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Thanks to the sea of stunning pink shades that sweeps across the city, spring blossom season is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year to visit Japan’s cultural capital Kyoto.

Visitors can enjoy the season like a local, as when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, local city dwellers gather in parks in a Japanese tradition known as ‘Hanami’ or ‘cherry-blossom viewing’. In the popular Maruyama Park, which is home to the famous weeping cherry tree, revellers enjoy delicious Japanese delicacies and traditional sake while singing local songs beneath the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Also for those looking to enjoy the blossom once the sun goes down, the Hirano-jinja Shrine features hundreds of cherry trees and is especially popular with visitors who gather there to enjoy the cherry blossoms with celebrations lasting late into the night.

The banks of the Kamo-gawa River, which runs through central Kyoto, are also beautifully decorated by the cherry blossoms, with Nakaragi-no-michi Street between Kitayama and Kita-oji being famous as they are often said to have the most beautiful blossoms in all of Kyoto. Other sites also worth visiting for their spring colours are Tetsugaku-no-michi Street and the area around Heian-jingu Shrine.

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Top tips for viewing spring blossom in Kyoto
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