Kyoto Cherry Blossoms 2024: Sakura Season Viewing Guide

Last Updated: April 29,2024

The cherry blossoms in Kyoto are one of the most famous sights in Japan. The season when the cherry blossoms are blooming in Kyoto is also known as the cherry blossom season or Sakura season. During the Kyoto cherry blossoms season, visitors can enjoy the Sakura Hanami of thousands of flowering cherry trees in full bloom around parks, temples, and castles. Overall, making a trip to Kyoto during the cherry blossom month in Japan is a very beautiful and memorable experience. To save time, you can submit your preferences for a tailored-made Kyoto Sakura tour now, from which you will also visit Kyoto's iconic landmarks including Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the golden Kinkaku-dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nijo Castle; experience the Kimono photography and the traditional Tea Ceremony in Flower Tea House;  experience Arashiyama Rickshaw in the endless bamboo groves forest; watch the Geisha Performance in Gion while enjoying the Kaiseki Cuisine.

Table of Contents

1. Kyoto Cherry Blossoms Season Forecast 2024

2. How to Celebrate the Kyoto Sakura Season

3. Popular Places to See Kyoto Sakura 2024

4. Kyoto Cherry Blossom Spots without Crowds

5. Kyoto Accommodation Tips for 2024 Sakura Season

6. Arashiyama Train and Sakura Tunnel Guide

1. Kyoto Cherry Blossoms Season Forecast 2024

When can you see cherry blossoms in Kyoto 2024? Cherry blossom season in Kyoto usually lasts from March 23 to April 1 and it is the best time to visit Kyoto for cherry blossoms. However, the period of peak bloom varies from year to year, and it is difficult to predict exactly when it will occur. Some years, all the trees may bloom at once and stay in full bloom for a week or more, while in other years, the cherry blossoms may peak in different parts of the city at different times. Weather conditions, such as heavy rain, can also bring the blossoms down earlier than expected. You can check Japan Cherry Blossoms Season 2024 to learn more about the Sakura Season Forecast of different areas in Japan. Therefore, about what month is the cherry blossom in Kyoto, the forecasted flowering date may be in March, and the forecasted full bloom date may be in April, and 1st April may be the peak blooming date. To maximize your chances of seeing the cherry blossoms at their full blooming time, it is recommended to plan a Sakura trip of at least 10 days in Kyoto during this time period. If you are still afraid of missing the Japanese cherry blossom in Kyoto, you can extend your Kyoto Sakura tour to Hokkaido, where there is the late cherry blossom season in Japan.

Cherry Blossom Japan Kyoto

2. How to Celebrate the 2024 Kyoto Sakura Season

Admiring Sakura is one of the top things to do in Japan. The cherry blossom season in Japan is celebrated by locals every year, which is a quintessential Japanese tradition. For the Sakura season in Kyoto, Hanami, or flower viewing, is a popular activity of the cherry blossom season celebration that involves picnicking under the Sakura trees with friends and family mainly in parks. Other popular ways to celebrate the cherry blossoms season include attending cherry blossom festivals and hiking.

3. Popular Places to See Kyoto Sakura 2024

When planning a Japan tour, especially a spring trip, most of the visitors will head to Kyoto for Sakura viewing. Where can you see cherry blossoms in Kyoto in 2024? There are many famous spots to view Kyoto cherry blossom, including Philosopher's Path, Arashiyama, Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu-Dera, Hirano Shrine, Keage Incline, Gion Shimbashi-dori, Gion Shirakawa Canal, Kamo River, and Kyoto Gyoen National Garden.

Philosopher's Path - A Pedestrian Path Following a Cherry-tree-lined Canal in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 26 - April 1

Address: Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Nearby Station: Keage (for Nanzenji area)

Philosopher's Path is a path along the river connecting Ginkaku-ji Temple and Nanzen-ji Temple in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, with a total length of about 2 kilometers. Philosopher's Path, with "Cherry Blossom Tunnels" in full bloom on both sides, is one of the most famous and romantic Sakura viewing spots in Kyoto.

Walking along the path, you can meet various cherry blossom viewing crowds enjoying their leisure time, and Philosopher Path Kyoto cherry blossom can be described as fantastic during the sakura season, and it is also a must-see cherry blossom viewing place for travelers who want to take a deeper look at cherry blossoms, and you can walk through the weeping cherry tree to enjoy the best cherry blossom in Kyoto.

Arashiyama - The Second-most Important Sightseeing District in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 24 - April 1

Address: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0007, Japan

Nearby Station: Arashiyama

Arashiyama has been the backyard of Kyoto's aristocracy since ancient times, and is located in the northwest of Kyoto, and is known as Kyoto's No.1 Famous Spot. It is famous for Sakura and maple viewing in Japan, and you can take the Sagano Train or a boat ride through the valley. In spring, Arashiyama is one of the best places to enjoy cherry blossom in Japan Kyoto. Cherry blossoms bloom all over the mountain, and the Sakura petals falling down the path make a beautiful cherry blossom path. Arashiyama itself features quite a large amount of cherry blossom trees, and when they are in full bloom, half of the hill is pink, making it the best time to visit Kyoto for cherry blossoms. If you hope to go hiking and view Sakura at the same time during the spring season in Japan, Yoshino Nara cherry blossom is the perfect choice for you.

Cherry Blossom Tree Kyoto

Nijo Castle - A Flatland Castle in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 23 - April 1

Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8301, Japan

Nearby Station: Nijojo-mae

The official name of the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle is Moto-Rikyu Nijo Castle. Nijo Castle is known for its rich variety of cherry blossoms, and with more than 300 cherry trees of 50 different kinds planted throughout the castle, it is one of the best viewing spots for Kyoto Sakura, and you can also see Yaezakura, which is the "King of Cherry Blossoms" there. The gate is transformed into the backdrop for the light show, where beautiful cherry blossoms are projected and displayed in the sky. During the limited nighttime cherry blossoms viewing, you can see the beautiful pink flower tree illuminated by the lights, and there is also a specially designed light artwork on the open space in the castle.

Cherry Blossom Tree Kyoto

Kiyomizu-Dera - A Buddhist Temple and One of the Signature World Heritage Sites in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 23 - March 31

Nearby Stop: Ikedacho[Kokudo]

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

Kiyomizu-Dera is located on the hillside of Mount Kiyomizu in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan, and was founded in 778. Every year from the end of March to the beginning of April when it is cherry blossom time in Kyoto, the cherry trees around Kiyomizu-dera bloom, making it one of the representative sights of spring in Kyoto. The amount of cherry blossoms planted at Kiyomizu-Dera is not small, and when the Sakura trees are in full bloom, you can see the cherry blossoms surrounding the Kiyomizu Terrace from a distance. From the perspective of cherry blossom viewing in Japan, this is one of the classic spots for Sakura viewing in Japan. Moreover, Kiyomizu Dera autumn is also stunning to enjoy the Kyoto red leaves.

Hirano Shrine - A Shinto Shrine in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 25 - April 1

Address: Japan, 〒603-8322 Kyoto, Kita Ward, Hirano Miyamotocho, 1

Nearby Bus Stop: Kinugasa Komae

Hirano Shrine has been planting cherry blossoms since the Heian period, and there are many rare varieties of cherry blossoms. It is a famous place for Sakura viewing in Japan, where you can see over 400 cherry blossoms of 60 different kinds of cherry blossoms such as kaikazakura, hokkaido, ichiba, and ikura in full bloom. Hirano Shrine is said to have the most varieties of cherry blossoms among the temples in Kyoto. Early-blooming cherry blossom varieties begin to bloom around mid-March, while late-blooming varieties begin to blossom in mid- to late-April every year, making the cherry blossom season at Hirano Shrine longer than at other shrines. There are lanterns with cherry blossom motifs on them, and there is also an eating area where visitors can drink and chat while enjoying the Hanami in Kyoto. During the nighttime cherry blossom viewing period, there is a cherry blossom concert with classical music, which is a special experience that you can't find anywhere else, as you can enjoy the weeping cherry trees at night and listen to classical music at the same time.

Cherry Blossom Kyoto Japan

Keage Incline – A Gently Sloping Pedestrian Trail Lined with Cherry Trees

Best Viewing Time: March 23 - April 1

Address: 339 Higashi Kojiza-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Nearby Bus Stop: Keage

The Keage Incline was once used for ship transportation, but since its closure, it has been preserved as a historical monument and is the world's longest inclined railway monument with a total length of 582 meters. The cherry blossom trees along the railroad line and the old railroad are a unique sight to behold. You can walk down the Keage Incline to Keage Sosui Park, where there is a small Ferris wheel and children's playground equipment, making it a good place for a family outing during the cherry blossom season in Kyoto.

Shimbashi-dori, Gion - The most Beautiful Geisha District with Wooden Old Houses

Best Viewing Time: March 25 - April 1

Address: Shirakawa-minamidori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan

Nearby Station: Gion-Shijo Station

The Gion Shimbashi area, where the Shirakawa River flows through, has a large area of townhouses and stone paths that have been preserved intact, making it the most charming area in Kyoto, and it has been included in Japan's "Important Traditional Building Group Preservation Areas", and has become a representative scene preferred by many TV dramas for location shooting in Kyoto. When the weather is fine, you can see couples taking wedding photos here, and it is the No. 1 place to take photos during the Kyoto cherry blossom festival. For photographers, Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine and Kawaguchiko Tenjozan Park in Mt.fuji also cannot be missed at Mount Fuji Sakura month, as they are excellent places to shoot Mt. Fuji and Sukura and the Chureito Pagoda together and enjoy All-around View of Mt.Fuji.

Cherry Blossom Festival Kyoto Japan

Shirakawa Canal in Gion - One of Kyoto's Main Rivers Flowing from Heian Shrine

Best Viewing Time: March 23 - March 31

Access: About a 3-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Electric Railway; Or about a 5-minute walk from Sanjo Station on the Keihan Electric Railway.

Shirakawa runs through the center of Gion, with many cherry trees on both banks of the Shirakawa Canal. The stone paths and the tea houses with wooden latticework windows lined up in a row make up the streets unique to Gion, and together with the cherry tree blossoms on the branches of the Shirakawa River, making it one of the most charming scenes in Kyoto blossom season. When night falls on the Gion Shirakawa River, the best cherry blossom in Kyoto illuminated by night lights, the gurgling water, and the paper-covered lantern paths underfoot create the unique atmosphere of Gion and bring back the fondest memories of Kyoto.

Kamo River - One of the Most Popular Hang-out Spots in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 24 - April 1

Address: Matsunoshimo-machi, Izumoji, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Nearby Station: Gojō Station

Kamo River, the most representative first-class river in Kyoto, runs through the whole of Kyoto and the life of Kyoto people. This river, which is inseparable from Kyoto, is a favorite place for citizens and tourists to take a walk because of its flat path and shallow water. During the best time for Sakura in Kyoto, the banks of the Kamo River are one of the best cherry blossom spots in Kyoto to admire Japanese Sakura full bloom, and the people who gather along the riverbed to enjoy the famous flowering cherry tree become the most beautiful scenery in the area. The best combination of breeze and Sakura is found here.

Cherry Blossom Japan Kyoto

Kyoto Gyoen National Garden - A National Park in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 20 – April 1

Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-0881, Japan

Nearby Bus Stop: Karasuma Shimo Chojamachi

It is known to all that Chidorigafuchi near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a good place to enjoy Somei Yoshino Sakura during the Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season. As the Imperial Residence before the Japanese capital moved to Tokyo, Kyoto Gyoen is also the best place to see Sakura in Kyoto. And compared to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Kyoto Gyoen has a more ancient elegance. Because the cherry blossoms in Kyoto Gyoen National Garden are still very famous in the area. If you go to enjoy the blossoms, you should try to be early, preferably before 7:00 a.m. in the morning for pretty good Sakura viewing in Japan. Most of the cherry blossoms in the Kyoto Gyoen are weeping cherry trees. The cherry blossom period in Kyoto Gyoen National Garden varies, and the Hanami lasts from mid-March to late April, and you can enjoy the springtime of the cherry blossom season in the garden.

4. Kyoto Sakura Spots without Crowds

You may know the Kanchidoboku Research Institute is the Off-the-Beaten-Path Sakura spot to avoid crowds during the cherry blossom festival Japan Sapporo. But Where is not so crowded to see Sakura in Kyoto in 2024? Here are some Kyoto cherry blossom spots to avoid crowds, including Maruyama-Koen Park, Daigoji Temple, Takase River, Takenaka Inari Shrine, and Okazaki Park. 

Maruyama-Koen Park - A Public Park Next to Yasaka Shrine 

Best Viewing Time: March 23 – March 30

Address: Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0071, Japan

Access: About an 8-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Electric Railway

Maruyama-Koen Park covers an area of about 86,000 square meters and is one of the leading Kyoto cherry blossom spots, with about 680 cherry trees, including Someiyoshino and Yamazakura. In particular, the Gion weeping cherry tree in the center of the park is very popular and is a major attraction of the park. Since Maruyama-Koen Park is a large park without many architectural monuments, you can enjoy the cherry blossom flower alone, but if you don't have enough time, you should consider spending half a day in the park. Correspondingly, there will be much fewer people, to make it a Kyoto best cherry blossom spot with fewer crowds.

Hanami Kyoto

Daigoji Temple - A Shingon Buddhist Temple in Kyoto

Best Viewing Time: March 24 - April 1

Address: 22 Daigohigashiojicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 601-1325, Japan

Access: About a 15-minute walk from Daigo Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto Subway

Daigoji Temple has been known as one of Kyoto Sakura spots since the Heian Period, and about 1,000 cherry blossom trees bloom in succession from the early blooming "Higanzakura" to the "Weeping Cherry Blossom", "Someiyoshino", and "Yaezakura". The weeping cherry blossoms trees in front of Sanbō-in Gate, or the 180-years old weeping cherry blossoms, or the Somei-Yoshino cherry blossoms, which are over 100 years old, are all spectacular scenes of the Kyoto cherry blossom festival in the temple. It is one of the great places to enjoy Sakura tree illumination and maple leaves autumn illumination Kyoto.

Hanami Kyoto

Takase River - A Canal in Kyoto runs parallel to the Kamo River

Best Viewing Time: March 26 - April 1

Address: Nakagyo-ku, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Nearby Station: Gojō Station

Takase River flows through the east side of Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, from a man-made canal that originated from Kiyamachi-dori Nijo and runs along the Kamogawa River, crossing Sanjo and Shijo. Because of its excellent location near the center of the city, every year during the Kyoto Sakura season, the cherry flowers blooming on both sides of the river attract many tourists to stop by.

During the daytime, the Takase River is filled with laughter under the Sakura trees, and when night falls, there is a different kind of hustle and bustle along the banks of the Takase River.

Takenaka Inari Shrine - A Branch of Yoshida Shrine

Best Viewing Time: March 25- April 1

Address: 3-64 Yoshidakaguraokacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8311, Japan

Nearby Bus Stop: Kyodai Nogakubu

Takenaka Inari Shrine on the top of Mt. Yoshida is known as a private cherry blossom viewing spot in Kyoto. There is a row of red torii on the inner san-do, which looks like a miniature version of the Takenaka Inari Shrine, and there are many Yoshino cherry blossom trees that are planted on both sides. Every year when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in early April, you can see the pale pink flowers covering the torii, creating a beautiful scene of overlapping. Compared to the other best places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto, Takenaka Inari Shrine is quiet and pleasant, and most of the visitors are local residents. The Japan Sakura viewing here is particularly comfortable and cozy.

Okazaki Park - A Landscaped Park Full of Culture and History

Best Viewing Time: March 24 - April 1

Address: 561-1 Koseicho, Okazaki, Aichi 444-0052, Japan

Access: Get off at Cujukami Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto City Underground Railway and walk for about 5 minutes

Okazaki Park is located in Heian Shrine, where rows of cherry blossom trees bloom together in spring. The dense petals of the Sakura cover the branches and weigh heavily on the trunks of the canals leading to Lake Biwa. During the cherry blossom season in Okazaki Park, two boats travel between the corridors that are formed by the intersecting cherry blossom branches, and you can enjoy the elegance of being surrounded by pink flowering trees while sitting in a slightly rocking boat, with springtime blossom branches above your head, and petals falling into the crystal-clear water of the canal beside you.

Tyoto Sakura Trees

5. Accommodation Tips for Kyoto Sakura Season

Where is the most convenient place to stay in Kyoto during the cherry blossom season 2024? We recommend staying in the Shijo-dori or Kyoto Station area. The business near Shijo-dori is relatively developed and it is livelier. If you like to go out at night, then you can consider choosing there. There are a lot of transportation lines, and the location is not too remote. According to the Kyoto Sakura attractions, staying at the Shijo-dori area is not far away from the Yasaka-jinja Shrine area, as well as the Kamogawa area. Transportation here is more convenient for Kyoto cherry blossoms season.

For the Kyoto Station area, it has a high concentration of both subway and buses. It's also very convenient and easy to get to Kyoto's best cherry blossom spot, so if you're going to Arashiyama for example, you can take the JR line from Kyoto Station. If you consider the people in line, in fact, Kyoto Station is basically the originating station, and if it's any other station, the buses can be very crowded during the cherry blossom month in Japan.

Besides, you can choose to stay near Kiyomizu-Dera. It is 5 minutes walk to Kiyomizu-Dera. You can go to Kiyomizu-Dera early in the morning to feel the quietness without people. And it is very convenient to go to Kiyomizu-Dera in the evening to see the nighttime cherry blossoms, which will be very stunning for your Kyoto Sakura tour in Japan. And here are Japan Accommodation Options for you to get more info to make a decision.

6. Arashiyama Train and Sakura Tunnel Guide

As we all know that Arashiyama is the best place in Kyoto for cherry blossoms, but how to take the Arashiyama Train and Sakura Tunnel to enjoy the Hanami in Kyoto?

Randen's Sakura Tunnel is the section between Naritaki Station and Utano Station. If you go to Sakura Tunnel from Arashiyama, take Randen at Randen-Saga Station to Katabiranotsuji, and then transfer to Randen Kitano Line. Randen is a regular bus, so just buy a Randen ticket or take the ICOCA.

Arashiyama Sakura

So the itinerary for this day to view Arashiyama Sakura in Kyoto should be to take JR to Umahori Station, then take the mini-train to Arashiyama at Torokko Kameoka Station. Then walk around Arashiyama's attractions. Finally, go to Randen. After the Sakura tour, take the Randen to Saiin Station or Shijō-Ōmiya Station, and transfer to Hankyu Dentetsu to return to Umeda Station in Osaka to enjoy the Osaka Cherry Blossom Festival if time is available. Of course, you can do this itinerary the other way around, depending on whether you can make a reservation for the right time for the mini-train or not.

The Randen mini-train passes under the Sakura trees. The small train that travels slowly through the old folk houses, with large clusters of cherry blossoms, exudes a quaint and gentle atmosphere, and makes you feel the flavor of the ancient capital under the pink Japanese cherry blossom trees.


Here we have shared the complete guide on Kyoto Cherry Blossom Season 2024, including the best time for Sakura in Kyoto, the best Sakura spots in Kyoto, the Kyoto cherry blossom festival, how to choose accommodation during the Kyoto cherry blossoms season, and how to enjoy the Arashiyama train and Sakura tunnel in Kyoto during the Sakura season. If you are to plan a Kyoto cherry blossom tour 2024, just choose from our Japan Cherry Blossom Sakura Tours now, or contact our travel experts to tailor your itinerary if you hope to experience the Kyoto hot springs at a Kyoto ryokan with private onsen after viewing the Kyoto Sakura during daytime.

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