Photo By: Lucio Maurizi
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kyoto
Population
2,644,331

Tenjin River

Enjoy your hanami in a lesser-known and relaxing location to rival the most popular ones in Kyoto.

Viewing sakura blooming in spring is one of the most iconic experiences one could have in Japan, but what if you wanted to enjoy it in a quiet and unique area? Tenjingawa (Tenjin River) could be the answer you are looking for.

Every year, hordes of people flood beautiful and famous areas sporting lush sakura trees all over Japan. This is usually an occasion, not only to admire the delicate and gorgeous blossoms but also to party and meet people.

Photo by: Lucio Maurizi Take a ride or stroll down Tenjin River.

Yet, sometimes it would be nice to be in a place where one could marvel at equally beautiful trees, without worrying about having to get to the location impossibly early to secure a spot.

If you love Japan and cherry blossoms, you will have likely heard of (or even been to) many places in Kyoto like Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Maruyama Park, Philosopher’s path, and  Yasaka shrine. Yet, the strip along Tenjingawa, stretching from Shijo street to Gojo is just as beautiful, but with plenty of space to sit on the grass or on benches and set up a nice picnic.

Photo by: Lucio Maurizi A long set of cherry trees planted between 60-100 years ago.

A long segment of Tenjingawa is a prime example of such place. Parallel to the stream, nearly 120 sakura trees make this area one of the best to enjoy a hassle-free hanami (flower-viewing party). Whether you fancy taking long walks or basking in the shade while enjoying some food and drinks with your friends and family, this is the place for you.

Photo by: Lucio Maurizi Hanami in Tenjin River.

Also in the area

Once you are in the area you might as well take a look at the nearby Nishikyogoku Undou Koen (Nishikyogoku Athletic Park), another nice destination for hanami and other activities. You’ll be able to run track, jog, workout, play basketball and volleyball or relax while your kids enjoy the many jungle gyms. The park is recommended all year-round.

Not far from the nearest station, Nishikyogoku on the Hankyu line, there’s yet another barely known haven for hanami: a path by Katsura river boasting dozens of large sakura trees.

If you can’t make it there in spring, don’t fret. It’s worth going anytime. While in Kyoto, follow your guidebooks to the most famous attractions of the city but make sure to also visit these hidden treasures!

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How To Get There

Address

Kadono Nakadori, Nishikyōgoku Kadonochō, Ukyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 615-0882, Japan

By train

Take the Hankyu line to Nishikyogoku station. Make sure you are on the local train if you’re coming from Kawaramachi, or switch to the local train at Katsura station if you’re coming from Osaka.

By foot

From Nishikyogoku station walk north and a couple of blocks west to reach the river. The sakura trees start at the cross between Nishigojo Dori and Kadono Nakadori and continue going north all the way to Shijo Dori.

Some of the best hanami spots here are between Nishikyogoku Kadoncho to the south and Takatsuji Dori to the north. (Map). If you want to visit the park, just walk for about 10 minutes west from Nishikyogoku station. (Map)

To reach Katsura River, walk west from Nishikyogoku station, and if you’re interested in seeing nice cherry trees, follow the riverbank to the south. (Map)

Where To Stay

Estate Tokyu Nishikyogoku
  • Ukyo-ku Minamioiricho 71-1 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 615-0883
  • 9.1/10
  • 0.3 km
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HG Cozy Hotel No.29
  • Ukyo-ku Umezu Tsutsumishitacho 76 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 615-0903
  • 6.5/10
  • 0.5 km
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Iwashige Building
  • Ukyo-ku Nishikyogoku Nishiikedacho 11 Iwashige Building 301 Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 615-0851
  • 8.7/10
  • 0.6 km
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Guest House Sakura
  • Ukyo-ku Nishikyogoku Nishikawamachi 45-1.45-8 DormiIshida 1F Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 615-0852
  • 9.7/10
  • 0.9 km
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