March 31, 2024

Kyoto Cherry Blossom Bulletin

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto

The Beginning of Cherry Blossom Season

Every spring, Kyoto is transformed into a breathtaking landscape of cherry blossoms. The blooming of cherry blossoms is a remarkable event throughout Japan, and its beauty and fragility symbolize the heart of the Japanese people.
In Kyoto, cherry blossoms usually come into full bloom from the end of March to early April. During this period, the city turns pink and many people celebrate the arrival of the season by going out to view the cherry blossoms (hanami).
Incidentally, this year in Kyoto, the best time to view the cherry blossoms is likely to be in early April, due to the unseasonable weather in the second half of March.


Cherry Blossom Viewing Highlights in Kyoto

There are many famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto.
Here are some photos taken in recent years.

Maruyama Park

Weeping cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2021
Weeping cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2021
Weeping cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2021
Weeping cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2021
Cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2023
Cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park 2023

Kyoto Imperial Garden

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto Imperial Garden 2023

Kenninji Temple

Cherry blossoms at Kenninji Temple 2023
Cherry blossoms at Kenninji Temple 2023

Toji Temple

Cherry blossoms at Toji Temple 2023
Cherry blossoms at Toji Temple 2023

Nanzenji Temple

Cherry blossoms at Nanzenji Temple 2023
Cherry blossoms at Nanzenji Temple 2023

Higashi Honganji Temple

Cherry blossoms at Higashi-Honganji Temple 2021
Cherry blossoms at Higashi-Honganji Temple 2021

Okazaki Park

Cherry blossoms and the torii gate of Heian Shrine, 2022
Cherry blossoms and the Torii Gate of Heian Shrine, 2022

Kamo River

Cherry blossoms near Sanjo Ohashi Bridge 2021
Cherry blossoms near Sanjo Ohashi Bridge 2021
Cherry blossoms along the Kamo River 2019
Cherry blossoms along the Kamo River 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Japanese Culture

Cherry blossoms are deeply rooted in Japanese culture, and their beauty has been praised in many works of literature and art since ancient times. The transient nature of cherry blossoms symbolizes the transience and beauty of life and teaches people the importance of living with the transience of nature.

In particular, the works of Saigyo Hōshi are an essential part of both cherry blossoms and Japanese literature.
Saigyo was a poet active from the late Heian period to the early Kamakura period, and his many waka poems reflect his deep love of nature and his admiration for cherry blossoms in particular.
Saigyo’s waka poems, while praising the beauty of cherry blossoms, also express his deeply moving feelings about the transience of their waning, deeply influencing the sentiments of Japanese people and their view of nature in the years that followed.

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto

Cherry blossoms have also been chosen as a theme or motif by many artists since ancient times, including Yamato-e and Ukiyoe, and have been carried over into contemporary art.
Of course, in the world of Kogei Art, there are countless works featuring cherry blossoms.

Koken Murata "Cherry Blossoms"
Koken Murata “Cherry Blossoms”

Conclusion

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto are not only beautiful. They have a deep cultural significance that connects the hearts of the Japanese people to the changing seasons. For international visitors to Kyoto, the cherry blossom season is the perfect opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Japan and the cultural values behind it. Every moment spent under the cherry blossoms will be a precious memory that will remain in your heart.

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto