This was my first time experiencing cherry blossom season in Japan. Because I haven’t traveled much of the Kansai region of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto, I wanted to start there for its picturesque and diverse beauty. When I arrived I was lucky, the sakura in each city was just starting to go into full blossom, which meant I had about a week, to chase them down.
TRAVEL GUIDE : Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots of Kyoto Osaka Nara (Coming soon)
My top 10 best cherry blossom spots in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara
Best spots to experience Hanami (or Interact with Cherry Blossoms)
1. Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle Park was my welcome intro to Osaka and my first favorite sakura experience and my first understanding of hanami.
2. Maruyama Park
Located in Higashiyama district, Maruyama Park is a popular social spot for hanami and there are over 680 cherry trees of different varieties.
Togetsukyo, or ‘Moon Crossing’, Bridge is Arashiyama’s iconic bridge crossing over the Katsura river .
Keage InclineYou can’t quite picnic here, but maybe you can pack a sandwich. Keage Incline-is an abandoned railway, which used to transport ships between the Lake Biwa Canal to the Okazaki Canal.
5. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Located on Kyoto’s Mount Otwwa, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is known for its wish-granting waters, but it’s also known for 1500 cherry blossom trees on its slopes.
6. Okazaki Canal, located near Heian Shrine, is a waterway that connects to Lake Biwa Canal, the main canal that brings water to the city of Kyoto
7. Kiyamachi Dori, or Kiyamachi Street
Last but not least, you can always find wonderful impromptu spots around the city. One of my favorite but lesser known spots and one that tourists don’t know about is Kiyamachi Dori, or Kiyamachi Street.
8. Sagano Romantic Train Ride
Beautiful at all seasons is the Sagano Romantic Train Ride. This is a sightseeing train which runs through the picturesque Arashiyama-Sagano area .
9. Nara Park- free roaming deer, pretty girls in kimonos, three world heritage sites (one with a giant buddha) and over 1700 cherry trees of different varieties,
10 . The Philosopher’s Walk – Noted as one of the Top 100 Paths of Japan, it is a path running along a canal stretching 2 kilometers along 500 Yoshino cherry trees. The path was named after a famous philosopher who used this walk as his meditation.
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