A few days ago I had a moment reminiscent of a previous blog post. It was a beautiful day outside; birds were singing, flowers were blooming, and I thought to myself, “On days like these, you should really get your butt outside and enjoy it. Before Kyoto becomes a horrible humid nightmare.”
Not having any better ideas, I chose to revisit a place I’ve been only once before: the Kyoto Prefectural Botanial Gardens.
The Gardens are actually very close to the Kamo River, up by Kitayama Station on the Kyoto Karasuma Line. When you exit the station, head for Exit 3. When you reach the top of the stairs you’ll see signs pointing you directly to the entrance. The fee for a one-time entry is all of 200 yen, so it’s a great place to spend a couple hours for those on a budget. It’s also huge. Square meters don’t mean a lot to me but for those of you who find those measurements important, it’s around 4700 square meters in size. You can easily find a quiet corner during the daytime to chill.
There are lots of different themes in the garden, depending on what you’re looking for. When I went there the tulips were in bloom, almost obnoxiously so, to the point where I felt obligated to take a picture or two of them.
The tulips are by the European style garden, which is lovely for people who like mathematical order in their flora. For me, I tend to aim more for trees and general greenery than specific flowers, so I found the quieter corners with the local species of plants much more appealing, see below.
One thing the gardens have going for them, beyond being cheap for the everyday visitor, is that they are free for senior citizens to enter. So when you’re walking around you’ll inevitably run into some retired folks who are happy to spend their days taking photos, painting, or just spending their time around all the greenery.
Now, you might have noticed that conservatory in the first picture; unfortunately that does cost extra to enter, but it’s only another 200 yen. 400 yen for an afternoon somewhere quiet and pretty is not that bad, considering this is Kyoto we’re talking about.
One thing I’ll mention to be careful of: if you sunburn easily, bring a hat and sunscreen! While there are shady spots in the gardens most of it is out in full sunlight, including the benches you can rest on.
That’s all I really have to say on the gardens; the pictures I think speak for themselves. If you’re in Kyoto, go check the place out yourself and enjoy! If you finish up there and you still want to enjoy nature, you can easily pop out to the Kamo river or consider heading toward Mt. Hiei, which is not as far away as you might think.
Catch you all next time!