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“Best kept secret for late blooming Sakura”
Review of Haradanien

Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I guess the secret is out. If you've missed the peak of the cherry blossoms in Kyoto or Philosopher's Path is filled with tripods and selfie sticks, come here. They have weeping cherry and other late blooming varieties including some azaleas and rhododendrons.

Do not come on weekends as it is super crowded with local tourists. There are not many foreigners here and staff don't speak English. They open 9am to 5pm and save yourself some hassle and just take a taxi. Allow 2 hours in this garden. They will confiscate your tripod at the gate ~ you get a ticket to retrieve it later. Selfie sticks are OK.

It is a private garden located north west of Kyoto near Kinkakuji. I would suggest you take a taxi to Kinkakuji and be there at 9am. You'll be done by 10:30am. Take another taxi to Haradani-en. Download the Japan Taxi app, it works like Uber except for taxis. Admission for adults is Y1500 and kids Y500. It is well worth it. You are literally walking under canopies filled with cherry blossoms. There are slopes and little valleys filled with them. The paths are dirt and NOT pram or wheelchair friendly.

There are toilet and food facilities. You can sit under the Sakuras and have your bento box or sushi for lunch.

After this you can wander down to Ninna-ji temple for more late blooming sakura and some history / architecture. It is also not too far from the Arashiyama bamboo forest but best to take another taxi. Then you're done for this North West area of Kyoto.

Date of experience: April 2018
2  Thank PhotoMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 90 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2016 via mobile

I recommend this place to those of you who love exploring places that are not too touristy and this is definitely a local favorite! It is better to visit on the weekdays early in the morning. My friends and I arrived at 9:30 am which is not too long after the garden opens. There were not many people and most of them are Japanese. Don't hesitate to say hello to them because they are generally very friendly :)

I also suggest to learn about the weather condition. It is better to go there mid of April (depends on the sakura forecast). Because we were originally going to visit at the end of April but it was raining the night before our visit (April 14th) and the sakura petals are falling quite many. It was a beautiful sight though! Therefore, I am not sure if there will be many sakura left at the end of this month.

Most of the sakura trees are the shidare type (weeping cherry blossoms), they are somehow eerily beautiful. There are also other type of shidare such as shidare momo etc. All names are written in Japanese though.

Don't forget to check their opening schedules as it may be different from last year. The ticket price is also quite pricey (¥1,500) so you should be prepared.

Date of experience: April 2016
1  Thank deyadeya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2015

When we visited it was autumn and the trees were pretty barren and it looked good but not as the pictures we had seen during cherry blossom time - my tip would be only go when its cherry blossom season otherwise you will be disappointed - entry is really expensive at that time upto 1500yen so be preapred

Date of experience: October 2015
Thank swift314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2015

I have visited this garden twice. Both in the month of April (last year and this year).
I took the cab from Kinkaku-ji to the garden. It was cheaper and faster this way.

Last year, I visited on a weekday, so the entrance fee was slightly lower than on weekend. And they opened at 9 in the morning. I wanted to avoid the crowd hearing so many good things about this garden during my first visit. I arrived at about 9 in the morning and there isn't much crowd, which is perfect to explore the garden.

On my second visit this year, I visited on a Sunday. It was so crowded and the entrance fee was 1500yen. It is quite expensive, but if you arrived too late in Kyoto for the early sakura blooms in other sites, this garden could be your next of choice to see the late blooming sakuras. I would say, definitely worth the money we paid. But bear in minds that it's really, really crowded on the weekends, even if you arrived at 9 in the morning. There was a long queue when we arrived but we didn't wait too long for our turn to enter.

The flowers and cherry blossoms was so beautiful. Would really recommend this site if you are going to visit Kyoto next Spring... And I think they are open in the fall as well, where you can see beautiful momiji (aka fall leaves)!

Date of experience: April 2015
2  Thank jessiesoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2015

This small, privately owned hill is filled with cherry blossoms, yellow kerria japonica and white spiraea. When I visited with my family in early April, we literally felt we were enveloped in a dizzying mist of pink fog.

Note that the park has a unique admission fee system. It scales depending on the state of the cherry blossoms. When in full bloom, admission is 1500 yen per person. If you are a cherry blossom lover, a botanist, a photographer, a garden enthusiast or even an affluent solo traveler, this would not be a hefty price for the experience. On the other hand, if you are a budget backpacker or a tourist family of six, you may consider it outrageous.

After all, Haradanien offers nothing but the beauty of plants. There is no cultural / historical significance to this place, and the small hill itself is not exactly well groomed the way public parks are. The walkways get muddy in the rain and the footing is not really ideal for the elderly (Having said that, the park WAS filled to the brim with senior Japanese citizens, walking around in little packs, oohing and aahing at the flowers -- a charming site). When we visited, we saw no foreign tourists whatsoever.

Should you decide to visit, don't bother trying to save money taking a bus. It's a complicated headache in terms of logistics, especially the return trip. The buses run infrequently (1-2x an hour at its peak) and is usually already packed with the local elderly population armed with their free pass and time table, making it impossible to even board. Rather, combine this with a trip to Kinkakuji, which is a 5-10 min drive away, and take a taxi from there.

Note that the park doesn't try to cater to foreign tourists at all. Case in point, their website does not offer any English translations, but I am posting it below anyway for those who are interested in viewing the beautiful images.


Date of experience: April 2015
7  Thank Aquavanguard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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