7 cherry blossom illumination in Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo. Fantastic Japanese Spring Nights

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Cherry blossoms are an essential part of the spring scenery in Japan. Many people choose the right time of year to visit Japan to enjoy the cherry blossom scenery. While it is nice to visit famous cherry blossom viewing spots during the daytime, the fantastic scenery of cherry blossoms illuminated at night is also very tasteful.

This article introduces spots in Kyoto and Hyogo where cherry blossoms are illuminated at night.


*Please note that the admission fees and charges for viewing cherry blossoms illuminated at night may differ from the regular admission fees and charges.
*Please check the official website of each spot for details such as the time of the event.


【Kyoto】World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle/”NAKED Sakura Festival 2024: World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle”

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Dates: March 8, 2024(Friday) -April 7, 2024(Sunday)

Nijo-jo Castle, a World Heritage Site, is home to approximately 300 cherry trees of 50 varieties. Cherry blossoms are usually short-lived, but the blooming period of cherry trees at Nijo-jo Castle differs depending on the variety, allowing visitors to enjoy them for as long as one month.


A nighttime event, “NAKED Sakura Festival 2024: World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle” will be held at the same time. Cherry blossom projection mapping at the Kara-mon Gate, an important cultural property, and digital artwork featuring the painted barriers inside the Ninomaru-goten Palace, a national treasure, will appear. In addition to enjoying an artistic hanami experience, there will be cherry blossom-themed alcohol, drinks, and sweets for sale.


*Illumination viewing areas will be limited.



541,Nijo-jo-mae-cho, Nijo-dori Horikawa-nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


From Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line, transfer to the Kyoto City Subway and get off at Nijojo-mae Station

【Kyoto・Higashiyama】Kodai-ji Zen Temple/Spring Night Special Entrance(illumination)


Dates: March 15, 2024 (Friday) – May 6, 2024 (National Holiday)

Higashiyama is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyoto. Kodai-ji Zen Temple is one of the most popular temples. During this period, the entire temple grounds, including the hall, garden, and bamboo grove, will be illuminated. The cherry blossoms in the Hashin-tei garden in front of the Hojo (main building) are especially wonderful when illuminated. The pink cherry blossoms standing alone in the white sand garden of Karesansui (dry landscape garden) are showered down like a shower. The dignified appearance of the cherry blossoms in the spotlight is a sight to behold.



526, Kodaiji Shimogawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


15 minute walk from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

【Kyoto・Higashiyama】Jodo Shu head temple Chion-in

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Dates: March 23, 2024 (Saturday) – April 3, 2024 (Wednesday)

Jodo Shu head temple Chion-in is especially famous for the cherry blossoms in front of its national treasure, Sanmon. The beauty of the pretty pink cherry blossoms against the massive and powerful Sanmon is nothing short of impressive. In addition to the approximately 200 cherry trees, the National Treasure Mieido and Daishoro, an important cultural property, are also illuminated, making it a must-see.


From Chion-in to Maruyama Park and Kodai-ji Zen Temple, famous for the “Gion-no- Yozakura” (cherry blossoms at night in Gion), and Kiyomizu-dera Temple, it is recommended to visit all the famous night cherry blossoms in Higashiyama, Kyoto, at the same time



400,Hayashi-shita-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


15 minutes walk from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line

【Kyoto・Okazaki】Heian Jingu Shrine/Sakuraotoyo2024

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Dates: April 3, 2024(Wednesday) -April 7, 2024(Sunday)

The Shinen of Heian Jingu Shrine is a Japanese garden representative of the Meiji era. Of the vast grounds totaling approximately 33,000 square meters, the red weeping cherry trees in the south and east shrine gardens are famous, and are illuminated at night.


One of the most popular nighttime cherry blossom viewing events unique to Shinen of Heian Jingu Shrine is the annual concert held at the Higashi-Jinen-Kihinkan. This elegant event allows visitors to enjoy the fantastic cherry blossoms while listening to live gagaku and classical music performed on the banks of Seiho Pond.


*Additional fee is required to view the concert.



97,Okazaki,Nishitenno-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


Take Kyoto City Bus from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line. 5 minutes walk from Okazaki Park Museum/Heian Jingu-mae Bus Stop.

【Osaka】Expo’70 Commemorative Park/Cherry blossom trees along Higashioji Street illumination

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Photo courtesy of Expo '70 Commemorative Park Management Partners

Dates: March 25, 2024(Monday) -April 3, 2024(Wednesday)

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Osaka, selected as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots. cherry blossoms start blooming around mid-March and the park is dyed in beautiful pink. From March 25 to April 3 (Wed.), the cherry trees along Higashioji Street will be illuminated. The rows of lustrous cherry blossoms lining both sides of the road are a sight to behold.
During the daytime, there will be special openings of the “Pan-an and Banri-an” tearooms in the vast Japanese garden, and tea ceremonies at the “Pan-an” (for a fee). Why not experience a typical Japanese spring scene with cherry blossoms and tea?


▼Check out this article too▼

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park is a great place to visit in Osaka! Highlights Explained!



Senribanpakukoen, Suita-shi, Osaka [MAP]


Transfer to Osaka Monorail from Hotarugaike Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line,
Yamada Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line, or Minami Ibaraki Station,
and walk 5 minutes from Banpaku Kinen Koen Station or Koen Higashi Exit Station.

【Hyogo・NIshinomiya】Shukugawa Park/Sakura Illumination Kurakuen

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Dates: March 23, 2024 (Saturday) – April 7, 2024 (Sunday)

(subject to change depending on blooming conditions)

About 10 minutes by Hankyu train from Kobe-Sannomiya station, and about 20 minutes by Hankyu train from Osaka-Umeda station. The rows of cherry trees along the riverside, which can be seen from the platform of Hankyu Shukugawa Station, are one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Hyogo Prefecture, selected as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan!

Approximately 1,660 cherry trees and 1,520 pine trees are planted along the riverside avenue. In particular, the view of Mt.Kabuto and the cherry blossoms from the bridge just outside Hankyu Kurakuen-guchi Station is spectacular.


At night, “Nishinomiya Tourism Association” and “Kurakuen Stores Meeting”, a shopping association around Kurakuen-guchi Station, sponsor a illumination event, which can be enjoyed free of charge. The cherry blossoms are reflected on the surface of the river like a mirror, creating a spectacular scene.


The area around Kurakuen-guchi Station is a residential area, so there are many families and unique restaurants scattered around the area. This is a spot where you can fully enjoy the charm of cherry blossoms from the perspective of everyday Japanese people.



Ishibane-cho, Nishinomiya-shi [MAP]


Access from Hankyu Shukugawa Station and Kurakuen-guchi Station

【Hyogo・Himeji】Himeji Castle/Himeji Castle Night Cherry Blossom Viewing Party

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Dates: March 29 (Friday) – April 7 (Sunday), 2024

Himeji Castle, designated as a World Heritage Site and a National Treasure, is also famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot. A night cherry blossom viewing party will be held in Nishinomaru Garden.

Himeji Castle is also called “Shirasagi-jo” (White Egret Castle) because it looks like a white egret with its wings spread. The collaboration of its majestic figure, which rises white in the darkness under the lights, and the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold.



68,Hon-machi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo [MAP]


Approx. 20 minutes walk from JR Sanyo Honsen Himeji Station

The cherry blossoms are illuminated only for a short period of time in spring! Enjoy the heart-stopping scenery and make it a precious memory of your trip.

About the author

Your source for sweets and gourmet information!
Editor and writer in charge of outing information media in Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka area for more than 10 years.
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