Heian Shrine (Heian Jingu 平安神宮) is a Shinto shrine and it is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Kyoto. It boasts a large number of pink weeping cherry trees in the gardens on the shrine grounds. Typically, the cherry trees here tend to flower a few days later than the rest of the typical blooms. Hence, Heian Shrine is a good place to view sakura (桜) blooms for those who have missed the flowers at other popular spots.
I was there 2 weeks ago when the sakura was nearing its peak at other spots in Kyoto. While the flowers at Heian were not at their peak form yet, it was still a pretty sight.
I love the pristine white color of the sakura blooms. They look so pretty in a bunch!
As it was the season for the cherry blossoms, special booths for sakura omikuji 桜みくじ was available. (For more information on what an omikuji is, and also what to expect at Shinto Shrines, please refer to my earlier post by clicking here 🙂 )
For the first time, I saw the yamazakura type of cherry tree where the leaves appear at the same time as the blooms. Because of the appearance of the leaves, the blossoms looked less intense as compared to the other varieties where the fresh leaves only appear after the blooms have reached their peak.
The famous pink weeping cherry trees are found in the gardens of the shrine complex. While so far it is free of charge to explore the shrine compounds, an entrance fee of 600 yen is payable to enter the gardens. This is what you see if you pay for the entrance fee (like I did) 🙂
One of my favorite activities when visiting shrines in Japan, is to sit down at the tea huts in the gardens and enjoy coffee/matcha and some sweets. Ahh…. this is life! 🙂
As I continued to walk through the vast garden compound, I reached the lake of Heian Shrine. The lake was lined with pink weeping cherry trees.
Overall, Heian Shrine is a great place to view cherry blossoms in Kyoto! However, if I go again I will time it appropriately to meet the peaks of the pink blooms at Heian. Apparently when the pink blossoms are at their best, there are night illuminations with classical music concerts held at Heian Jingu.
Opening Hours: 0600 to 1730 (seasonal) / Admission: Free / No closing days
Heian Shrine Garden
Opening Hours: 0800 to 1700 (seasonal) / Admission: 600 yen / No closing days
How to Get There
Address: ９７ Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8341, Japan
By Bus: Take bus 5 or 100 from Kyoto Station (220 yen, around half hour)
By Subway: 10min walk from Higashiyama Station