Maruyama Park (Gion-no-Shidare-zakura,location,history)Kyoto

Maruyama Park, Gion-no-Shidare-zakura

The information about Maruyama Park is presented here. Maruyama Park is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto. The 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura (Weeping Cherry Tree) is about 100 years old, with a height of about 12 meters, a trunk circumference of 2.8 meters, and branches reaching 10 meters. The 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura was planted in 1949 because the 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura died in 1947. The 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura is a single white Higan weeping cherry tree (Hitoe-Shiro-Higan-Shidare-zakura) that has been improved from an Edo Higan type to an Ito-zakura (weeping cherry tree).

【Maruyama Park Location Map & Directions】

Address: Maruyama-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Gion bus stop (about 4 minutes on foot), Keihan Gion-Shijo Station (about 10 minutes on foot), Hankyu Kyoto Kawaramachi Station (about 15 minutes on foot), Subway Higashiyama Station (about 8 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 24 hours
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Free

【Maruyama Park History】

The site of Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen, 円山公園, 圓山公園) was once the site of Yasaka Shrine, Anyo-ji Temple, Choraku-ji Temple, and Sorin-ji Temple. The name “Maruyama (圓山)” of Maruyama Park comes from Jienzan (慈圓山), the sango (mountain name) for Anyo-ji Temple. During the Edo period (1603-1868), it is said that in July 1702, a secret meeting (Maruyama Conference) was held by the Ako-roshi at Karaku-an Juami, the sub-temple of Anyo-ji Temple, and it was decided to the uchiiri (battle). And during the Edo period, the Maruyama Park area was famous for its nighttime cherry blossom viewing. The area was also an entertainment district, with the ryotei (restaurants) known as Roku-ami (Sho-ami, Haru-ami, Niwa-ami, Ren-ami, Nari-ami, and Sa-ami). Today, the Kyoto-style restaurant Saami remains. However, due to the Agechi-rei (Jochi-rei) of 1871, some of the temple and shrine grounds were confiscated by the government. Maruyama Park is bordered by Higashi-yama to the east, Yasaka Shrine to the west, Kodai-ji Temple to the south, and Chion-in Temple to the north. Maruyama Park was opened as a park on December 25th, 1886, and is the oldest park in Kyoto. Later, in 1889, Kyoto Prefecture transferred Maruyama Park to Kyoto City, and Maruyama Park became Kyoto City’s 1st urban park. Later, a sanatorium with artificial mineral springs and rental seats were developed, but were destroyed by fire. In 1912, the gardener Ogawa Jihei created a Japanese-style garden, and in 1927, the Maruyama Park Music Hall was opened. In addition, the ryotei and the chaya were improved, and the bronze statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro, who were active in Kyoto at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), was erected. By 1912, the area of the park was expanded, a ravine was created using natural hills, a Japanese-style garden, a pond, and a fountain were constructed, seasonal flowers and plants were planted, and the present Maruyama Park was completed. Maruyama Park covers an area of 86,641 square meters, and in addition to the pond and fountain, there is an underground parking lot.
In Maruyama Park, the 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura (Weeping Cherry Tree) was once planted. The 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura is about 200 years old, with a height of about 12 meters, a trunk circumference of 4 meters, and it was a precious tree that was designated as a national natural monument in 1938. The 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura was called “Gion-no-Yozakura” in ancient times, and was loved by the female poet Akiko Yosano, who composed a waka poem about it. The 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura was originally planted at Hoju-in (a defunct temple), which was one of the San-in Go-bo (Hoko-in, Shinpuku-in, Hoju-in, Takebo, Chiku-bo, Tobai-bo, Saibai-bo and Shin-bo) of Yasaka Shrine. The 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura was seeded from the 1st generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura by the 15th generation Sano Toemon in 1928, and then it was cultivated in a field and later donated to Maruyama Park, where it was planted at its present location in 1949.
*reference・・・Maruyama Park website

【Events (confirmation required)】

★The Cherry Blossom Illumination (円山公園桜ライトアップ) is held every year when the cherry blossoms are at their best. The 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura (Weeping Cherry Tree), about 12 meters high and 2.8 meters around the trunk, is illuminated. A kagaribi (bonfire) is also lit.
★Gion Kouta-sai (祇園小唄祭) is held every year on November 23rd. At Gion Kouta-sai, maiko (apprentice geisha) recite Gion Kouta and offer flowers in front of a monument erected in 1961 in honor of Gion Kouta. Incidentally, Gion Kouta was originally released in 1930 as the theme song for the movie “Gion Kouta E-Higasa”.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 680 cherry trees are planted, including the 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura, Somei Yoshino, and Yama-zakura, and the 2nd generation Gion-no-Shidare-zakura is said to be beautiful.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. Iroha-momiji, cherry blossoms and other trees are planted in the vast garden, and the scenery of the autumn leaves, Japanese-style garden, and the bronze statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro is said to be beautiful. The autumn leaves are reflected in the water mirror of Hyotan Pond.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-643-5405

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Maruyama Park is via the adjacent Yasaka Shrine to Gion. Gion is home to Gion Koubu and Gion Higashi, two of the five Hanamachi (Kagai) districts, where you can feel the atmosphere of the Hanamachi (Kagai) district. Gion Shirakawa and Tatsumi Daimyojin are located on the north side of Gion, and the streets designated as a historical landscape preservation scenic area are located on the south side of Gion.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Maruyama Park, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山