Mar. 03, 2016 UPDATE
Staff Recommended Places To Visit During Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry Blossoms within the City Beautiful
Different vibes are exhibited between various parts of Kyoto. Cherry blossoms line the beautiful Kamo River, also an excellent location for a nice walk. On one side of the river, there’s the historical district of Gion, and on the other side is the Shijo-Kawaramachi also known as the downtown of Kyoto. Gion is famous for Maiko, Geiko, Ochaya (tea houses) and Minami-za (Kabuki Theater). Including some blooming cherry trees into the picture will certainly be a captivating scene to keep as a forever memento. Stone streets of Gion give extra beauty in its sceneries during spring season. North part of Gion is Shirakawa River area where many gather to enjoy the scenery and take pictures. Narrow streets are lined with a canal, and the area is full of high-end restaurants and ochaya. People visit this area because incredible sceneries that represent Kyoto can be seen here. During the cherry blossom season, the area flourishes so beautifully and creates wonderful scenery for photographers. There are good chances of running into a Geiko or Maiko in this area.
Shirakawa River(Best around March 26 to April 4) Located in northern part of Gion is an area that has one of the most scenic atmospheres of Kyoto. Many eateries in machiya, or Kyoto-style house, are lined in this area because of the wonderful view of Shirakawa River and the rich history of Gion. Maiko and Geiko of Gion visit Tatsumi Daimyoujin（辰巳大明神）located right by Shirakawa River to pray for their success in dance performances. When cherry blossoms bloom, the lights in the shrine illuminate for a beautiful sight. During the cherry blossom season, the area is extra beautiful filled with pink blossoms, and with the wind, the petals elegantly fall into the river. It’s a must-go place to take pictures during the full bloom and also when the petals are falling.
Takasegawa Canal(Best around March 26 to April 4) We hope visitors will come across Takasegawa when they are in central Kyoto area. It is the canal with one end around Nijo-Kiyamachi and runs along Kiyamachi Street connected to Uji River. It’s easily accessible from Shijo-Kawaramachi,a major street for shopping and dining. The canal once was an important part of Kyoto transporting various goods along to the city, but now this beautiful area consists of many restaurants and bars that opens its doors every night. Someiyoshino cherry blossom trees also line up along the canal aweing all those who walk along it. The calm flow of water and blooming cherry blossoms matches so well, and when the wind blows, the storm of petals will fly in the air and into the streaming canal. Lights illuminating the blossoms create a charming ambiance to take a walk after devouring a nice dinner. We recommend that you enjoy a night out in this area!
Miyako Odori (dance)(April 1 to April 30 / Four shows a day 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm, 4:50pm) Get a taste of tradition and watch the dance performed by the Geiko and Maiko of Gion district. First Miyako dance was performed in 1872, and the tradition still continues every year in Gion. Beauty of four seasons is projected in the performance. Notice the change in seasons and the beautiful kimono worn by real Geiko and Maiko. Tickets sell out fast during cherry blossom season, so do consider getting reservation in advance!
Gion Komori(Best around March 26 to April 4) Gion Komori is located right by Shirakawa River of Gion making it one of an excellent place to enjoy some Japanese sweets and matcha green tea in an environment filled with cherry blossoms. It’s a popular place among both tourists and locals especially during the spring season.
KAWA CAFE(Best around March 26 to April 4)We suggest stopping by for some good eats within the cherry blossom areas. How about in a Kyoto-style house (machiya) with cherry blossoms in sight? Along Takasegawa, and with the magnificent view of Kamo River, Kawa Café offers bistro-style food such as quiche, pizza, and has great drink menu. All the staff speaks a language other than Japanese, so except no language barrier here.