In Kyoto

10 Best Kyoto’s Gardens for cherry blossom (Sakura) season in 2024

kosan

During the early spring season from late March to early April in Kyoto, the town is dyed in rosy pink cherry blossoms. Moreover, It’s very comfortable weather which Average temperature in Kyoto city is 57.5℉(14.2℃).

Japan has more than 300 types of Sakura trees, including hybrid and wild, taking many visitors breathe away.

 Even though It is such a stunning scenery, the full bloom period changes depending on the variety.Additionally, the one cherry blooming period is very short: about 7 to 10 days. 

In such a limited time, If you want to see beautiful Japanese garden and cherry blossoms in Kyoto, you need to know  which varieties are planted and when they bloom .
Here is the 10 best Japanese gardens in Kyoto and The best time you should visit.

Toji temple

To-ji Temple is the head temple of the Shingon Buddhist sect in Japan. Located just a 15-minute walk from Kyoto Station, this temple boasts a 1,200-year history and an majestic wooden architecture. Its impressive structures earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The 120-year-old weeping cherry tree is called the Yae benishidare cherry tree. The tree’s branches reach a height of 43 ft(13m) and boasting a 32ft(10m) canopy near the garden entrance. In late March, at the same time as the Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms, the Fuji cherry tree bursts into bloom, showing a stunning display of delicate pink blossoms. The contrast between the vibrant blossoms and the imposing five-storied pagoda creates a breathtaking sight.

In addition to the weeping cherry blossom tree, there are over 200 other cherry trees, including the popular Somei Yoshino variety and the Kawazu cherry trees, which blooms in early March. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the temple transforms into a magical scene, awash in a sea of pink petals.

Tips to avoid crowds

Toji is popular with tourists due to its proximity to Kyoto Station and its rich history. The high seasons of spring are particularly crowded, so advance preparation is necessary.

Take the train and walk: The roads are crowded during the cherry blossom season. Buses are always late and taxis are difficult to find. It’s a 15-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station to the East Gate entrance of Toji.

Visit weekdays: If possible, it’s advisable to avoid weekends and public holidays and visit on a weekday.

The times when it’s less crowded are 8:00pm just after the gates open. However, if you want to take a picture of the weeping cherry blossom tree and the five-storied pagoda together, it is better to visit in the afternoon, due to they are located on the southeast side of the garden as the sun will be against you in the morning.

Information

Day time
Open hours

Placetime
・Kondo
・Kodo
・Five-storied pagoda first floor
8:00am – 5:00pm( the reception close at 4:30pm)
Kanchi-in and Homotu-in
(Mar 20th to Apr 26th)
9:00 – 5:00pm( the reception close at 4:30pm)

※Temple is closed during after day time and before night time(17:00 – 18:00)
Cannot be used as a Special night viewing ticket

Entrance fee

Winter season(Jan 6th to Mar 18th)
PlacePrice
Five-storied pagoda first floor, 
Kondo and Kodo
・Adult: 800yen
・High school students : 700yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 500yen
Kanchi-in・Adult: 500yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
Homotu-kan・Adult: 500yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
All Places・Adult: 1,300yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 800yen
Normal season(Mar 19th)
PlacePrice
 Kondo and Kodo・Adult: 500yen
・High school students : 400yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
Kanchi-in・Adult: 500yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
All Places・Adult: 800yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 500yen
Spring season(Mar 20th to April 26th)
PlacePrice
 Kondo and Kodo・Adult: 500yen
・High school students : 400yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
Kanchi-in・Adult: 500yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
Homotu-kan・Adult: 500yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 300yen
All Places・Adult: 1,000yen
・Junior high school students and younger: 500yen

Adress
1 Kujocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8473

Official Website
Toji temple(English text)

Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of Kyoto’s most famous tourist attractions. Located on the eastern part of kyoto, this historic temple of the Hosso sect was founded in 778.

The temple is renowned for its wooden stage that juts out from the main stage, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Kyoto. Over 5 million tourists from all over the world visit each year to admire this iconic sight.

This temple has over 1,000 cherry blossom trees, including the popular Somei Yoshino hybrid cherry trees and the Japanese wild cherry trees (Yamazakura) In late March, the temple comes alive with a stunning display of pink blossoms, creating a picturesque backdrop to the stage.

There are cherry blossoms in the approach to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. I highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll to the temple to fully appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • It’s better to visit at 8:00am. On your way back from the temple, you can explore the shopping streets “Sannenzaka” and “Ninenzaka,” which open at 9:00am.
  • Avoid visiting on weekends and holidays.
  • Walking or using the train is recommended to arrive on time. It’s a 20-minute walking from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station on the Keihan Line to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

    It’s a 28-minute walking from Kawaramachi station on the Hankyu Line to Kiyomizu-dera temple.
    However the path is longer than the one from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station, it is recommended because it passes through popular attractions such as Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Kodaiji Temple, and Gion, which is famous for its geisha.

Information

Kiyomizu-dera temple

Open hours

PeriodTime
Normal
6:00am – 6:00pm
Summer season (Jul.1 – Aug.31)
6:00am – 6:30pm
Special night viewing time
(Mar.23rd – Mar.31st)(Aug.14th – 16th)(Nov.18th- Nov.30th)
6:00am – 5:30pm (Day time)
6:30pm – 9:30pm (Night time)
(9:00pm Last entry)

※Temple is closed during after day time and before night time(5:30 – 6:30)


Admission

Ticket typePrice
Day time ticket
※Cannot be used as a Special night viewing ticket
Adult: 400 yen
Child: 200 yen
Special night viewing ticket
Adult: 400 yen
Child: 200 yen

*Child is under 15 years of age.

Regular holiday
None


Address
1 Chome-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862

Official Website
Kiyomizu-dera temple(English text)

Maruyama Park

Weeping cherry trees in Maruyama Park
Weeping cherry trees in Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park, established in 1886, holds the distinction of being Kyoto’s oldest park. It boasts a picturesque Japanese pond garden, featuring a large, elegant pond with a tall willow tree, a meandering stream with arranged pebbles, and a stunning collection of “Someiyoshino” cherry trees lining the stream.

The highlight in this park is weeping cherry tree, a 40ft (12m) tall weeping cherry tree, adorned with delicate pale pink blossoms from middle to late March. During the cherry blossom season, Maruyama Park transforms into a magical spectacle as the trees are illuminated after sundown. The ethereal glow of the illuminated blossoms leaves visitors speechless.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Visit late at night: The center of Maruyama Park is crowded with people to see the weeping cherry blossom and other cherry blossoms. However, it is less crowded until 10:00am.
  • Visit on weekdays: On weekends, Japanese tourists also visit, so it is better to visit on weekdays if possible.
  • Avoid traveling by car or bus:During the cherry blossom season, the roads in Kyoto are congested with cars, so it is not recommended to travel by bus or taxi. Instead, it is better to take a bus and walk to Maruyama Park.

    It`s 10-minutes walking from Hankyu line Kawaramachi Station to Maruyama Park.In addition, there are many attractive tourist spots nearby, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Yasaka Shrine, and Gion, so I recommend visiting them together.

Information

Open hours
Open 24hours

Night illumination
(late March to early April)
From sunset to 10:00 pm

Admission
Free

Regular holiday
None

Official website(Only Japanese text)
https://kyoto-maruyama-park.jp

Address
Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0071

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

Honmanji temple

The weeping cherry blossom in Honmanji
The weeping cherry blossom in Honmanji

For those seeking to escape the tourist crowds during cherry blossom season, Honmanji Temple offers a serene sanctuary. This hidden gem, located in the northern part of Kyoto City, is one of the head Buddhist temples of the Nichiren school.

Honmanji boasts a stunning Japanese dry garden featuring white gravel, natulally arranged rocks, and vibrant green moss. Adding a touch of magic to this tranquil scene is a magnificent weeping cherry tree, which is a sibling tree born from the same parent as the one in Maruyama Park, blooming five white petals. The tree’s cascading branches adorned with delicate blooms create a breathtaking spectacle from middle to late March.

Tips to avoid crowds

Although Honmanji Temple is not crowded, the roads leading to it can be congested during the cherry blossom season. Choosing trains or bicycles guarantees timely arrival compared to unreliable buses or taxis.

By Train:
A convenient option is the Keihan Line or Eizan Line to Demachiyanagi Station, which is just an 8-minute walk from Honmanji Temple.

By Bicycle:
For a leisurely experience, cycling is a pleasant way to reach the temple thanks to Kyoto’s well-maintained roads and numerous rental bicycle stores.

Information

Open hours
8:00am – 5:00pm


Admission

Free

Regular holiday
None

Official site(Only Japanese)
https://temple.nichiren.or.jp/5011024-honmanji/#about

Address
〒602-0802 Kyoto, Kamigyo Ward, Tsuruyamacho, 16

It’s 8 minute walk away from nearest station: Keihan Main Line “Demachiyanagi” station to Honmanji temple

Kodaiji Temple

An elegant weeping cherry blossom in Kodaiji temple
An elegant weeping cherry blossom in Kodaiji temple

Kodaiji Temple, nestled in eastern Kyoto, near Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Maruyama Park, stands as a serene testament to Zen Buddhism. This temple was stablished in 1606 to honor the memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was one of Japan’s most powerful feudal lords. The temple boasts a rich tapestry of structures, including a majestic main hall, a tranquil tea house, a serene bamboo grove, and two captivating Japanese gardens: a strolling pond garden and a dry garden.

The dry garden is especially enchanting during cherry blossom season, graced by the presence of an elegant weeping cherry tree called Benishidare Zakura, blooming five with light pink petals. From late March to early April, its delicate branches cascade with an abundance of five-petaled pink blossoms, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

Furthermore, Kodaiji Temple transforms into a magical wonderland during the cherry blossom season with a stunning illumination event. Thousands of LED lights bathe the gardens in a soft glow, creating an enchanting atmosphere that will leave visitors mesmerized.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Visit weekdays : Weekends and public holidays (such as March 20th) are popular with Japanese tourists, so it is recommended to visit on a weekday if possible. This will allow you to enjoy a more peaceful experience with fewer crowds.
  • The temple becomes crowded from around noon, so it is best to arrive by 10:00 am to enjoy the gardens in peace and quiet with fewer people.
  • During the cherry blossom season, roads can be congested with cars. It is recommended to use public transportation, such as trains or bicycles, or to walk to the temple. This will help you avoid traffic delays and arrive on time.

    Kodaiji temple is an 18-minute walk from Kiyomizu-dera Station on the Keihan Railway.

Information

Open hours

Regular open hours9:00am – 5:30pm
(Reception office is close at 5:00pm)
Night light-up event
(17th March to 7th May)
5:00pm – 10:00pm
(Reception office is close at 9:30pm)

Regular holiday
None

Entrance fee

Regular open hoursAdult : 600 yen
High school and Junior high school student : 250yen
Night light-up event
(17th March to 7th May)
Same as above

Official site(English)
https://www.kodaiji.com/e_index.html

Address
Shimokawaracho 526, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0825

It’s 16 minute walk-away from nearest station: Hankyu line “Kawaramachi” station to Kodaiji Temple

Byodoin temple

cherry blossom in Byodoin temple
cherry blossom in Byodoin temple

Byodoin Temple is a Pure Land Buddhist temple located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Japan. It was founded in 1052 by Fujiwara Yorimichi, a powerful aristocrat, who converted from his father’s villa into a temple. The following year, the Hoodo(Phoenix Hall), a magnificent hall representing the Pure Land Paradise, was built.

By appointment, visitors can visit the interior of the main hall of Byodoin Temple, the Phoenix Hall, and admire the main statue of Amitabha Tathagata Buddha, the double canopy, the statue of Bosatsu on the clouds, and the murals. Although, photography is not allowed inside the Phoenix Hall, its beauty is stunning.

The temple grounds include a beautiful Pure Land Garden that surrounds the Phoenix Hall. The garden is considered to be one of the best examples of garden design from the Heian period (794 – 1185). Somei Yoshino cherry trees are planted around the garden, and in the spring, the sight of the Hoodo and its reflection in the pond with the cherry blossoms in full bloom is truly breathtaking.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Visit on weekdays to avoid crowds. 
  • The temple is open at 8:30 am, so it is best to visit early in the morning, between 8:30 am and 11:00 am. If you want to take photos without people, it is best to go until 9:00 am.
  • Take the train and walk to the temple. The temple is located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, and the roads can be crowded during the cherry blossom season. It is best to take the train to Keihan line Uji Station, which is a 10-minute walk from the temple and JR Uji Station, which is a 11-minute walk from the temple.
  • Uji is a charming town with a lot to offer visitors. Be sure to take some time to explore the area around Byodoin Temple.

Information

Open hours

Placetime
Byodoin Temple8:30am – 5:30pm(a reception close at 5:15pm)
Byodoin main hallEvery 20 minutes from 9:30am (the reception open at 9:00am).”
*To enter the main hall, visitors need to make reservation on the day at the reception desk inside the temple grounds..

Regular holiday
None

Entrance fee

Adress
Renge-116 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021

PlacePrice
Byodoin TempleAdults : 600yen
Joiner high and high school students : 400yen
Elementery school students : 300yen
Byodoin main hall300 yen (by reservation only in the reception)

Official website
Byodoin temple(English text)

Chohoji temple

Cherry blossom view from the Starbucks

Chohoji Temple is a small Tendai Buddhist temple located in the heart of Kyoto, in the bustling Karasuma district. Founded in 587 by Prince Shotoku, the temple is also known as Rokkaku-do (the Hexagon Hall) due to the hexagonal shape of its main hall’s roof.

In the garden of the temple, there are many weeping cherry trees called “Miyuki Sakura”.  These cherry trees are known for their unique blossoms that start out pale pink and gradually change to red as they bloom. They bloom about a week earlier than the Somei Yoshino cherry trees, from mid to late March.

Next to the temple is a Starbucks coffee shop. The glass-walled interior allows you to relax and enjoy the view of the fantastical pink cherry trees while you sip your coffee.

Tips to avoid crowds

Chohoji Temple is not usually crowded. However, if you plan to use the Starbucks next door, it is recommended to arrive by 8am to secure a window seat.

The temple is conveniently located just a 2-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station on the subway.

information

Open hours
6:00am – 5:00pm

Regular holiday
None

Entrance fee
free

Adress
〒604-8134 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Donomaecho, 248

Official Website
Chohoji temple(Japanese text)

Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple, located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, is the head temple of the Shingon Daigo school of Buddhism. Founded in 874 by Saint Rigen on Mount Daigo, the temple has a long and rich history dating back over 1,100 years. In 907, Emperor Daigo ordered the construction of the Yakushido Hall, a significant addition to the temple complex.
The temple also houses many other historical structures, including a five-story pagoda and the Kondo (Golden Hall) built in 951

.Daigoji Temple is renowned for its cherry blossoms, which were first planted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi for a cherry blossom viewing party. The temple boasts over 700 cherry trees of various varieties, including weeping cherry trees, Somei Yoshino cherry trees, and yamazakura cherry trees, which bloom in succession over a three-week period in spring.

Among the cherry trees at Daigoji Temple, the Daigo Daishidarezakura is a particularly spectacular sight. This weeping cherry tree spreads its branches majestically, covering an area of 78ft(24m) east-west and 65ft(20m) north-south, and bursts into bloom with gorgeous flowers.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Weekdays are less crowded
    While Daigoji Temple is generally not as crowded as other temples in Kyoto, it can still get busy on weekends, especially during cherry blossom season. If you want to avoid the crowds, try visiting on a weekday.
  • Visit early in the morning
    The temple opens at 9:00am. To avoid the crowds, it is recommended to visit early in the morning, between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. This will give you plenty of time to explore the temple grounds and admire the cherry blossoms without having to fight the crowds.
  • Take the train and walk
    During cherry blossom season, the roads leading to Daigoji Temple can get very congested. To avoid traffic, it is recommended to take the train and walk to the temple. The closest station is Daigo Station on the Kyoto Tozai Line, which is a 15-minute walk from the temple.

Information

Normal season

Read more

Open hour

TermOpen Hour
March1st to December1st9:00am to 5:00pm
December2nd to February28th9:00am to 4:30pm
PlacesPrice
Sanbo-in garden and Garan AreaAdults: 1,000yen
junior high and high school students: 700yen
Sanbo-in special visiting Age over junior high school students : 500yen
Reihokan MuseumAge over junior high school students : 500

Spring season
Open hours
9:00am to 5:00pm

PlacesPrice
Sanbo-in garden, Reihokan Garden and Garan Area Adults: 1,500yen
junior high and high school students: 1,000yen
Reihokan Museum and Heiseikan museumAge over junior high school students : 500yen

Adress
22 Daigohigashiojicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 601-1325

Official website
Daigoji temple(English text)

Taizoin temple

Weeping cherry tree in Taizoin Temple
Weeping cherry tree in Taizoin Temple

Taizoin Temple is a sub-temple of Myoshinji Temple located in the northwest of Kyoto. It is a Rinzai Zen temple that was founded in 1404 by Hatano Shigemichi, a powerful samurai lord.

The temple is famous for its unique dry landscape garden called the “Yin and Yang Garden.” The garden is divided into two sections by a path, with one side representing the “Yin” principle  and the other side representing the “Yang” principle. The contrast between the two sides is created by using different types of sand and rocks. This contrast symbolizes the duality of nature and the two sides of everything that exists, including human beings .

In the middle of the garden , there is a 50-year-old weeping cherry tree . The tree bursts into bloom in late March to early April, filling the garden with a riot of pink blossoms. The tree is so large that it seems to cover the entire sky.

In addition to the garden, Taizoin Temple also has a tea room called “Daikyuan”. The tea room is decorated with a red carpet and has a window that offers a stunning view of the weeping cherry tree. The serene atmosphere of the tea room makes it a perfect place to relax and meditate.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Visit on weekdays to avoid crowds. 
  • It is best to visit early in the morning, between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. If you want to take photos without people, it is best to go at 9:00 am.
  • Take the train and walk to the temple. The temple is located in the northwestern part of Kyoto, and the roads can be crowded during the cherry blossom season. It is best to take the train to JR Hanazono Station, which is a 11-minute walk from the temple.

Information

Open hours
9:00am – 5:00pm

Regular holiday
None

Entrance fee
Adults : 600yen
elementary and junior high school students : 300yen

Adress
〒616-8035 Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Hanazonomyoshinjicho, 35

Official website
Taizoin temple(English text)

Rokusonou Shrine

cherry blossoms in Rokusonou Shrine
cherry blossoms in Rokusonou Shrine

Rokusonou Shrine is a Shinto shrine located just a short walk from Kyoto Station, on the north side of Toji Temple. The shrine is named after Prince Rokusonou, the sixth grandson of Emperor Seiwa. He lived in the area until his death in 961, and the shrine was built to enshrine his remains in 963.

According to legend, Prince Rokusonou wished to become a dragon and live in the pond after his death and protect his descendants. Therefore, This is why the central pond in the shrine grounds is called the Shinryu-ike (Pond of the Divine Dragon).

The path leading to the main hall is lined with Somei Yoshino cherry trees and red wooden lanterns, creating a mystical atmosphere. The shrine grounds also feature Benishidarezakura (weeping cherry trees) and Ukonzakura (late-blooming cherry trees), allowing visitors to enjoy the cherry blossoms for an extended period of time.

Tips to avoid crowds

  • Rokusonou Shrine is a small shrine that is not usually crowded. However, if you want to take photos without people, it is best to visit early in the morning, between 7:00am and 8:00am.
  • During the cherry blossom season(late March to early April), the roads can be crowded, so it is recommended to walk to Rosonou Shrine. The nearest station is JR Kyoto Station, which is a 15-minute walk away.

Information

Open hours
7:00am – 5:00pm

Regular holiday
None

Entrance fee
free

Adress
509 Hachijocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8471

Official website
Rokusonou shrine(Japanese text)

Cherry blossoms in other seasons

While Somei Yoshino, the most popular cherry blossom variety, blooms in late March to early April, other varieties of cherry blossoms bloom at different times. For more information, please check other posts.

記事URLをコピーしました