If you arrived in Kyoto a couple of days too late for the cherry blossoms, don't give up yet. There are ways to enjoy the seasonal spectacle, after all:
Option 1: See late-flowering cherry tree varieties
There are more than a hundred cherry tree varieties in Japan. The large majority of trees bloom usually around late March and early April, but there are a few varieties that bloom several days or weeks earlier and later. In Kyoto, there are a number of hanami spots with many later blooming weeping cherry trees that reach full bloom typically half a week later than the mainstream Somei Yoshino trees. Other spots feature even later blooming varieties that provide nice hanami conditions for several weeks beyond the end of the main season:
Behind the main building, 600 yen, 8:30 to 18:00 (entry until 17:30)
Large numbers of later blooming 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.
A few days beyond the end of the main season
North of Kinkakuji, 1200 yen (weekdays), 1500 yen (weekends), 9:00 to 17:00
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.
Kyoto Botanical Garden
A few days beyond the end of the main season
A few steps from Kitayama Station (Karasuma Subway Line) Admission: 200 yen; Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
Besides a lot of other flowers, bushes and trees, the Kyoto Botanical Garden contains a beautiful small forest of later blooming weeping cherry trees that is popular for picnics.
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.
A few steps from Nijojo-mae Station (Tozai Subway Line) Admission: 620 yen; Hours: 8:45 to 17:00
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. For visitors later during the season there is a long row of weeping cherry trees that bloom a few days later than the mainstream cherry trees, and one of the city's largest collections of yae-zakura trees that bloom several weeks beyond the end of the main season.
More than 300 trees of over 100 varieties, mostly later blooming yae-zakura trees can be viewed on the premises of the Osaka Mint Bureau. The gates of the garden are opened to the general public for one week in mid April. The garden can also be viewed on the occasion of a visit to the Mint Museum outside of the special opening period.
Option 2: Make a side trip
There are several nearby places at a higher elevation or with an otherwise colder climate where the cherry blossoms bloom a few days or weeks later than in Kyoto. Below are a few destinations where you can see the blossoms in an easy side trip from the city:
Yoshinoyama is often considered Japan's most famous cherry blossom spot. Due to its location in the mountains, the cherry trees there typically start to open about a week later than in Kyoto. Furthermore, the blooming period at Yoshinoyama is prolonged by the fact that the trees are found along a mountain slope, with the upper ones trailing the lower ones by several days.
About one hour east of Kyoto along the JR Biwako Line (more details)
Despite being located only 50 kilometers east of Kyoto, the town of Hikone is exposed to considerably colder weather, resulting in a cherry blossom blooming period that is about one week delayed compared to Kyoto's. The best hanami spot in Hikone is Hikone Castle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well located in the Shimogyo Ward district of Kyoto, Hotel Muso is located 1.8 km from Sanjusangen-do Temple, 1.9 km from Samurai Kembu Kyoto and 2 km from TKP Garden City Kyoto. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The hotel features family rooms. The rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. Guest rooms in Hotel Muso are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer. The accommodation offers a hot tub. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 2 km from Hotel Muso, while Kyoto International Manga Museum is 2.2 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 km from the hotel.