It’s been a busy week taking pictures of my favorite trees, sakura, the Japanese cherry trees. They are blooming all around Kyoto, now. Some species are fully in bloom, with every bud open, and others are only 30% open. Every day, many more blossoms pop open. It is such a beautiful time in Kyoto!
We started out walking down Shirakawa Minami Dori, the sakura-lined street in Gion. Then we jumped on the Keihan Line train for the short trip (two local stops) from Gion Shijo Station to Shichijo Station. We then went to Sanjusangen-do Temple, the National Museum, Toyokuni-jinja (Hokoku-jinja) Shrine, and Yogen-in Temple, which are all very close together and about 5 minutes walk from Keihan Shichijo Station.
We finished by walking north along the river, from Shichijo Station to Kiyomizu Gojo Station. We watched the sun set across the river through the pink petals of the weeping sakura trees. So beautiful!
Shirakawa Minami Dori in Gion District
This street is one of my favorite streets to see sakura on in Kyoto. It is famous all over Japan, and a place to see people dressed in traditional clothes and make-up getting their pictures taken under the gorgeous sakura trees. I will return here often this week to see how the cherry tree blossoms are progressing.
This temple is a long wooden building with a small shrine on the grounds. There are an assortment of different sakura species here. Many of them are weeping species. Almost all of those were in full bloom today, with every blossom open. They are so pretty right now.
The Kyoto National Museum
The Kyoto National Museum is one of the most famous museums in Japan. It was built over a hundred years ago. The brick and stone buildings were designed with a European style by a Japanese architect. The buildings themselves are worth a visit to the museum grounds. Now, with sakura in full bloom there, they are all the more beautiful.
This shrine is also called Hokoku-jinja Shrine, depending on which map you are looking at. My map shows one name, and the sign that you see, above, shows the other. This can be confusing! But if you look closely, you can see that the Japanese kanji characters are the same on both the map and the sign. This is part of the fun of living in another country!
There is a small, and very ornate, wooden gate here. It is a peaceful little temple. There are a few sakura trees here that are only about 30% open. This will be a nice place to visit later this week when these trees are in full bloom.
This temple is next to Sanjusangen-do Temple, above. There are a couple of weeping sakura trees here that haven’t bloomed yet. These trees should be in full bloom next week, I believe.
The Kamogawa River
We walked back to the Kamogawa River and turned north. The sakura trees between Shichijo Station and Kiyomizu Gojo Station are almost all weeping varieties. Today, they were at their peak. Every blossom on their branches appeared to be open. We watched to sun go down as we walked. The blossoms glowed in the sunset light. It was another great day of sakura viewing in Kyoto!
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed my pictures (Bua). Please leave a comment and let us know where you are going to see sakura this year, or if you have any questions about Kyoto.
We’ll post again tomorrow. Bye for now!
Bua and Joe