May 13, 2018
By Erica Wada & Yumika Fujii
The four seasons in Japan are defined clearly, so visitors can enjoy each of them in Kyoto. We would like to introduce good ways to spend time in Kyoto during its spring season.
Special sightseeing plan for spring
Spring comes to Kyoto in April. The average temperature for April in Kyoto is around fifteen degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature is over 30 degrees and the minimum is around zero, so we suggest that you bring a few layers of clothing such as cardigan or a light jacket as it may get chilly at night. Kyoto is famous for sokobie, which means freezing cold in Japanese, so you may feel more cold in Kyoto than compared to other prefectures in Japan. This is because of the high humidity in Kyoto. Moisture tends to collect in this basin.
Cherry blossoms are very popular in Kyoto, so you can enjoy cherry-blossom viewing in many places. Among the best ones are along the Kamogawa River (鴨川), in Umekoji Park (梅小路公園) and at Toji Temple (東寺).
The Kamo River
The long rows of cherry trees along the banks of the Kamogawa river are a symbol that tells us that spring as arrived in full force. There are Prunus yedoensis, weeping cherry trees, (しだれ桜) and fresh green trees, and the combination of those trees is fantastic. You can take a walk along the river for several kilometers. Also, a good point is that you do not need to pay any admission—because nature is free.
Kaikado Café – coffee and dessert
You can enjoy a stylish open-air cafe that was renovated from the Showa period. If you get tired walking, you can have a rest here and drink a cup of coffee (810 yen) or eat some Kaikado cheese cake (540 yen). It is South of Gojo Street on the west side to the river.n
“Satozakura street” is surrounded by a grassy area in Umekoji Park. The street has a fine view that includes Mt. Atago in western Kyoto. So it is best to visit on a clear day. The entrance fee is 200 yen per person.
In this temple, there is weeping cherry blossom tree in front of the Five-story pagoda, which has been designated as a National Teasure, and is the tallest pagoda in Japan. We strongly recommend that you visit Toji after dark because the cherry blossoms will be lit up from the middle of March to the middle of April. You can visit the precincts of temple for free, but you have to pay if you want to view the cherry blossoms at night (500 yen). Other temples that feature light-ups in spring are Kodai-ji and Tenju-an. Toji Temple is just a ten-minute walk southwest of Kyoto Station.
This is a meat shop that always has a line of customers at lunchtime. Here, you can eat a hot croquette, Japanese-style deep-fried kabob and so on. The croquette costs only 60 yen, and surprisingly, they do a discount on Saturdays and on the 21st of every month. You can walk and eat, so it is perfect for a light meal on the stroll. Tether is on Hachijo Street and on the way to Toji Temple from Kyoto Station.
In conclusion, there are many wonderful spots that you can visit and feel spring in Kyoto.