The downside to cherry blossom season are the crowds: all the famous spots are usually packed. Luckily, for those who know where to go, there are lovely views of cherry blossoms available without the crowds
image © Jeffrey Friedl
Here are my recommendations for how to see the cherry blossoms without the crowds:
Shinyodo-Temple: Due to the lack of bus parking here, the crowds usually give this place a miss. There are some large cherry trees in front of the main gate.
Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi) by night: Sure, it’s beautiful during the day, but I prefer it at night, when the crowds have gone home. The trees are best at the north end.
The Takano-gawa River: This is one of the two rivers that meet at Demachiyanagi (the place where Imadegawa-dori crosses the Kamo-gawa River). It’s the eastern of the two rivers (the western one is the Kamo-gawa). The river is lined with cherry trees but gets fewer crowds than the Kamo-gawa.
Kiyamachi, south of Shijo-dori by night: Stroll along the banks of the canal here from Shijo to Gojo. It’s not deserted, but it’s usually not very crowded either.
Kyoto Cherry Blossoms Guide:
- When Do Cherry Blossoms Bloom In Kyoto?
- Where Is The Best Place To See Cherry Blossoms In Kyoto?
- Where To Stay In Cherry Blossom Season In Kyoto
- Where To Stay If Kyoto Is Fully Booked
- Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Kyoto Away from The Crowds
- Best Places In Kyoto For a Blossoming Viewing Party (Hanami Party)
- Kyoto 2-Day Cherry Blossom Itinerary
- Kyoto One-Day Cherry Blossom Off-The-Beaten-Track Itinerary
Visiting Tokyo or Osaka?
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- 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.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- 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. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)