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Cherry blossom night illumination in Kyoto 2019: 20 sites of Sakura 夜桜

Contents

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An introduction cherry blossom/Sakura illumination

  •  We have many cherry blossom sites in Kyoto but not all of them hold night illumination. In this article, I’ll show you recommended 20 sites in Kyoto.
  •  17 sites are: Kiyomizudera temple, Kodaiji temple, Entokuin temple, Nene’s path, Shorenin temple, Shogunzuka Seiryuden, Yasaka shrine, Marayama park, Gion Shirakawa, Lake Biwa canal, Heian Jingu shrine, Hirano shrine, Nijo castle, Kamo river bank, Takasegawa, Rokkakudo temple, Toji temple, and Byodoin temple.
  •  The information on the sites are of the last year because that of 2019 is not available yet.
  •  Most of all the sites close before night illumination starts. In this case, we exit a sites before night illumination starts and enter it again. (Exceptions are: Shogunzuka Seiryuden, Maruyama park, Gion Shirakawa, Lake Biwa canal, Hirano shrine, Kamo river bank, and Takasegawa)
  • This article is subject to be revised.
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Kiyomizudera temple

Overview

清水寺本堂と桜

Kiyomizudera temple is the most famous landmark in Kyoto. It shows us one of the most amazing cherry blossom landscape though the main hall is still under construction.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

あ

World heritage site!

Night Illumination

清水寺の桜のライトアップ2018

After climbing up the hill, We find Nihomon gate (right) and the west gate. The blue ray stands for a dragon. It is said that Kannon enshrined Kiyomizudera temple becomes a dragon and goes to water fall to drink water every night.

2018年 3月30日清水寺の桜

After the entrance gate, we head for the main hall by way of Sanjunoto pagoda admiring Someiyoshino tree.

2018年 3月30日清水寺の桜2018年 3月30日清水寺の桜

The main hall is under renovation and it will look like this. (These photos were taken in last spring.)

How to get to Kiyomizudera temple?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo/Gojozaka station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop. Gojyozaka and Kiyomizu michi bus stop is not available because they are so crowded.

About Kiyomizudera temple

  • 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama , Kyoto city, 605-0862
  • Phone 075-551-1234
  • Website Kiyomizudera official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 400 yen
  • Night Illumination: 18:00-21:00
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Kodaiji temple

Overview

高台寺ライトアップ2017

Kodaiji temple is most famous and crowded spot in Higashiyama. It has a beautiful Zen garden where we can admire extraordinary weeping cherry blosomms. It was build by Nene, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi to mourn his spirit.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Weeping cherry blossoms

Night Illumination

The Zen garden

高台寺の桜2018高台寺のライトアップ2017

We seldom see Zen garden illuminated. Kodaiji provides you with so rare experience. In addition to it, you also can enjoy projection mapping there. The garden has a huge weeping cherry blossom tree and these illumination and projection mapping focus on it.

The stroll garden

高台寺の

Kodaiji has amazing stroll garden. Of course it also illuminated.

高台寺竹林ライトアップ

You can stroll in a small bamboo forest.

Kogetsu Chaya tea house

高台寺ライトアップ2017

Near the entrance, there is a small tea house named Kogetsu Chaya. We can have traditional Japanese sweets like Dango or Anmitsu. My favorite is Amazake. Amazake is a soft drink made from rice.

How to get to Kodaiji temple?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Kodaiji is the red alien!

About Kodaiji temple

  • Phone 
  • Website Kodaiji official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 600 yen
  • Night Illumination: Twilight-22:00
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Entokuin temple

Overview

Entokuin temple is located near Kodaji temple. It was a residence of Nene. She would depart here on her steed to a grave yard of her husband every day.

Night illumination

北庭

We cannot enjoy cherry blossoms there.

七仏通誡偈

On the other hand, you can experience Zen: Meditation, Shakyo, etc.

How to get to Entokuin temple?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Entokuin is the green alien!

About Entokuin temple

  • Phone 075-525-0101
  • Website Entokuin official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 600 yen
  • Night Illumination: Twilight-22:00
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Nene’s path

Overview

ねね豊臣秀吉

Nene’s path is located between Kodaiji temple and Entokuin temple. Hundreds of years ago, this path leads her to the grave yard.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Weeping cherry blossoms

Night illumination

ねねの道ライトアップねねの道ライトアップ

Along Nene’s path, we can have outstanding scenery with traditional houses and pagoda. In addition to it, utility poles are inserted under ground. The street always brings back us to the times in which she spent her last days.

How to get to Nene’s path?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Between the aliens!

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Syourenin temple

Overview

Shorenin is one of Monzeki jiin temple. Monzeki is a temple run by a monk who belongs to the Imperial lineage.  A huge fire bunt out the Imperial palace in the 18th century. Due to the incident, Shorenin worked as the Imperial palace in a short period of time.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Weeping cherry blossoms

Night Illumination

青蓮院の左近の桜2017青蓮院桜ライトアップ

Shoreniin enshrines Ao Fudoh (blue Fudoh), the Deity of Buddhism. So, Shorenin is illuminated in blue. You can enjoy Japnese tea admiring beautiful garden.

How to get to Shorenin temple?

About 10 minutes walk form Subway Higashiyama station.

About Shorenin temple

  • Phone 075-561-2345
  • Website Shorenin official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 500 yen
  • Night Illumination: Exact date is not available yet.
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Shogunzuka Seiryuden

Overview

将軍塚青龍殿の紅葉 2018将軍塚青龍殿の紅葉 2018

Seiryuden in Shogunzuka hill is a temple belongs to Syorenin temple. It is located on a mountain and we can have a good view of Kyoto city. It has a small Zen garden in a strolling garden.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night Illumination

将軍塚青龍殿の紅葉 2018将軍塚青龍殿の紅葉 2018

The most amazing moment in Shogunzuka is twilight. You can stroll under the tunnel of Sakura in the garden.

将軍塚青龍殿の紅葉 2018

In front of the main hall, there is a cherry blossom tree.  It weeps in an outstanding way.

How to get to Shoguzuka Seiryuden?

It would be better to go there taxi. Kyoto Bus is available but inconvenient.

About Shoguzuka Seiryuden

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Yasaka shrine

Overview

八坂神社の桜

Yasaka shrine is one of the most popular shrines in Kyoto. It holds famous Gion matsuri.

It is open to public for 24 hours every day except Dec. 31st. We cannot have “Illumination” but it has many lamp posts in an area and we can admire tranquil cherry blossoms.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night Illumination

八坂神社の桜ライトアップ

八坂神社の桜ライトアップ

Around the main gate and Utsukushi Gozen sha,  tender cherry blossoms take your heart away.

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

My favorite place!

How to get to Yasaka shrine?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop.

About Yasaka shrine

スポンサーリンク

Maruayma park

Overview

円山公園の枝垂桜2017

Maruyama park is a popular public park in Kyoto. It is located near Yasaka shrine or Kodaiji temple. It has many cherry blossom tress. The most famous one is a huge weeping cherry blossom tree. Professional Sakura watchers admire Sakura all through the night there. There are many food stands in Sakura season.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Weeping cherry blossoms

2018年3月27日円山公園の枝垂桜円山公園の桜

It is a landmark of the park. It is amazing especially at night.  In the park, there are many food stands. You can have many Japanese food and Sake.

How to get to Maruyama park?

Train: Keihan Gion shijo station or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Sijo Kawaramachi/Gion bus stop.

About Maruyama park

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Night illumination: Twilight-12 a.m.
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Gion Shirakawa

Overview

2018年3月27日祇園白川の桜

Gion Shirakawa is a small stream in Gion district. Along it, there are many trees. It is not illuminated but many lamp posts make them beautiful.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino

At night

祇園白川の桜2017祇園白川の桜2017

Gion shirakawa runs through a part of famous Gion district. Along the river, there are many restaurants. It would be better one of them and enjoy Skura with supreme elegance.

How to get to Gion Shirakawa?


Train: Keihan Gion shijostation or Hankyu Kawaramachi station.

Kyoto city bus: Chion in mae, Sijo Kawaramachi and Gion bus stop.

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Lake Biwa Canal

Overview

琵琶湖疎水の桜

Lake Biwa Canal was constructed in the Meji period for supplying water to Kyoto city. It is also used for transporting passengers and freight.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night illumination

岡崎疏水の紅葉 2018岡崎疏水の紅葉 2018

Of course we can enjoy Sakura in daytime, it would be better to go there in night. Trees along the canal bank are illuminated in fascinating way. Fortunately, we are able to admire them on boat.

How to get to Lake Biwa Canal?


Kyoto city bus: Okazaki koen/Bijutsukan Heian Jingu mae bus stop.

げきすせん
げきすせん

Lake Biawa Canal: the green alien

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Heian Jingu shrine

Overview

平安神宮外拝殿平安神宮の桜2017

Heian Jingu shrine is a 5/8 replica of Chodoin building complex in the Imperial court.

As described in The Makioka Sisters, we can admier extraordinary weeping cherry blossoms in Shinen garden. At night, “Shidare Sakura concert” takes place there.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Shidare Sakura concert (Night Illumination)

平安神宮しだれ桜コンサート2018平安神宮しだれ桜コンサート2018

At night in early April, Shidare Sakura concerts (or recitals) takes place for 3 nights. Shinen garden is illuminated and concert or recital is held around a pond. Each day has 2 concerts/recitals. Once you enter the garden, you can enjoy both of them.

平安神宮しだれ桜コンサート平安神宮しだれ桜コンサート2018

The Shinen garden consists of four gardens and the total area is about 4000 square yard. Most of the cherry blossom trees there are weeping cherry blossom trees. They bloom in the most exquisite way. Night illumination in Heian Jingu shrine is one of the most recommended site to visit.

How to get to Heian Jingu shrine?


Kyoto city bus: Okazaki koen/Bijutsukan Heian Jingu mae bus stop.

About Heian Jingu shrine

  • Phone 
  • Website Heian Jingu official
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Open hours: Depends on season (See the website)
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Hirano Shrine

Overview

平野神社の桜

Hirano Shrine is one of the oldest Shitno shrine in Kyoto. Its history dates back about 1200 years ago. It has 60 kinds of Sakura. We can enjoy so-called Ohanami and Food stand.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Mid March to mid-April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino, weeping cherry blossoms and others

Night illumination

平野神社桜ライトアップ平野神社桜ライトアップ

平野神社桜ライトアップ平野神社ライトアップ

Hirano shrine has many kinds of Sakura and is famous for them. The crest of the shrine is Sakura (see the paper lanterns). There are many food stands and you can experience traditional Hanami.  Hirano shrine is one of the most devastated place due to the typhoons. I’m not sure whether we can admire cherry blossom as usual year.

How to get to Hirano shrine?


Kyoto city bus: Kinugasako mae bus stop.

Randen: Kitano Hakubaicho station

About Kitano Hirano shrine

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Nijo castle

Overview

二ノ丸庭園のソテツ

Nijo castle was constructed as a temporary residence of Shoguns of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In 1867, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Tokugawa Shogun, decided to give up the plitical power the Shogunate had to emperor Meiji. At night, we can enjoy amzing illumination and projection mapping.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

あ

World heritage site!

Illumination and projection mapping

二条城桜まつり2017二条城桜まつり2017

Every spring, “Nijojo Sakura matsuri” is held there. At night, lots of cherry trees are

illuminated in stunning colors.

2017 二条城桜まつりプロジェクションマッピング
二条城桜まつり2018プロジェクションマッピング

Nijo castle has large gardens but we cannot visit all of them but we can enjoy amazing projection mappings.

How to get to Nijo castle?


Kyoto city bus: Nijojo mae bus stop

Kyoto city subway: station

About Nijo castle

  • Phone 
  • Website Nijojo official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 600 yen
  • Open hours: 8:45-16:00
  • Night Illumination: 18:00-21:00
スポンサーリンク

Shinsenen temple

Overview

神泉苑の桜2017

So-called “Ohanami” began there. It used be a private garden for emperor in the Heian Kyo city. Now Shinsenen is a small temple where we can enjoy tiny weeping cherry blossoms.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Late-March to early-April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night illumination

神泉苑の桜 2018神泉苑の桜 2018

Shinsenen temple is an overlooked place though its historical importance. At night, we have tranquil night illumination. You can spend pleasant evening there.

How to get to Kyoto Shinsen temple?

Kyoto city bus: Shinsenen mae bus stop

Kyoto city subway: Nijojomae station.

About Sinsenen Temple

  • Phone 
  • Website Shinsenen temple official
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Open hours: 24 hours
スポンサーリンク

Kamogawa river bank

Overview

2017年高瀬川の桜

At Kamogawa river bank, there are many cherry blossom trees. It is located near Shijo Kawara machi downtown and Gion.

2017鴨川の桜

This is around Bukkoji park. From Shijo ohashi bridge, go south along the Kamo river. You’ll be there in a couple of minutes. This is the most recommended place near the Koamo river.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

How to get to Kamogawa river bank?


Kyoto city bus: Shijo Kawaramachi bus stop

Hankyu railways: Kawaramachi station

スポンサーリンク

Takasegawa

Overview

2017年高瀬川の桜鴨川・高瀬川の桜ライトアップ 2018

Located near Kamogawa river bank, Takasegawa has also provides us with amazing Sakura view especially at night.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night illumination

木屋町の桜ライトアップ

Takasegawa is a small stream but has extraordinary Mizukagami reflection.

高瀬川ライトアップ

And along it, there are restaurants. It is strongly recommended to be one of them.

How to get to Takasegawa?


Kyoto city bus: Shijo Kawaramachi bus stop

Hankyu railways: Kawaramachi station

スポンサーリンク

Rokkakudo (Chohoji) temple

Overview

六角堂桜ライトアップ

Chohoji temple is one of the oldest temple in Kyoto. It is also known as “Rokkakudo (The hexagon hall) because the main hall has hexagonal shape. It is believed that the temple was established by prince Shotoku, or Shotoku taishi in the Heian period or earlier. It is a place where Japanese traditional flower arrangement Ikebana was originated.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

Night Illumination

六角堂の桜ライトアップ六角堂の桜ライトアップ

Rokkakudo is famous for extraordinary willow. In spring, we can enjoy it with weeping cherry blossoms. It is a tiny and cozy place. It is not for tourists but it would be better to be there. You can spend a pleasant evening as Kyotoites do.

How to get to Rokkakudo temple?


Kyoto city bus: Shijo Karasuma bus stop

Subway: Shijo station

About Rokkakudo temple

  • Phone 075-221-2686
  • Website Rokkakudo official (Japanese)
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Open hours: 6:00-17:00
  • Night Illumination: Not yet available
スポンサーリンク

Toji temple

2018年3月30日東寺の桜

Overview

Toji temple is one of the oldest temple in Kyoto. It remains the same place when Heiankyo city was built. In Kodoh building, statues of Buddhist Deities make so-called 3-D mandala. The Illumination of Toji in spring is the best one in Kyoto.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Mid March to early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Kawazu Zakura, Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

あ

World heritage site!

Fuji Zakura

2018年3月29日東寺の桜

The most famous 120 years old weeping cherry blossom in Toji. It welcomes us at the entrance of the garden.

Night illumination

2018年3月30日東寺の桜2018年3月29日東寺の桜

東寺の夜桜ライトアップ

Beyond description. Toji shows us the best night illumination Kyoto has ever seen.

Mizukagami

東寺の夜桜ライトアップ2018東寺桜ライトアップ

Mizukagami is an art to admire something. We see reflection on surface of water. Toji provides us with extraordinary Mizukagami.

Kyoto Goat
Kyoto Goat

THE BEST ILLUMINATION EVAAAH!

How to get to Toji temple?


Kyoto city bus: Toji Higashimon mae or Toji michi bus stop

JR West: Kyoto station

Kintesu rail ways: Toji station

About Toji temple

  • Phone 
  • Website Toji official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 500 yen
  • Open hours: 8:00-17:00
  • Night Illumination: 18:30-21:30
スポンサーリンク

Byodoin temple

Overview

平等院鳳凰堂の桜

Byodoin temple was a villa belonged to Fujiwara no Michjinaga, the most prosperous court noble in Japanses history. It was converted to a Buddhist temple in the 11th century. The Hohohdo building enshrines Amidaba and represents “Gokuraku Jodo,” the paradise in Buddhism.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

In Bloom: Early April

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

Cherry blossoms: Someiyoshino and weeping cherry blossoms

あ

World heritage site!

Night Illumination

平等院鳳凰堂の桜ライトアップ平等院鳳凰堂の桜ライトアップ

The best time is twilight. Enjoy the white blossoms against dark blue sky.

平等院鳳凰堂の桜ライトアップ平等院鳳凰堂の桜ライトアップ

When it gets dark, Hoohdoh stand out in night.

How to get to Byodoin temple?

JR/Keihan Uji station

About Byodoin temple

  • Phone 
  • Website Byodoin official (English)
  • Entrance fee: 600 yen
  • Open hours: 8:30-17:30 (Depends place to see. See the website)



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