatively, many visitors access the garden by taxi.

Okazaki Canal

Early April
Outside Heian Shrine, admission free
Cruises 2021: 3/26 to 5/5, 9:30 to 16:30, 1200 yen
The 2021 evening illuminations were cancelled
Located just outside of Heian Shrine, Okazaki Canal connects the Lake Biwa Canal network with Kamo River. It is lined by many cherry trees, and popular boat tours are conducted during the hanami season every 15-30 minutes. Evening illuminations are held during the peak of the season.

Keage Incline

Early April
Adjacent to Okazaki Canal near Nanzenji Temple, admission free
Part of a canal and tunnel system that connects Kyoto with Lake Biwa on the other side of the mountains, the Keage Incline was used until the 1950s to transport boats between Okazaki Canal and the canals at a higher elevation. Today, the gentle slope is lined by about one hundred cherry trees.

Daigoji Temple

Early April
15 minute walk from Daigoji Station, 1500 yen, 9:00 to 17:00
Daigoji is a temple complex with many cherry trees southeast of central Kyoto, where Hideyoshi held a famous hanami party in the 16th century. Some outstanding weeping cherry trees stand on the grounds of the Reihokan Museum and in front of the Sanboin.

Nijo Castle

Late March to mid April
A few steps from Nijojo-mae Station (Tozai Subway Line)
Admission: 620 yen; Hours: 8:45 to 17:00
Illumination 2021: 3/19 to 4/11, 18:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:00), 1400 yen (Mon to Thu), 1800 yen (Fri to Sun)
A wide range of cherry tree varieties on Nijo Castle's spacious grounds result in a long blooming season during most of March and April. Yet, because at any time there are always some trees out of bloom, the overall experience may not be as overwhelming as in hanami spots where all the trees bloom at the same time. There are special illuminations in the evenings.

Kyoto Botanical Garden

Early April
A few steps from Kitayama Station (Karasuma Subway Line)
Admission: 200 yen; Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
There will be no illuminations in 2021
Besides a lot of other flowers, bushes and trees, the Kyoto Botanical Garden contains a beautiful small forest of weeping cherry trees and somei yoshino that is popular for picnics. Furthermore, there stands a majestic weeping cherry tree next to the large lawn area in the center of the garden.

Kiyomizudera

Early April
15 minute walk from Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, 400 yen, 6:00 to 18:00
Illumination 2021: 3/27 to 4/4, 18:00 to 21:00, 400 yen
There are quite a few cherry trees planted around the large balcony of Kiyomizudera, but the largest concentration of trees is located around the pond near the exit of the temple grounds.

Ninnaji

Early to mid April
A few steps from Omuro Ninnaji Station (Keifuku Kitano Line)
Admission: 500 yen (during the cherry blossom season); Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Ninnaji Temple is well known for its locally cultivated variety of late blooming cherry trees known as Omuro Cherry. The Omuro cherry trees tend to bloom about a week after the mainstream Somei Yoshino. There are several hundred trees of them located on the temple grounds.

Kamogawa

Early April
Kitaoji Station (Karasuma Subway Line), admission free
Kamogawa is the river, which runs through central Kyoto. Cherry trees are planted in many places along the river. One of the most pleasant places for cherry blossom viewing and a picnic is in northern Kyoto, where Kitaoji Street crosses the river.

Hirano Shrine

Early April
Between Kinkakuji and Kitano Hakubaicho, admission free
Illumination 2021: 3/26 to 4/18, until 21:00
One of Kyoto's most famous hanami spots, Hirano Shrine is also known for the many varieties of cherry trees found on its grounds. In the evenings, the trees are lit up.

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

Hotels around Kyoto

Top rated in Kyoto
Budget:
    • Guesthouse Engawa
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse Engawa offers accommodation in Kyoto. Guests can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of Kyoto in their rooms. Each comes with a flat-screen TV, and an electric kettle will be provided upon request. Bathroom facilities are shared with other guests. Free toiletries and hairdryers are also available. There is luggage storage space at the property. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 600 metres from Guesthouse Engawa, while Heian Shrine is 2.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from the property.
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      9.8Booking.com
    • Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASS
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Kyoto, this traditional Japanese guest house features free Wi-Fi and a free public computer. Shichijo Onmae bus stop is 3 minutesf walk away. A seating area and shared bathroom are provided with each room at Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASS. Free toiletries are provided and blankets are available upon request. Select rooms have a garden view. A shared living area and bicycles are available for guestsf use during their stay at this Kyoto Guesthouse Compass. Access to the shared kitchen is available upon request. The guest house is 4.5 km from Imperial Palace and 2.2 km from Kyoto Station. Nijo Castle and Toji Castle are within a 30 minutesf bus ride away.
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      9.7Booking.com
    • Ryokan Mugen (Adult Only)
      Mid-range
      Mugen is a property that was built 160 years ago, situated in Kyoto, 1 km from Nijo Castle. Every room at Mugen features an en suite shower room, toilet, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. You will find a shared lounge on site and a bar at the annex building. The ryokan also offers bike hire. Imperial Palace is 1.1 km from Mugen, while Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is 1.6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 39 km from the property.
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      9.7Booking.com
    • Gallery Nozawa Inn
      Budget-friendly
      Gallery Nozawa Inn offers accommodation in Kyoto, 25 minutes on foot from JR Kyoto Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Every room includes a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Each room is equipped with a private toilet, and bathrooms are shared. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is luggage storage space at the property. Guests can sample Japanese-style breakfast featuring seasonal ingredients. There is a public bathhouse located a 10-minute walk away. Nijo Castle is 2.4 km from Gallery Nozawa Inn, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.4 km from the property. Osaka Itami Airport is 36 km away.
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      9.7Booking.com
    • Guesthouse tu casa
      Budget-friendly
      Attractively located in the Higashiyama Ward district of Kyoto, Guesthouse tu casa is situated 1.2 km from Sanjusangen-do Temple, 1.4 km from Kiyomizu-dera Temple and 1.9 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The guest house has family rooms. At the guest house rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom. Samurai Kembu Kyoto is 2.2 km from Guesthouse tu casa, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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      9.7Booking.com
    • Mitsuki Kyoto
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Kyoto, within 600 metres of Kyoto International Manga Museum and 1.7 km of Nijo Castle, Mitsuki Kyoto offers accommodation with a garden and free WiFi throughout the property. The property is located 2.1 km from Kyoto Imperial Palace, 2.3 km from Heian Shrine and 2.3 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto. The accommodation provides a concierge service, ticket service and luggage storage for guests. At the ryokan every room has a private bathroom. An Asian breakfast is available every morning at Mitsuki Kyoto. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kyoto, like cycling. Shoren-in Temple is 3.2 km from Mitsuki Kyoto, while TKP Garden City Kyoto is 3.4 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 39 km from the ryokan.
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      9.7Booking.com
    • Guest House Oumi
      Budget-friendly
      Well set in Kyoto, Guest House Oumi provides air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi and a garden. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen and room service for guests. At the guest house every room comes with a shared bathroom with free toiletries. A continental breakfast is available daily at guesthouseoumi. Nijo Castle is less than 1 km from the accommodation, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.2 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 37 km from Guest House Oumi.
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      9.6Booking.com
    • Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandereverie
      Luxury
      Ideally situated in the Shimogyo Ward district of Kyoto, Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandereverie is situated 1.3 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum, 1.9 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto and 2.3 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service and luggage storage for guests. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also feature free WiFi. Shoren-in Temple is 2.7 km from Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel Grandere, while Nijo Castle is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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      9.6Booking.com
    • IMAYA Hostel Kyoto
      Budget-friendly
      Attractively situated in the centre of Kyoto, IMAYA Hostel Kyoto features air-conditioned rooms, a bar, free WiFi and a shared lounge. The property is around less than 1 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum, a 16-minute walk from Nijo Castle and 2.4 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, a concierge service and ticket service for guests. The rooms at the hostel are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a kitchenette. The shared bathroom is fitted with a bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Kyoto Imperial Palace is 2.9 km from IMAYA Hostel Kyoto, while Heian Shrine is 3.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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      9.6Booking.com
    • Ryokan Tori
      Mid-range
      Ryokan Tori is located in Kyoto, 2 km from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The property is around 2.3 km from Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. The property is 3.2 km from Kinkaku-ji Temple and 3.7 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum. All guest rooms in the ryokan are fitted with a kettle. Each room has a shared bathroom, while selected rooms are fitted with a balcony and others also offer a garden view. All rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Guests at tori can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Heian Shrine is 5 km from the accommodation. Itami Airport is 50 km from the property.
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      9.6Booking.com
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