Mar. 30, 2018 UPDATE
Kyoto, a pink wonderland of cherry blossoms, is full of places you have to have on your bucket list
Heart-warming cherry blossoms for families
Everyone loves cherry blossoms, from babies to grandmothers! But when you come to Kyoto with small children and maybe even grandparents, you have to think of accessibility when deciding where to go to see the cherry blossoms. So I have carefully chosen some cherry blossom spots for you which are famous, but very spacious, so you don’t have to worry too much about the crowds. And when it comes to eating out in Kyoto, sometimes it’s hard to find a non-smoking restaurant, but don’t worry, I’ve chosen one that is not only non-smoking but also stroller-friendly! This is my itinerary for a stress-free cherry blossom viewing day in Kyoto for families!
Nanzen-ji TempleNanzen-ji is not only famous for its autumn leaves, but also for its cherry blossoms, and countless people go see them in spring. The temple grounds are vast, and the sea of pink enveloping the temple buildings make you feel like you were in a fairytale.
On the way to the main hall, you can see temples all around you. Although it’s the cherry blossom season, at Nanzen-ji Temple you can still escape the bustle and hustle of the city, and relax. It won’t feel crowded here, so this is the optimal place for a group photo!
Keage InclineKeage Incline is right by Nanzen-ji, and the tracks are surrounded by majestic cherry trees on both sides, making the scenery feel heartwarming. You can see many couples getting their wedding photos taken here, which just adds to the atmosphere.
So take your child’s hand, and enjoy the walk under the cherry blossoms! The world is pink, and the warm spring weather makes this the perfect place for the whole family! When you look at this picture of Shiho and cherry blossoms, you probably want to take one like it yourself too, right? So come to Kyoto, all of you! Note that as you’ll mostly be walking on pebbles, it’s better to wear sneakers to Keage Incline.
Kyoto Botanical GardensThere are many flowers you can see at Kyoto Botanical Gardens, and among them are, of course, cherry blossoms! When you get to see the cherry blossoms here, it’s almost like you were swimming in a sea of flowers. There are also traditional Japanese buildings in the garden, and even a shrine, so you can truly enjoy the cherry blossoms and the Japanese spring atmosphere here.
Take some snacks, drinks, and a picnic blanket with you, and you have can have a picnic right here at Kyoto Botanical Gardens! Close to the garden you can see all kinds interesting shops and cafes, so after a nice cherry-blossom viewing at the park, you could have a rest at a café and enjoy some relaxing afternoon tea!
Gion ShirakawaThe cherry blossoms by the Shirakawa River seem to go on and on like you were always inside the pink wonderland of cherry blossoms. Walking here you’ll just feel so happy. There are many beautiful traditional machiya town houses by the river; it’s hard to even begin to describe the beauty of this area with words.
The cherry blossoms are pretty during the daytime, but in the darkness of the night, they turn the river into a romantic, very Kyoto-like stage. I hope you’ll get to see them both, the clear whiteness of the blossoms and the mysterious blossoms of the night too.
Gion CalfGion Calf is a steakhouse in Gion with a welcoming Japanese atmosphere. Their carefully chosen seasonal ingredients make it possible for you to taste the freshest Japanese tastes.
The restaurant is famous for their wagyu steaks, which are of the highest A5-rank, and from the world-famous Omi cattle. The meat is very soft, but the most incredible thing is how juicy it is: every bite is a revelation.
Before the dessert, you get some rice, such as this rice bowl topped with delicious, creamy uni (sea urchin)! The creaminess of the taste together with the dashi stock made this dish have a nice kick to its creaminess, and I finished it in seconds! This relaxing restaurant is nonsmoking and child-friendly, so for families, this restaurant with its heartfelt service is a sure choice in Kyoto!
There are many things you need to keep in mind when you bring your family to Kyoto on holiday; there’s a lot of responsibility! But I hope this article has alleviated at least some your worries, and you can have a fun cherry-blossom filled trip to Kyoto with your children! But what if you’re already retired and your children are too busy to come with you to Kyoto? Don’t worry; next we’ll take a look at some great places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto for those in retirement!