Maruyama Park

Meet the historical weeping cherry

Text:Kaniwa Hioki

Maruyama Park is well known for its night view of the sakura as ‘Gion no yozakura’. It was written in one of AKiko Yosano’s (1878-1942, poet) poets; Crossing Gion to go to Shimizu, people I meet under the moon and sakura, are all beautiful (provisional translation by BEACON). The park is full of various sakura, someiyoshino, yae zakura, yama zakura and shidare zakura (weeping cherry). 680 sakura trees are lit up in the dark when they reach the blooming peak at early April. Many stores are opened up and people come to enjoy the night till late.

Most prominent is the weeping cherry at the center of the park. The strong and elegant tree is just mesmerising. It is not only the most important tree of the park, but also for the City of Kyoto.

 This is infact the second generation tree that has been harvested from the seeds of previous symbolic sakura that had died out in 1947, at the age of around 200 years. This second sakura is embracing the history at the age passed 85 now.

Maruyama Park is next to Yasaka Shrine, and is the oldest park in Kyoto that was opened in 1886. Jihei Ogawa VII, a skillful gardener that has handled many of the well known gardens in Kyoto, had built Japanese garden in this park in the Taisho period (1912-26) which is left until today. The park is opened 24 hours for free of entrance charge. 

Yes, it is packed with people during the sakura season. But if you get away from the most crowded entrance area of Higashi Ooji Dori side, and go in further the 600 meter long park, you could find some space to breath a fresh air, listen to birds chirping, in the tree shades, relaxing, and to enjoy sakura. 

〈Maruyama Park〉
ADDRESS: 473 Maruyama-cho Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto (map)
PHONE:+81(0)75-561-1350 (Kyoto Greenery Association)
HOURS: not limited
WEB: (in Japanese only)