In Kyoto

Maruyama Park’s cherry blossoms(Sakura) : the best time and popular spots you should visit in Kyoto


Spring time in Kyoto is a magical season, and there’s no better place to experience it than Maruyama Park. As the cherry blossoms bloom, this expansive park becomes a spring wonderland of delicate pink petals and buzzing activity. 

With over 680 cherry blossom trees of different varieties and sizes, there’s no shortage of breathtaking views to discover. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler to Japan, Maruyama Park’s cherry blossoms are a must-see spectacle that will leave you in awe. 

In this post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to enjoy Maruyama Park’s cherry blossoms to the fullest.

What is Maruyama Park?

Cherry trees and Black pines with a stone bridge over a winding river in Maruyama Park
Cherry trees and Black pines with a stone bridge over a winding river in Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park is a public park, designed in 1886, located in eastern Kyoto(Higashiyama district).
Although Maruyama park is named park, contain garden elements, it’s designated highly valued for Japanese garden’s cultural property.
The park covers a huge area of approximately 8.66hr(86,600㎡) with authentic restaurant, Japanese-style cafe and food stall that will be open during the Special season.
The park is close to hot spots : national treasure shrine “Yasaka” , close to Kiyomizu-dera temple and Gion where is the traditional Japanese female entertainers area . For this good location, the Maruyama Park is included in some of the most popular travel and tourism courses.

Cherry blossom types and blooming season

Weeping cherry trees ”Gion Shidare Zakura” in Maruyama Park
Weeping cherry trees ”Gion Shidare Zakura” in Maruyama Park

The most famous tree in Maruyama Park is huge cherry blossoms ”Gion Shidare Zakura”, which is hybrid weeping cherry tree, producing white or pale pink five-petaled flowers, one of the long-life varieties of cherry trees. The park has several weeping cherry trees and the largest one is approximately 40ft(12m) ,branch length is 32ft(10m) and  about 80 years old. 

In early cherry blossom season (from mid-March to early April) They bloom in flower from weeping branches. 

Cherry trees “Someiyoshino”  along a winding river in Maruyama Park
Cherry trees “Someiyoshino” along a winding river

Another cherry tree type is “Someiyoshino”, which is hybrid of two other cherry tree species, “Oshima” cherry and “Edohigan” cherry tree. Someiyoshino trees are known for their beautiful pale pink or white five-petaled flowers that bloom from late March to early April, a week later than Gion shidare zakura.

The park has a lot of Someiyoshino cherry trees that grow along the winding river, located in east area and west entrance area. 

In the cherry blossom season, many people come to the park to see and enjoy the beauty of these magnificent trees.

An extra information:

Someiyoshino trees are most numerous cherry trees in Japan, therefore weather forecast give a prediction of when and where “Someiyoshino” cherry tree’s flowering date and full bloom date in Japan. If you want to check the best time of Someiyoshino cherry blossom season, this cherry blossom forecast site will help you. 

Recommended cherry blossom viewing spots in Maruyama Park

There are many cherry blossom viewing spots in vast Maruyama Park. Here are some recommended spots to view  

cherry blossom walkway area(West):

This spot is located near a west entrance of the park from Yasaka Shrine side where is a popular spot for taking photos. The “Someiyoshino” cherry blossom trees on either side of the walkway, which is especially beautiful during the peak of the cherry blossom season.

Large Weeping cherry blossoms(Center):

This spot is located in the center of the park. There are one huge weeping cherry blossoms and several ones around it on one level higher than the pathway that you can go around and view from different angles. In cherry blossom season, those magnificent trees, producing pale pink flowers from sagging branches, attract many people.

Cherry trees along river(East): 

If you want to relax and feel a peaceful atmosphere, east area is the best. There are many “Someiyoshino” cherry trees growing along river, and wooden benches. It’s a tranquil walking around east side of the park.

Best time of day and weather conditions for cherry blossom viewing

Weeping cherry trees light-up show

The best time of day and weather conditions for cherry blossom viewing can depend on a few factors such as the location and the stage of the cherry blossoms. However, here are some general tips that can help enhance your cherry blossom viewing experience.

Best time of day:

Early morning is usually the best times of day for cherry blossom viewing as the light is softer and more diffused, which can create a more beautiful and serene atmosphere. This time can be a good time to avoid crowds and get some peaceful time to enjoy cherry blossom.

If you want a romantic views, I recommend to visit at night during cherry blossom season(from 25th March to 10th April) in the Maruyama park. Cherry blossoms are illuminated with special lighting displays, creating a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere.

Best weather conditions:

Clear and sunny days are ideal for cherry blossom viewing as they can bring out the vibrant colors of the blossoms and create a cheerful and festive atmosphere. However, cloudy or overcast day can also be great for cherry blossom viewing as they can create a more subdued and peaceful atmosphere.

How to avoid the crowds

Maruyama Park is popular tourist destination, especially during cherry blossom season when is from mid-March to mid-April. Here are some tips to avoid the crowds

Visit during weekdays: 

Most tourists who live in Japan tend to visit on holidays. For a relaxing time, it’s better to consider visiting during weekdays. 

Take trains or use a bicycle:

In the high season, Kyoto’s roads filled with cars and buses. Taking trains or using a bicycle is more likely to get you there on time than using bus or taxi.

If it’s the off-season, since the roads won’t be congested, it’s good choices to use taxis or buses.

Stay at a hotel or inn near Maruyama Park:

Another popular choice is to stay at a hotel or inn near Maruyama Park, eastern Kyoto city area”Higashiyama district”. There are many hot spots for sightseeing: national treasure shrine “Yasaka” and “Kiyomizu-dera” temple and Gion where is geisha(the traditional Japanese female entertainers area). A one-day walking tour of those tourist attractions is also popular.


Open hours
Open 24hours


Regular holiday

Official site(Only Japanese)

Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0071

It’s 9 minute walk away from nearest station: Hankyu-Kyoto Line “Kyoto-Kawaramachi” station to Maruyama Park