Best spots for Hanami in Kyoto

This week, TIC blog is featuring the 2016 Sakura Special.

In the previous blogs, we have introduced many kinds of cherry blossoms in Japan, spring activities and also best spots to enjoy Hanami in Tokyo.


Ueno park



If you haven’t read those posts yet, check them out!


Discover Japan in spring 

First sakura at Miura kaigan

Sakura festival at Nihombashi

50 Shades of Sakura

Food talk in spring


As you know, the blooming period of sakura trees generally depends on the weather and climate. Sakura starts blooming in Okinawa in January. In major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, typically the blooming period is between the end of March to early April.

This year (2016) it is reported that the sakura started blooming earlier than previous years because the weather is exceptionally warm (oh, no global warming is messing up with the sakura too!) For the past few days, it has been constantly raining in Tokyo which unfortunately cut the blooming period short.

The peak period is now almost over in Tokyo. However, in Kyoto and Osaka, there are still many places you can enjoy full-bloomed sakura. In this blog, I would like to introduce my favorite hanami spots in Kyoto.


Top 5 Hanami spots in Kyoto *

  1. Kamogawa riverside
  2. Kiyamachi Sakurakawa and Gion
  3. Maruyama Park
  4. Philosophy Paths
  5.  Keage Incline Sakura

*Based solely on my opinion

The first three are in the same area, accessible by foot. The other two are further away. You will need to either use public transportation or a bicycle to get there.


Kamogawa riverside


Kamogawa river


Kamogawa river is the main river that runs through the heart of Kyoto. It has wide walking paths on both sides of the river. There are activities constantly being held along the riverside.

A bike ride along the river is such a fun activity to do in the spring!


Kamogawa riverside
Kamogawa riverside
Kamogawa riverside
Kamogawa river side



Kiyamachi and Gion


Shirakawa river


Kiyamachi is a historical street in Kyoto and also the biggest nightlife strip according to Lonely Planet. There is a small river called Shirakawa (or better called a canal?) which  has cherry trees on both sides.

It usually gets very crowded in the afternoon so  I recommend that you go there early. Walk around Kiyamachi then continue your journey on to Gion, the most famous Geisha district in Kyoto.





Cherry trees are everywhere but when surrounded by traditional houses, it’s even more special.

This is Gion;)

Cherry blossom in Gion



Maruyama park


Weeping cherry tree


Kyoto’s most famous weeping cherry tree is here in this park. It’s not only beautiful during the day but also at night when the lights are lit up.

This park is very popular among the locals for Hanami party activities.

Day time
m_143591 (1).jpg
Night time Credit photo : JNTO



Philosophy’s paths




One of the most visited sites in Kyoto, Philosophy’s paths is a pedestrian walk with both sides lined with cherry trees along the canal. It it breathtakingly beautiful in the spring.

The Silver temple or Ginkakuji is just a few mins walk from here.







Keage incline


Credit: JNTO


Keage incline is the old cable railway that used to transport boats in the Kyoto side of Biwako canal up until 1948. The old train tracks are still visible today.

The stunning row of sakura trees along the track attracts many people from around the world during the sakura season. This is by far my most favorite place for cherry blossoms in Kyoto.

Sakura: Cherry Blossoms at Keage and Nanzen-ji Temple. Kyoto 

CR : Kyoto fan youtube channel

The Kyoto Tourist Information Center offers many one day tours in Kyoto areas such as:

  • Kyoto, Fushimi and Kikakuji


  • One day Cherry blossom bus tour

bus tour.jpg

Sale period is over!

For those who are interested in seeing the performance by Maiko, the “Miyako Odori”, it has already begun on April 1st. The dance will be performed on schedule for one month.

Miyako Odori performance




If you are interested in signing up for tours or buying Miyako Odori tickets, please email us at or message us on Facebook Kyoto tourist information center.

That’s all for today. See you next post.





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