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Top Secret Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto: Part 2

Top Secret Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto: Part 2

The population of Kyoto City is around 1.4 million, but the majority of the people in Kyoto at any given time are tourists. According to the latest records from 2022, Kyoto saw 43.6 million tourists flooding into the city. April, the cherry blossom season, is amongst the busiest times of the year. Given how many tourists visit everyday, it is not hard to imagine how packed the most famous spots can be.

In the previous article of the top secret cherry blossom spots in Kyoto our staff at The Millennials Kyoto recommended three underrated places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Now we will introduce you to more secret cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto where the locals like to visit where you will be able to see a different side of Kyoto. Although, you may enjoy the famous cherry blossom spots, here are some alternatives for those who want to explore more local favorites!

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Photo by きうこ

Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto Imperial Palace Park)

I once heard people say that Kyoto Gyoen is like Central Park in New York City. Locals living around the area love to walk and rest in this park. During the cherry blossom season you will find many of them doing hanami, where they have a picnic with friends and family under the cherry blossoms trees.

Access: 20 minutes walk from The Millennials Kyoto or take bus no. 3, 205, 17 or 59 and get off at Kawaramachi-Marutamachi bus stop

Photo by Izu navi

Kamo Riverside

Almost everyone who lives in central Kyoto loves the Kamo River. You can find locals walking, jogging, cycling, hanging out with friends and going on dates along the riverside. It is like the backyard of Kyoto’s people. In the spring you can see cherry blossoms trees bloom along the riverside. You may be able to take a beautiful dramatic photo when the wind blows and the sakura petals fall off the trees.

Access: 5-10 minute walk from The Millennials Kyoto

Photo by Raita Futo

Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine is also a great place to see sakura. They have a beautiful garden with various plants that bloom in different seasons so it’s not just in the spring season that you can enjoy this shrine. If you plan to go to the Philosopher’s Path or Nanzen-ji, you should add Heian Shrine to your schedule too.

Access: Take bus no. 5 from Kawaramachi-Sanjo to Okasaki Park bus stop]

Photo by Fabio Achilli

Tofukuji Temple

Founded in 1236, Tofukuji is almost too famous for its mesmerizing Japanese maple trees in autumn, but the vibrant green leaves and much quieter zen gardens in the spring and early summer are just as wonderful. It is reported that the temple used to be a very famous spot for cherry blossom until the 14th century. Then the head monk called Mincho asked the shogun to cut down all the cherry trees because “people got too excited about the beautiful flowers, which hindered the monks from conducting zen training.”

Access: Take the Keihan Main Line train from Sanjo Station to Tofukuji Station

Matsuo Taisha Shrine

Also near Arashiyama there is the Matsuo Taisha Shrine. Originally found in 701, Matsuo-taisha is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. Pure spring water that spews from the mouth of the “turtle well” is designated as one of the best water sources in Japan. As it enshrines the deity of water, it is also known as the god of sake. With fewer tourists, you can truly cherish Kyoto’s traditional atmosphere at this shrine.

Access: Take Hanyu-Kyoto Line to Matsuo Taisha Station


The Millennials Kyoto is the ultimate high-tech capsule hotel experience located in Kyoto’s bustling Kawaramachi district. IoT integration, and a lobby that doubles as a coworking space.

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