Maruyama Park in Kyoto

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Domo arigato.
  • Maruyama Park in Autmun in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park In Autumn, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park in Autmun in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park In Autumn, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Hanami Party in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Hanami Party, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Hanami Party Preparation in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Hanami Party Preparation, Kyoto

  • Famous Shidarezakura in Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Famous Shidarezakura, Kyoto

  • Food Stall in Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Food Stall, Kyoto

  • Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro in Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro, Kyoto

  • Pond with Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Pond, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom in Kyoto

  • Kimonos within Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Kimonos, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom Season in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom in Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom Season Hanami Party in Kyoto

    Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom Party in Kyoto

  • Shidarezakura Illumination Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Illumination of Shidarezakura in Maruyama Park, Kyoto

  • Shidarezakura Illumination Maruyama Park in Kyoto

    Illumination of Shidarezakura in Maruyama Park, Kyoto

  • Maruyama Park Fire Place

    Maruyama Park Fire Place

  • Maruyama Park Night Atmosphere

    Maruyama Park Night Atmosphere

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Facts & Figures

Maruyama Park or Maruyama Koen is the oldest public park in Kyoto and a nationally-designated Place of Scenic Beauty. The park is located near the Yasaka Shrine within the Higashiyama district at the eastern end of Gion. It covers an area of 86000 square meters and is home to appr. 680 cherry trees (somei-yoshino and yamazakura). During the cherry blossom season (mid of March - mid of April) Maruyama Park is the most famous hanami spot and a must-see for every visitor of Kyoto. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The centerpiece and main attraction of this beautiful park is a tall over 80 years old shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree). The famous tree, also called Gion no Yozakura (Night-time Cherry Blossoms of Gion), gets illuminated till 1:00 am at night. Be aware it can get really crowded during the day.

  • Maruyama Park:
  • Opening Hours - 24 hours, every day of the year
  • Admission Fee - free

My tips for local activities

My favourite part of Kyoto is the unique Gion district with its Geisha culture. I highly recommend you to explore the area during a night walk with a local guide. Check out this page for more details.

History

The Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen) area was once part of the Yasaka Shrine. It was covered by several temples which were destroyed during a huge fire. The park was created by the 7th Jihei Ogawa (1860-1933), a famous Japanese landscape designer. The construction took almost 3 years. In 1886 the park was opened for the public. Since 1889 the city Kyoto is responsible for the park. Later in 1912 Ogawa added a beautiful Japanese garden and pond to the park.

Location

Map of Japan

Maruyama Park is located behind the Yasaka-jinja Shrine to the south and the Chion-in Temple to the north within the Gion / Higashiyama District in Kyoto.
Address: 473 Maruyama-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Maruyama Park?

  • 20min from Kyoto Station to Gion bus stop by bus number 100 or 206 and
  • 5min walk from Gion bus stop to Maruyama Park (behind Yasaka Shrine)

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree) - The tall cherry tree (12m) is over 80 years old and the main photo attraction during the cherry blossom season. There was another over 200 years old tree at this place, but the cherry tree died in 1947. It seeds were harvested and replanted in 1949.

Park area - contains Japanese restaurants, rest houses, small orchards, large stroll garden, a music hall etc...

Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro - These samurais were killed in 1867, during their fight against the Tokugawa shogunate.

Mizai - The famous 3 Michelin Stars restaurant is located within the park.

Open-air cherry blossom-viewing tearooms - Otowa, Ginsui and Shamisen-jaya give you the chance to enjoy good food and drinks, while observing the cherry blossoms.

Yatai Food stalls in the park - I love Japanese food and my highlight there was a portion of takoyaki (octopus balls).

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

March

Higashiyama Hanatoro Festival (6th - 15th)
This yearly illumination event last for 10 days and turns the Maruyama Park in a wonderland with thousands of small lanterns placed along the walking paths and temples. The illumination starts around 6:00 pm and ends at 9:30 pm.

April

Cheery Blossom Season (beginning of April)
Maruyama Park can get really crowded during the most beautiful time of the year. Enjoy the illumination of the cherry trees at night and try out the tasty food along your walkway.

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Train ride from Osaka to Kyoto

I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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