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 The 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 Away From The Crowds
- Best Places For A Cherry Blossom Viewing Party (Hanami Party) In Kyoto
Kyoto Cherry Blossom Itineraries
- Kyoto 2-Day Cherry Blossom Itinerary
- Kyoto One-Day Cherry Blossom Off-The-Beaten-Track Itinerary
- Kyoto Evening Cherry Blossom Itinerary
- Kyoto Romantic Cherry Blossom Itinerary
Cherry Blossoms In Other Japanese Cities
- Japan Cherry Blossoms
- Hiroshima and Miyajima Cherry Blossoms
- Kanazawa Cherry Blossoms
- Kobe Cherry Blossoms
- Nara Cherry Blossoms
- Takayama Cherry Blossoms
Visiting Tokyo or Osaka?
See my guides to viewing cherry blossoms in Tokyo and the best Osaka cherry blossom spots too.
You can check availability of Kyoto hotels during cherry blossom season (mid-March to mid-April) on Agoda.com and Booking.com
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
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world