The Spring season is evocative of new life, color and the best time to visit in the destinations we’ve posted in the countdown, but nowhere is as iconic as Kyoto Japan, with the entire city bursting into the bloom of cherry blossoms. Kyoto is a city filled with intrigue and allure. Besides the optimal spring temperatures and the symphony of beautiful nature that spring offers, it remains a former capital, filled with architectural wonders, lakes and gardens.
Kyoto is laid out in a grid pattern, modeled directly after another ancient capital city Xian in China. It is easy to navigate and its former prominence as a capital has left it with several imperial palaces which offer limited free tours. Tourists arrive either from Kansai International Airport and get in by train or bus, or many elect make the bullet train journey from Tokyo. The city is accustomed to tourism so many great outlets exist for guests. Excellent hotels, spas a trendy food scene, cafes and museums and parks with modern art and sculpture. Eigamura is a theme park in which guests and workers interact in costumes of favorite movie characters, and there is a Manga museum.
The most stunning symbol of Kyoto is certainly Kinkaku-ji. It is a temple set in gold leaf and surrounded by forests and a lake. Stillness and meditation can be perceived at Ryoan-ji Temple. It has a well known dry rock garden which is kept manicured to perfection and presents a curious design which many have tried to decipher across the centuries. Gion is an essential district to see. It is the place for traditional wooden architecture, teahouses, geishas and musical performances.
The winters and summers here can be extreme in temperature so the Spring and Fall are often the prized times for tourists to arrive. The one downside of the Spring is that it can get quite full with tourists and it is considered high season. There is good news however, the cherry blossoms don’t always bloom at the same time each year, varying between late March and mid April. So if one arrives at the beginning of the action, there is a possibility of an early bloom and getting some pre-high season rates on hotels and travel. Early to mid march is the bargain time for Spring travel in Kyoto and the days get even nicer as one gets into April.