Kyoto at its finest, Cherry Blossom Season

Hearing last week, that cherry blossom festivities (ohanami) have been cancelled, is just so sad. I can understand that it is not appropriate to be partaking in festivities that go hand in hand with the season but I hope that these beautiful flowers, that only bloom for 10 days approx can at least give the Japanese people something to smile about.

Our 1st day to Kyoto last year was so spectacular, one of those days where we happened to be at the right place at the right time and were fortunate enough to have several once in a lifetime experiences on the same day.

The only thing that misbehaved for us was the weather, even the locals were saying it was freezing!

It was a Saturday and most of the Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom so there were hordes of people, local and international.

Things to know about Kyoto:

  • Kyoto is home to geisha, temples, shrines, gardens, bamboo forests, castles, Japanese handicrafts, traditional culture and music
  • Receives over 50 million tourists every year
  • The week of Cherry Blossom season is one of its most popular periods
  • Forget booking a hotel at Cherry Blossom time if you haven’t done so months in advance
  • Osaka is only 30 mins away and is a great alternative, we couldn’t even get a capsule hotel in Kyoto but found a great, 2 month old hotel for a great price in Osaka
  • To really see Kyoto you need at least 4-5 days here.
  • All trains to Kyoto but once there the bus system is fantastic (day passes available) and straight outside the main train station
  • The train station includes a shopping mall and food hall if you miss the train

At the ultra modern Kyoto train station we stood with the crowds as they checked out the Cherry Blossom map which showed where the various types of Cherry Blossoms were located and at what stage of the blossoming they were at. The Japanese are serious about their Cherry Blossom viewing!

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