Maruyama Koen sits on a slope at the end of Shijō-dōri Avenue, in the middle of the Higashi-yama district.
The park one of Kyoto's most obvious landmarks for sightseers and is adjacent to the Gion geisha district, the Yasaka-jinja Shrine, Chion-in, Shoren-ji and Kodai-ji temples.
In April, it attracts thousands of people for the hanami of cherry blossom viewing. Its numerous shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree) make it one of the best hanami places in Kyoto. The evening light up is particualrily beautiful. Mind that it can get extremely crowded at that time of the year.
Yasaka Shrine is the guardian of the Gion district and is sometimes referred to as "Gion-san".
The shrine is dedicated to Susa-no-o (brother of Amaterasu Omikami), his spouse Inadahime-no-Mikoto and their mythological 8 children.
The shrine is a popular place to register new-born babies and for Shichi-go-san. But the two main events here are the famed Gion Matsuri on 17 July and Hatsumode, the New Year celebration at midnight on 31 December.
The shrine is open everyday 24 hours a day and admission is free.
How to get there
Bus 206 and 207 from Kyōto station stop at Gion, from where it's a short-walk.
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