2018 Japan Kyoto Cherry Blossom Forecast And Best Viewing Spots!

The Japanese cherry blossom or Sakura are the symbols of springtime in Japan and it has long been adored by people across the globe. “Hanami” (Japanese: the act of cherry blossom viewing) has become a very popular activity in Japan for both locals and tourists during the spring season. So, are you ready to fly to Japan for these stunning white or pink flowers?

Generally, the cherry blossom trees blooming time can vary widely based on the geographical location within the country. Blooms usually open first in the southern region and blooming progresses northward, but the average time for appearing cherry blossom may vary depending on the weather conditions.

Today, we share the 2018 cherry blossom forecast and best viewing spots in Kyoto with you!

Kyoto: Cherry Blossoms Start from late March to early April

2018: First day of blossoms -Late March (28-03-2018), Full bloom (estimated day): Early April (06-04-2018)

Fushimi Jukkoku-bune

Photo credit: imamiya.jp

Jukkoku-bune is a houseboat which was used in the past to transport things or people.These houseboats carried passengers back and forth between Fushimi and Osaka from the Edo Period until early Meiji. Today they operate two boats here – the Hideyoshi and the Ryoma. On the boat, you can explore Sakura scenery and the cityscape of Fushimi, which is famous for Fushimi sake. The collaboration of Sakura trees and a Sake brewery is the original scenery of Fushimi.

Philosopher’s Path

Photo credit: imamiya.jp

Admission Fee: Free

The Philosopher’s Path is a pleasant path besides a canal that connects Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) with the vicinity of Nanzenji. It is lined by hundreds of cherry trees.

Maruyama Park

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Admission Fee: Free

Illumination: During blooming period 

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.


Photo credit: imamiya.jp

Admission Fee: Free

Illumination: During blooming period 

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

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Photo credit: travelcaffeine.com

Opening hours: 8:30 AM ~ 17:30 PM

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

Photo credit: Jeffrey Friedl

Nearest station: Nijojo-mae Station (Tozai Subway Line)

Admission Fee: 1200 yen (weekdays), 1500 yen (weekends/holidays)

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.

Keage Incline

Photo credit: nanphotography

Photo credit: justgola.com

Admission Fee: 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.

Nijo Castle

Photo credit: zh-tw.zekkeijapan.com

Opening hours: 8:45 AM ~ 17:00 PM ( Entry until 16:00 PM)

Nearest station: Nijojo-mae Station (Tozai Subway Line)

Admission Fee: 600 yen

Illumination: During blooming period

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

Photo credit: 2ponderful.com

Opening hours: 9:00 AM ~ 17:00 PM ( Entry until 16:00 PM)

Nearest station: Kitayama Station (Karasuma Subway Line)

Admission Fee: 200 yen

Illumination: During blooming period 

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.


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Opening hours: 6:00 AM ~ 18:00 PM 

Nearest bus stop: Kiyomizu-michi bus stop

Admission Fee: 400 yen

Illumination: During blooming period

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.


Photo credit: discoverkyoto.com

Photo credit: digjapan.travel

Opening hours: 9:00 AM ~ 17:00 PM ( Entry until 16:00 PM)

Nearest station: Omuro Ninnaji Station (Keifuku Kitano Line)

Admission Fee: 500 yen

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.


Photo credit: tiptoeingworld.com

Nearest station: Kitaoji Station (Karasuma Subway Line)

Admission Fee: 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

Photo credit: portoforigin.blogspot.tw

Admission Fee: Free

Illumination: During blooming period

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.

Triplisher.com recommended itinerary

All The Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kyoto 4 days itinerary

Article source: japan-guide.com

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