close

Thanks for visiting Kansai Local!

We hope you are staying safe during these testing times. Travel to Japan is not possible for the time being as Japan has shut its borders in order to prevent more infections of COVID19. 

Please visit our sister website Biostays.com and sign up to the free, fun and informative newsletter which talks about news, travel news and interesting things that are happening in the world!

×
Home
About Us
Preparing for your trip
Areas/Seasons to Explore
Tours
Blogs
A weekend in Tokyo - The best things to do
Best temples and shrines to visit in Kyoto
Explore Himeji and the most impressive castle in Japan
Explore the famous Geisha district of Gion!
Fushimi Inari - The Famous red gates in Kyoto
The polite and Sacred Deer in Nara Park
Things to do in Kyoto
Visit Kobe for the day

Official partners of: 
     

Best places to enjoy the Cherry Blossom this spring in Japan

The actual week of cherry blossom is very hard to predict as varying weather conditions trigger the cherry blossom to bloom at different times. Some years it gets warmer earlier, bringing on the blossom earlier, and some years it is colder and rainier until later, thus triggering the blossom later. It is a good idea to keep an eye on Sakura Weather Map for a good up to date forecast of the cherry blossom.

Below are the best places in Kansai to see the Cherry Blossom. Some of these locations welcome Hanami.

Hanami basically means ‘cherry blossom viewing’. But the Japanese would call it a cherry blossom party. What it basically is is getting together with a bunch of friends and having a picnic under the Cherry blossom. It is a great experience and a fantastic way to view the incredible cherry blossom. Pop into the nearest Convenience store (combini) and buy some snacks, drinks, beers, portable chairs, and go out and picnic under the Cherry Blossom!

Maruyama park - Kyoto City

Opening hours: Until late. Lights illuminate the blossom until 1 am.

►Admission Fee: free

►Can I Hanami here?: Yes!

One of the biggest cherry tree parks, and indeed the oldest park in Kyoto is Maruyama park, this would be the best place to see the Cherry blossom, and have a Hanami picnic party.

Located next to the Yasaka Shrine, it is very centrally located and easy to get to. There are many convenience stores around here. My advice is to get here early and find a space to picnic quick as it will get crowded, especially on the weekend.

♦Click here for google maps♦

Fresh cherry blossom at Maruyama Park

Fresh cherry blossom at Maruyama Park

Arashiyama - Kyoto

►Opening hours: Open all hours

►Admission fee: free

►Can I Hanami here? Yes, in most areas.

Arashiyama is a rural area/district a few kilometres north west of Kyoto City. It is most famous for its monkey park, where wild monkeys roam around, and for the bamboo forest. However, it is also famous for its beauty during the spring Cherry blossom. Take a day here to explore the stunning cherry blossom, and indeed the beautiful scenery of Arashiyama. In certain spots, you are allowed to Hanami, but check signs and what other people are doing. I recommend taking a walk up the Katsura River. The further upstream you walk, the fewer tourists there are and the prettier it gets! Again, no littering! The Japanese take this very seriously.

♦Click here for google maps♦

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The Katsura River, Arashiyama, spring cherry blossom blooming

The Katsura River, Arashiyama, spring cherry blossom blooming

Nara Park - Nara

►Opening Hours: Open 24/7

►Admission fee: Free

►Can I Hanami here?: Yes!

Nothing says springtime more than watching the young ‘sacred’ and very tame deer prance around in cherry blossom leaves. Sounds like something from a Roald Dahl or Disney book. You can go do this while having a picnic in Nara Park… but the deer will probably try to steal your food!

Nara Park is a very famous and beautiful tourist attraction due to its amazing history, culture and number of temples and shrines that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The famous temples include Todaiji, which houses one of Japan's largest bronze statues of Vairocana, or ‘Daibutsu’ in Japanese.

Nara park is easy to get to from Osaka or Kyoto. Kintetsu Nara station will get you the closest, then it’s a short walk from there.

♦Click here for our Nara travel homepage for more info on Nara!♦

It gets extremely busy in Nara at this time, so if you need a hotel, you should book sooner rather than later. Click here for some hotel deals in Nara.

♦Click here for google maps♦

A young spring bambi!

A young spring bambi!

Cherry Blossom sprouting in Nara Park

Cherry Blossom sprouting in Nara Park

Yoshinoyama - Yoshino

►Opening hours: Open 24/7

►Admission fee: Free

►Can I Hanami here?: Most parts of the Mountain yes! But please don't litter or you will face heavy fines!

Yoshino Yama is probably the best place in Japan to view the Cherry Blossom. Over 30,000 cherry blossom are located across the hilly area of the Yoshino Yama, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historical importance, as well as beauty. Historically the area has seen the culture of locals donating cherry tree seeds to the Kimpusen-ji temple, which is the main temple of the mountain area. These seeds were/are planted in the surrounding mountain area. The result is unprecedented cherry blossom beauty when spring comes.

The Yoshino mountain area is quite difficult to get to purely because it is very rural. However, you can get Kintetsu Line trains from Osaka or Kyoto to Yoshino Station, which is the last station on the line. From there you can get the cable car up into the mountain village area and explore on foot. If you have a hire car, you’re winning! But commuter traffic is really bad around there so plan your trip well!

As the Yoshino mountains are quite remote, it would be a good idea to book a hotel or Ryokan. Some of the Ryokans (Traditional Japanese Inns) are incredibly beautiful with traditional rooms and hot spring baths.

♦Click here for the Kansai Local guide on best Ryokans to book!♦

For more Info on Yoshinoyama, Click here for our Yoshino homepage.

♦Click here for google maps♦

Yoshino mountain village. A great place view!

Yoshino mountain village. A great place view!

Thousands upon thousands of cherry trees in blossom!

Thousands upon thousands of cherry trees in blossom!

Kinosaki Onsen - Kyoto Prefecture

►Can I Hanami here?: Most parts of the village yes!

Kinosaki Onsen is a great place to visit during the spring. Kinosaki Onsen is a village located a 2 and a half hour train ride north-west of Kyoto. The actual village sits on a hot spring source, so the entire village is a hot spring village - ‘Onsen’ means hot spring bath. The cherry blossom here is very beautiful towards in mid-March.

Picture a small village pretty village in rural Japan with many bathhouses, people walking around in traditional bathrobes, and pink cherry blossom petals falling around like snow. Sounds dreamy right? Then you must come to visit Kinosaki onsen!

As it is quite a way away, I would recommend staying in one of the incredible Ryokans here. You can experience true Japanese hospitality at any number of the Ryokans here. They all have hot spring baths in them, and they will give you a ‘bath pass’ which is basically a ticket that allows you to visit any of the bathhouses in the village for free. You can also buy these tickets for cheap if you aren't staying at one of the ryokans.

Nishimura Ryokan

►Price per person: around £250/ €280/ $345 per person

♦♦♦♦♦ 5 Star

If your budget stretches, I highly recommend spending one night in Nishimura Ryokan. A beautiful family owned ryokan, steeped in history and tradition. The service is incredible, the food is traditional kaiseki, and the whole experience is amazing. The Ryokan has two of its own bathhouses, but you will also receive a bathhouse ticket from the front desk that allows you to use any of the bathhouses in the Village. Just scan the ticket at the entrance of the bathhouse and enjoy!

♦Click here to book♦

 

Tajimaya Hotel

►Price per person: around £200/ €225/ $275 per person

♦♦♦♦ 4 star

A romantic, more modest ryokan based in the heart of the village. I recommend this for couples and small families as you can still get the amazing Ryokan experience for less of the price. This ryokan has its own bathhouse but you can get a bathhouse ticket to allow you to use the other bathhouses for free.

♦Click here to book♦

Nishimura Honkan hotel.

Nishimura Honkan hotel.

Nishimura Honkan - a typical traditional room

Nishimura Honkan - a typical traditional room

Tajimaya Hotel entrance, set in the middle of the village.

Tajimaya Hotel entrance, set in the middle of the village.

Relax in some hot spring baths

Relax in some hot spring baths

Cherry blossom at Nishimura Honkan

Cherry blossom at Nishimura Honkan

 

 

 

Kansai Local are doing private tours and adventures to places that tourists don't know about. If this sounds awesome, get in touch with us and we will get back to you! 

By ticking this box you certify that you are at least 16 years old, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

All media and content on this website are Copyright of kansailocal.com © - 2020 - All rights reserved. Under no circumstance may media or content from this website be used without express permission from Edgar Whalley - edgarwhalley92@gmail.com.