Sakura in NinnaJi – Enjoy Cherry Blossoms at a Magnificent Temple in Kyoto



Watching Sakura in Ninna-Ji temple can be one of the most memorable events of your spring. In recent years, foreign tourists have become a common sight across Japan. In 2016, the number of international tourists in Japan reached 20 million people, and the number is increasing every year. According to the statistics, in 2016, the most popular places among tourists were:

No.1: Tokyo

No.2: Osaka

No.3: Hokkaido

No.4: Kyoto

By the way, the most popular place among junior high school students in Japan on their school trips is Kyoto. Kyoto gives you an excellent opportunity to experience Japanese. You can tell that the city’s structure and atmosphere are different from other cities. In this article, I would like to introduce you Ninna-Ji temple in Kyoto and the cherry blossoms occurring at this temple. Also, I will also introduce you other cherry blossoms spots near Ninna-Ji.

Ninna-Ji temple

Ninna-Ji temple is a Buddist temple in the north-east of Kyoto that is deeply related with the imperial family of Japan. This temple is one of many magnificent temples in Kyoto which are listed as World Heritage Sites. This temple is the head temple of the Omuro Party of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism and was founded in 888 by the reigning emperor.

For many centuries, a member of the imperial family used to serve as Ninna-Ji temple head priest, and the temple was also known as Omuro Imperial Place. Due to the many wars and fires that ravaged Kyoto throughout its history, none of the buildings from the temple’s foundation in the 9th century still stand. The oldest building dates back to the beginning of the Edo period in the early 1600s, including the main hall ( Kondo), the Kannon Hall, the Niomon front gate, the Chumon – central gate, inner gate, and the five stories pagoda.

The highlight of Ninna-Ji is the Goten – the former residence of the head priest in the southwestern corner of the temple complex. Build in the same style as the imperial palace; the elegant buildings are connected with each other by corridors with roofs. They feature elegantly painted sliding doors (Fusuma) and are surrounded by beautiful rock and pond gardens.

Omuro Zakura  Cherry Trees

In the precincts of Ninna-Ji temple, approximately 200 cherry trees grow. There are various types of cherry trees including Somei Yoshino cherry trees in front of Kondo. Besides, Omuro Zakura cherry trees are also famous. You can see the Omuro Zakura cherry trees on your left side after entering the central gate.

The trees are so beautiful, that a famous scholar – Kaibara Ekiken in the Edo period praised these Omuro Zakura cherry trees, as the most beautiful ones in Japan. The height of Omuro Zakura is shorter if you compare with other kinds of cherry trees. Only 2-3 meters tall. For its height people consider these trees to be adorable. According to research, the soil where these trees grow has a lot of clay and a small amount of nourishment, which causes the low height of the trees.

Surrounding Cherry Blossoms Spots

The road in front of Ninna-Ji temple is called Kinukake-no-Michi. It boasts three world heritage sites including Ninna-Ji. You can reach Ryoan-Ji temple within 16 minutes on foot from Ninna-Ji and enjoy hanami at this marvelous temple as well. The other and most famous world heritage site is Kinkaku-Ji temple, and it takes just 11 minutes on foot from Ryoan-Ji.

Ryoan-Ji  Temple

Ryoan-Ji temple, is famous for its stone garden. The stone garden is the garden where 15 stones stand on a sand ground. It attracts people with its enigmatic and simple beauty. Nobody knows when, why, and for what purpose this rock garden was created. In spring, rouge weeping cherry trees bloom fully around the wall of the stone garden. The contrast with the white color of the rock garden and the dark pink color of the rouge weeping cherry trees is so beautiful that this scene became famous in Kyoto.

Address:  Ryoan-Ji temple

13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ryoanji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi

Kinkaku-Ji temple

Kinkaku-Ji temple is famous for Shariden – a reliquary hall, shining in gold. However, there are not many cherry trees in the precincts. A few people visit here to see the cherry trees. However, Yamazakura – the wild cherry trees are blooming in the neighborhood of the reliquary hall, and the combination with the hall is lovely. I can say that the view of Shariden with the wild cherry trees blossoming is one of the most impressive and representative views in Kyoto.

Address: Kinkaku Ji temple

1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi

Details and Access to Ninna-Ji

Dates: End of March – the beginning of April

Address: 33, Omuro, Ouchi, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi

Business Hours

March – November: 9:00 – 17:00

December – February: 9:00 – 16:30


City bus Omuro Ninna-Ji station

Closing Remarks

Ninna Ji is one of the historical and representative temples in Kyoto having some National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. You will never miss it if you have a chance to come to Kyoto. It is especially beautiful in the spring season when Omuro Zakura cherry trees are blooming. Ryoan-Ji temple and Kinkaku-Ji temple are located near Ninna-Ji. So, why don’t you visit three places and compare the beauty of cherry blossoms at each place? Please enjoy spring in Kyoto!

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Kyoto Stay!

Kyoto is an old capital of Japan and a cultural and historical mecca for everyone who visits this country. It is the most popular city among tourists and a must-see destination indeed. Kyoto boasts over 4000 historical places including shrines, temples, and attracts visitors with its charming atmosphere of an ancient city. This city is great for shopping, bicycling, hiking, museums, galleries, green spaces, and features many famous festivals. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Kyoto! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/100-things-kyoto-sightseeing-spots-traditional-japanese-events

See More Kyoto Spring Events and Festivals This Year!

Kyoto features different beauty in each season. A lot of people visit Kyoto to enjoy the elegance from canopies of beautiful cherry blossoms that cover the whole city of Kyoto in spring. On the other hand, there are many other spring events to boast and worthy of note. The following article picked up the must-see events in the ancient capital of Japan this spring. Please take a look!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/popular-kyoto-spring-events-festivals

Enjoy Sakura in Japan!

Cherry blossoms are an essential part of Japanese culture. And, viewing cherry blossoms (Hanami) is very popular in Japan during the spring. This is because cherry blossoms, which the Japanese call “Sakura” are stunning at this season.

If you are planning to visit Japan this spring and want to discover more cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto area, please check the following article. It’s covering the best Hanami spots in the old capital and provides you with the essential information, so you can get the most from your Sakura trip!

Here’s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/ 

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. It will be a miss if you don’t visit Osaka to see cherry blossoms when you are in the Kansai area in spring. Please check the following article to find out the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Osaka and Kansai!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/osaka-kansai-cherry-blossoms-spots-sakura-festivals-feel-spring 

Kyoto and Osaka have many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have excellent places for hanami. Tokyo features many of those spots as well! If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossoms, Why don’t you check the following article?

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1805/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6572/


l am living in Nagoya, the third largest city located between Tokyo and Osaka. I am looking forword to introducing you about wonderful festivals in Japan.

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