It’s that time of the year again. The sun has got her hat on, the tourists have descended and those elusive little petals have begun to bloom in Kyoto. I love sakura season. There’s a subtle pink glow that makes everything feel that little bit warmer and more magical. I mean, it is seriously beautiful at this time of the year…
Kyoto is famous for having a great many places to see sakura. Maruyama Park has hundreds of trees and will be a hanami hotspot for the next couple of weeks as people position their picnics under the blossoms to celebrate the fragile beauty of the trees as a metaphor for life. The order of the day is to eat, drink and make merry on a scale that I’ve never seen before. Interns are sent from their desks early in the morning to find the perfect hanami patch, guarding their acquired area all day until the rest of the office join later in the afternoon. Friends will Pitch up at midday and not leave until the sun has long gone. It’s a wonderful thing to experience.
The brilliance of Kyoto sakura is that they are everywhere. They line the Kamogawa, pop up in tiny parks in the middle of city streets and bloom in huge numbers in parks and gardens at famous sites (the Imperial Palace, Ninnaji and Kiyomizu Dera immediately spring to mind), but even just a gentle stroll through the city reveals sakura spots that are generally unknown, but nonetheless magnificent.
Why not grab a seat on the Sagano romantic railway, the Hozugawa Kudari or the Okazaki Jikkokubune and see the blooms by train or by boat? But don’t delay, now is the best time to see blossoms in Kyoto, in a couple of weeks they’ll be carpeting the streets instead!