Finally, it’s Sakura season! In Japan, the most beautiful time of the year. It is getting warmer; the cherry blossom trees are blooming, and everyone is just happy that the winter is over! So many tourists all over the world are coming to Japan from the end of march until mid of April, in hope to catch the beautiful Sakura season, which last just a few weeks. I was and still am really excited about it. At the same time, I am sad that I have to work and can’t visit all these beautiful places all day long. Nevertheless, I try to enjoy this time as much as possible. On days where I don’t have to work, I am definitely going outside to discover new places.
Because I am waking up for work at 5am, my daily rhythm is completely different than last month when I was working at the evening. Therefore, I am, even on days where I am off, awake pretty early, which is good in order to be more productive. Even though I woke up around 8am I decided to relax the morning in my apartment. I had breakfast, took a shower, wrote a blog and my essay for school.
Around 12am I went outside and walked on the other side of the Kamogawa river. Because we are walking or running around the whole day on work, I am normally pretty lazy when I have a free day. But it was definitely a good idea to walk instead of taking the metro. The way along the river was already super pretty with all these cherry blossom trees. Amazing! The weather was perfect as well. Finally, sunny and a bit warmer then the last weeks. I really enjoyed it. Furthermore, you discover so much more while walking along the streets then when sitting in the subway.
The way to Shoren-in Temple was longer then expected. I think it took me over 40 minutes to get there. But I already saw the tourist buses arriving when I came closer and closer. I don’t know if they already left or where all these people were. But when I arrived at the temple I was pretty much alone. I wasn’t even sure if that was the right entrance or place to enter the temple, but I guess it was.
I was more interested in the garden then the temple itself. I didn’t even have a picture in mind or any expectations how Shoren-in Temple supposed to look like. The garden was very beautiful, calm and peaceful. I really enjoyed that not so many people were at the same time there as me. While walking a little path through the garden I had a nice view of the temple as well as of the bamboo forest. I definitely didn’t expect that. Overall it is a very small and kind of hidden place. Not a Top 1 tourist attraction, but I really enjoyed it.
Not far from Shoren-in Temple is Chion-in temple, which is a very popular tourist destination. The area is much bigger and totally different. From little pagodas, to cherry blossom trees and a huge temple in the centre. I didn’t go inside the temple, because it was already a lot to see outside. Furthermore, every temple has always a similar look from the inside.
Afterwards I walked along a path from Chion-in temple, which connected straight away to Maruyama park. Maruyama park is popular for the many Sakura trees. Therefore, lots of tourists came here to walk through the park. Furthermore, there was a big food or perhaps spring festival happening. So many people were sitting under the cherry blossom trees, making a picnic, talking and having fun. There were so many different kinds of food trucks around the park. By different kinds of food trucks, I don’t really mean different kinds of cuisines. The food is 98% Japanese. They sell Takiyaki, grilled Octopus, Beef, Fish on a stick, Okonomiyaki, Oysters, Tofu, Matcha Ice Cream and so on. Some trucks offered Chinese and Indian food, which was surprising. In general, it was amazing! All the trees and all the food! But it was just too crowded and busy!
From Yasaka Shrine I walked through Gion back to the Kamogawa River, where I crossed the bridge again. I started to get a little bit tired and exhausted. Therefore, I made my way back home. But that was actually the best part of the day.
The way back home was just stunning. To walk along the little river with all these cherry blossoms is just how I imagined the Sakura season in Japan. It looks like on all these unreal pictures you always see on social media. Just unrealistically beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I don’t even want to know how many pictures I already took from the cherry blossom trees, but I can’t get enough. I absolutely love it! Just bad, that when you are alone you have no one taking pictures with yourself inside, to have some memories. But there are definitely bigger problems in this world.
After buying some food at the supermarket, I came around 4pm back to my room. I just cleaned up my mess, watched Netflix, cooked dinner and skyped with my family before I went to sleep.
This day was one of the most beautiful days I had so far here. I kind of saw this city in a different light today, which makes me very happy. Today I fell definitely more and more in love with Kyoto!