Kyoto Cherry Blossom Photo Update – Higashiyama

Today we wandered around Kyoto enjoying the cherry blossoms that are reaching full bloom. Realizing most people aren’t planning a trip to Japan during sakura season, adding even more to our already multi-thousand word Kyoto Cherry Blossom Viewing Guide & Sakura Season Tips post might be excessive.

Instead, I thought a photo update might be appropriate. Moreover, this post forces me to actually share something aside from thoughtless iPhone photos that are convenient to toss up on social media. I took several hundred photos with my Nikon D850 today, and those would otherwise sit on a hard drive unedited for months (if the majority of my fall colors photos are any indication) if I don’t post something right away.

As such, I’m posting this quick photo update that simply shares a brief bit of info about the current status of cherry blossoms in Kyoto along with some of the photos I captured today. If this is something people like, I’ll try to post more of these throughout the rest of our time in Japan as quasi-trip reports…

Everywhere we went today was east of the Kamogawa River. Pretty much all of these photos are from Higashiyama area of Kyoto. We started at the northern end of Philosopher’s Path near the Silver Pavilion and meandered all the way down to Kiyomizudera Temple, making a lot of stops along the way.

In terms of a cherry blossom “status report” for Kyoto, for those of you who are using this post for planning purposes, we’d say that Higashiyama is pretty close to peak. Upon close inspection, we could see some trees had yet to fully bloom, but it’s impossible to tell from a distance. As we commented in our cherry blossom guide, Kyoto’s cherry blossoms are peaking about 7-10 days early due to warm weather.

The good news is that crowds aren’t too bad right now because most people arrive for cherry blossom season in Kyoto next week. This meant Philosopher’s Path and Maruyama Park weren’t too busy, and other lesser-known temples we had almost entirely to ourselves. The Higashiyama District and area around Kiyomizudera was slammed, but that’s virtually always the case (and once Kiyomizudera closed, crowds started to disperse in the Higashiyama District).

Anyway, here are the photos…

Thanks for checking out these photos and/or reading the update! If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments. We’re up bright and early tomorrow for another day of sakura season, but I’ll do my best to answer during our down time.

If you’re planning a visit to the Japan that includes Kyoto, please check out my other posts about Japan. I also highly recommend the Lonely Planet Kyoto Guide to determine everything you should see and do while there.

Your Thoughts

What do you think of these photos? Anything else you’d like to see or know about sakura season in Japan? Have you visited Kyoto during cherry blossom season? Any thoughts or tips of your own to add? Does visiting Kyoto interest you? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!

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2 replies
    • Tom Bricker
      Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks! I’m hoping to do more posts like this while we’re here, but need to balance the time it takes to edit the pics at night against spending more time out shooting/getting sleep!

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