Cherry blossoms at night in Gion Shimbashi area – image © Jeffrey Friedl
The cherries start to bloom sometime in mid- to late April. The Shimbashi area of Gion is one of the best places to enjoy them. Unfortunately, due to the crowds in recent years, they no longer illuminate them in the evenings.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)