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Kyoto Prefecture
 
 
Sakura Spots March - April

■Maruyama Park | Kyoto City
You cannot miss the night cherry flowers when speaking of spring in Kyoto. On the western side of the Hyotan Pond located in the center of the park is the famous weeping cherry tree which at night is lit up from beneath. Besides the illumination of trees, bonfires go on till dawn and attract many visitors at night as well.

■Heian Shrine | Kyoto City
Heian Jingu was founded in 1895 commemorating the 1,100th anniversary of the Heian capitol relocation. As you set one step inside the shrine grounds, you will find yourself in a splendid garden of weeping cherry trees. The sight is exactly like a flamboyant scene in the picture roll drawing the ancient dynasty, and is also depicted in Tanizaki Junichiro’s Hosoyuki. Beautiful cherry flowers blossom on every bit of the thin branches of about 200 cherry trees. The scene of full blossoming and the water reflection is so beautiful that it looks otherworldly.
 
Foliage Spots November - December

■Takao | Kyoto City
Takao, Makino-o and Togano-o, the three ridges on the southeast side of Mt. Takaosan are famous areas for autumn colored leaves. Particularly in the precincts of Jingoji Temple, a range of maple trees freely stretch their branches and creates a brilliant mood of the ancient capital. Along Kiyotakigawa River there are walking and hiking courses and you can easily enjoy the autumn leaves. For there are restaurants, tea houses and accommodation, you can explore the area for an entire day.

■Arashiyama | Kyoto City
You can get the very best view of Arashiyama when you stand back and put the Togetsukyo bridge in front of the hillside of Arashiyama full of red and yellow trees. It is only 375 meters high and is part of a mountain range formed by mountains of similar scale, but is a very famous mountain sung in many Japanese poems and songs from the ancient ages. On the second Sunday of November, the Arashiyama Momiji Festival is held where the scene of the gorgeous picture scroll is re-created in reality with a boat on Oikawa River. Arashiyama is not only the name for the mountain but also for the entire neighborhood as well. There are a number of scenic and historical spots and also temples. In spring the mountain gets embellished with astonishing cherry blossoms.

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Prefectural Guide
 

Kyoto City

The central area of Kyoto City is called Rakuchu, and the worldly famous temples, shrines and castles including Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho), Touji Temple with the nation’s tallest Goju-no-toh (five-layered-tower), Nijo-jo Castle, Nishi-Honganji Temple are concentrated in this area.
Rakuhoku on the other hand, is a quarter where historical sites such as Kinkakuji Temple and modern atmosphere coexist. Just taking a walk around Rakuto, the eastern district especially known for Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, will keep you entertained for a day, for not only many renowned shrines and temples stand next to each other but also commercial and entertainment squares like Gion is located here. West to the city center is Arashiyama, another tourist spot with rich nature and tranquil temples and shrines. This quiet yet grand area welcomes many tourists throughout the year.

 
Uji

Locating south to Kyoto City, Uji is another historical city with the World Cultural Heritage Byodo-in, Ujigami Shrine and many more temples, shrines and cultural assets dating back to Nara/ Heian Period (8-12C).
The city is also rich in nature and is known as an outdoor leisure area.

 

Kameoka

You will find rich nature in Kameoka, Tamba and Kitakuwada, the northwest neighboring area of Kyoto City. Although development of residential areas is becoming more popular these days, Kameoka is also a popular hot spring resort.
With the blessings of the surrounding mountains’ nature, Tamba is known for producing high quality agricultural products such as matsutake mushroom (the best kind of mushroom in Japanese dish).

 

Miyamacho

Out of 50 houses in the small village of Kitamura, 38 are thatched-roof houses. The preservation level of this historical scenery with the group of skilled architecture is highly valued, and in December 1993, the village has been registered the Important Traditional Building Preservation Area.

 
Miyazu

Miyazu has first developed as a castle town, and now having one of the largest fishing ports in Japan, the city functions as the center of the prefecture’s fishing industry.
The famous Amano-Hashidate, one of the Three Great Sceneries of Japan, is also situated in this city and many people come to see the grand view all year round.
The area is especially popular during summer for sea-bathing and winter when the crab dishes are the best. A new hot spring complex has been made in front of the station, and the area is becoming more and more popular as a tourist spot.

 
Annual Events
Kitano Plum Festival | Gion Festival | Daimonji Okuribi
 
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