cherry blossoms in Kyoto Japan with kids

Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto with Kids

Looking for information on where to see cherry blossoms (sakura) in Kyoto with kids from a local? Then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve been chasing cherry blossoms in Kyoto since I moved to Kansai and I dare say that the blossoms here are spectacular. Best of all, I’ve found some spots that aren’t too crowded depending on when and where you go. I could keep this all a secret but if I can help make another family’s day, then it’s worth spilling the beans.

Note that this article shares some lesser-known spots as well as more common ones. I’m sharing spots that my family has enjoyed but of course, these locations might be more or less crowded depending on when you visit. So keep that in mind! 

My recommendation is to visit these spots early in the morning on weekdays since it’s likely there will be fewer people. 

Types of Cherry Blossom Trees in Japan

Before we go into where to find cherry blossom spots in Kyoto, let’s talk about the types of trees you’ll be likely to find.

Note that there are dozens of sakura varieties, so I will only cover some of the major ones.

Somei Yoshino

somei yoshino cherry blossoms

This is the most common type of sakura tree in Japan. The five-petaled blossoms are a very light pink color.

Yamazakura

yamazakura

These are most likely found in the mountains, hence the name yama, which means “mountain”. The blossoms are slightly more pink than Somei Yoshino trees.

Kawazu Cherry Trees

kawazuzakura cherry blossom trees

Kawazu Cherry Trees or kawazuzakura are the earliest blooming cherry blossom trees among the bunch. They tend to bloom in February and are a more vivid pink than the later blooming variety.

Kawazu Cherry Trees get their name from the town of Kawazu in Izu.

Shidare Cherry Trees

shidare cherry blossoms

Shidare cherry trees or shidarezakura are a type that has weeping branches that appear as if they’re falling towards the ground, hence the name shirdare, which means “falling”. 

When Do Cherry Blossom Trees Bloom in Kyoto?

Typically, you can expect cherry blossom trees to start blooming from the last week of March and lasts for around two weeks. However, there are various factors to keep in mind such as unseasonably warm or cool weather that causes them to bloom earlier or later than usual.

For more information about spring weather in Japan and what to pack, make sure to read my article on the best time to visit Japan with kids.

Where to Find the Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto with Kids

Keage Incline

Cherry blossoms at Keage Incline in Kyoto Japan

Keage Incline is located along old train tracks. Here you’ll find numerous picture-worthy cherry blossom trees.

My daughter has a lot of fun walking along the train tracks (and don’t worry, since it’s no longer used it’s completely safe).

Note that this is one of the busier areas to see cherry blossom trees in Kyoto.  

Entry Fee: Free!

Arashiyama

Kid standing on a bridge in Arashiyama

Arashiyama is undoubtedly a popular tourist destination but it’s worth visiting, especially during spring when the mountains have pops of pink sakura trees throughout. You’ll see cherry blossom trees soon after you leave the station as there are tons in Arashiyama Park Nakanoshima, which is near the famous Togetsukyo Bridge.

The Arashiyama Park Kameyama also has many beautiful cherry blossom trees and is a fun place for kids to run around and explore. I also recommend visiting Tenryuji Temple, which has various kinds of cherry blossom trees and a beautiful garden called Sougenchi.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for Arashiyama Park and 500 yen for Tenryuji Temple.

Hours: 8:30 AM to 5 PM

Klook.com

Kameoka Yawaragi-no-michi Sakura Park

Kameoka Yawaragi-no-michi Sakura Park in Kyoto

Located east of Arashiyama, this park in Kameoka is one of my favorite places in the Kansai region to see cherry blossoms.

There are tons of trees lining a small river and some sakura tunnels. Many locals bring mats to have hanami, which is cherry blossom viewing, and some even have small BBQs as well. There are some food stalls, too, so you don’t have to worry about bringing food. 

Entry Fee: Free!

Hours: 24/7

Kyoto Imperial Palace Grounds

Kyoto Imperial Palace cherry blossoms

There are many varieties of flowering trees at the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, including plum trees and cherry blossom trees in spring. Some of the shidarezakura or weeping cherry blossom trees, are among the most beautiful I’ve seen. 

This isn’t exactly a place where you can have hanami but I found it perfect to take photos of my daughter with sakura trees in the background. Lots of elderly people also commented on how cute my daughter was and even gave room for her to have her own photoshoot! 

Entry Fee: Free!

Hours: 24/7

Kyoto Botanical Garden

Girl sitting near cherry blossoms in Kyoto

This is another location that I think is great to bring kids in spring.

When I brought my daughter here, we got some food from a nearby convenience store and had a nice picnic under the sakura trees near the greenhouse.

We then explored the rest of the garden where there are hundreds of different species of plants and flowers.

Entry Fee: 200 yen for adults, 150 yen for high school students, free for everyone else

Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM

Tip: Klook has a cherry blossom tour in spring that takes you from Kamogawa to the Kyoto Botanical Gardens and then a ride on the Keifuku Electric Railway through a cherry blossom tunnel. 

Kawabata Park (Kamo River)

Girl near kamo river in Kyoto

There are many cherry blossom trees lining the Kamo River and in spring, it’s absolutely magical. 

This is a perfect place to have hanami or a picnic under the cherry blossom trees. Best of all, it’s in central Kyoto and runs along the city, so almost everywhere you go, you’re likely to be close to it. 

My daughter loves watching the bird and enjoys all the space she has to run around. We also find it’s less much crowded than shrines and temples that have cherry blossom trees.

My recommendation is to go to Kawabata Park and walk along it until you reach the Imperial Palace.

Entry Fee: Free

Hours: 24/7

The Philosopher’s Path 

the author and her daughter wearing kimono in Kyoto

The Philosopher’s Path is a popular area to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto so it is guaranteed to be crowded. But it is still very beautiful when the cherry blossoms are blooming so I still recommend visiting. 

It might be a long walk for smaller kids, though, so I suggest just seeing it for a bit before heading somewhere else.

Entry Fee: Free

Hours: 24/7

Yodoshimachi Sakura Trees

Yodoshimachi Sakura Trees

Yodoshimachi is a town in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto that has stunning early-blooming cherry blossom trees. If you want to see cherry blossom trees around early to mid-March, this is the place to be. 

I love all the different varieties of sakura trees in Yodo, although it can be crowded with locals and is a little out of the way.

Entry Fee: Free

Hours: 24/7

Wrap-Up: Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto with Kids 

I hope this look at where to see cherry blossom trees with kids in Kyoto has been helpful for you. 

I feel like no matter where you go, you’ll be able to get some great photos and make wonderful memories with your family.

If you’re looking for information about other things to do with kids in Kyoto, make sure to read my comprehensive Kyoto with kids article

For those wondering where to stay, I have also written an article on family-friendly hotels in Kyoto as well as ryokan.

 

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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