Six Kyoto events celebrating cherry blossoms 京都の桜祭り
Daigo-ji, Flower Alley, Kyoto
Credit: torne (where's my lens cap?) Suivre
Schoolgirls open the festivities of Hō-Taikō Hanami Gyōretsu at Daigo-ji Temple
Hanami at Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto
Credit: Hiro - Kokoro☆Photo
Night view at Nijo Castle, Kyoto
Credit: Eddy Chang
Lantern Alley in the Higashiyama neighborhood, Kyoto
Credit: Hiro - Kokoro☆Photo
Spectacular view of the sakura from the boat on the Lake Biwa canal!
Credit: Kimon Berlin
This year in April, Kyoto is one of the preferred destinations for the hanami, sakura viewing. There are many ways to enjoy the cherry blossoms other than a picnic.
Here is a selection of the six best events for cherry blossoms viewing in Kyoto in 2017.
Taiko Festival in Daigo-ji temple
Voted number 1 by the Japanese in the ranking of the best spots for hanami in the Kansai region, Daigo-ji temple has nearly a thousand cherry trees. Also known as "Flowers of Daigo", this place is a spot recognized by the Japanese since the Heian period (794-1185). World Heritage, gardens were part of hanami, especially in the sixteenth century, given by the daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In April, the temple is the theater festival of traditional drums Taiko (Hôtaikô Gyoretsu hanami). The procession recreates the vintage festivities and moves in the temple.
April 9, 2017, from 13h to 15h in Daigo-ji temple; Daigo station Tozai Line; Adults: 600 yen; Children: 300 yen.
Illuminations from Kiyomizu-dera templeIn Kyoto, you can enjoy the flowers of cherry day and night. Kiyomizudera offers a magical night of Kyoto with their seasonal illuminations, surrounded by 1500 a Korean cherry tree (someiyoshino) and hill cherry (yamazakura). Seasonal illuminations (no yoru tokubetsu haikan) also occurs in summer and autumn.
From 3 to 12 March and 25 March to 9 April 2017, from 18h to 21h at Kiyomizu temple; 15 min by bus from Kyoto Station; Night entrance 400 yen.
Illuminations at Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle is an attraction in Kyoto illuminated during the saeson, this was the residence of the first shogun of the Edo period (1603-1867) Tokugawa Ieyasu. Sakura spots in Nijo Castle are divided into three parts: the garden with cherry blossoms, seiryu the garden and the west wing of the castle. In the latter 400 cherry trees of 50 different varieties grow there.
Illuminations (yozakura Kansho), from late March to mid-April, from 18h to 21h at Nijo Castle; Nijo-jo mae Station on the Tozai Line; Entrance 600 yen.
Maruyama Park and the alley flowery lanterns
Surrounded by shops and cafes, Maruyama is the oldest park in the city. From mid-March to April, it is possible to admire the cherry blossoms at night. Also known under the name of "Flowers of Gion" (Gion no yozakura), the site is all dressed whole rose when blooming its weeping cherry trees (shidare zakura) and its black cherry (yaezakura) arrives at its height in April. At the center of the park is also an old weeping cherry, witness of the history of the place. And March 3 to 12, take the opportunity to evening lantern walk, from 18h to 21h30.
Illuminations start from mid-March to mid-April, from sunset until 1am in Maruyama Park; 20 min bus from Kyoto Station; Free admission.
Boat trip on the Lake Biwa Canal
Let yourself be carried by the water and sail among a sea of sakura on Lake Biwa. An original way to enjoy the season of flowers in peace.
From 25 March to 7 April 2017, from 9.30 to 16.30; departs from Okazaki Nanzenji pier (boats every 15 minutes, reservation strongly recommended); Keage Station on the Keihan line; Adults: 1,200 yen; Children: 600 yen. Nocturnes: March 25 to April 9; 18h-21.30.
Otokoyama festival Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine
South of Kyoto, the sanctuary Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu is a must for the hanami since the Heian period (794-1185). From late March to April, the festival Otokoyama zakura matsuri has many events as part of the festivities. You can see ritual dances, martial art tournaments on weekends and many other events. Area dress the pink weeping cherry (shidare zakura) and black cherry (yaezakura).
From 20 March to 30 April 2017, from 8:30 am to 18h Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu shrine, City of Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture (45 minutes from Kyoto); free admission.