A Spring Break Destination Full of Flowers
The days are getting longer, the temperatures are starting to rise, and you can see Mother Nature begin to awaken in all her beauty. It must be spring. This year’s spring equinox falls on March 19, which means you can finally put away your heavy winter layers and enjoy a warmer spring break vacation.
Fly by Private Jet to Japan for Spring Break in Kyoto
Spring is a time of rejuvenation and rebirth. What better way to embrace this transitional season than an adventure to see one of its most beautiful gifts – sakura, or cherry blossom, in Kyoto. Forecasters predict that peak sakura will begin March 23 and last about a week in maximum bloom.
Hanami, or watching the cherry blossoms bloom, is a centuries-old Japanese tradition where friends and family gather to celebrate the return of spring. It is one of Japan’s oldest festivals, and Clay Lacy Aviation wants to take you there in spring style. You pack the sake, and we will fuel up our Bombardier Global 6000 for your private jet charter to Kyoto, Japan.
The former capital, Kyoto is the cultural hub of Japan. With many classic traditions born here, such as the tea ceremony and kaiseki multi-course cooking, it is arguably one of the best cities to experience hanami. Shiny golden temples and Zen gardens paint the perfect backdrop to match the hues of pink flora.
Where to Experience Hanami
Start on Philosopher’s Walk, a historic footpath roughly two kilometers long running along the river to the Ginkakuji, or Silver Temple. It is a beautiful stone path lined entirely with trees that make for a stunning tunnel of cherry blossoms. The trail will take you about 30 minutes to walk, but we recommend setting aside a half-day so you can explore the other many sights, such as Nanzenji and the Keage Incline.
Another postcard-pretty hanami location is Takenaka Inari Jinja Shrine. The combination of red torri gates and blush flowers makes for the most photogenic spot in Kyoto. Takenaka Inari Shrine is a small shrine lesser known among travelers, which means you will see fewer crowds and more flowers.
While the explosion of pale, pink flowers is magnificent during the day, it is another beauty to see them illuminated at night. Maruyama Park is Kyoto’s most popular spot for night-time cherry blossom viewing. After the sun goes down, more than 680 various kinds of trees, such as Somei Yoshino and Yamazakura, light up the night sky. The park is known for its Japanese-style luxury restaurants and tearooms, including several open-air tea-rooms located within the park where visitors can view the illuminated cherry blossoms while eating and drinking in comfort. Most travelers, though, visit the park to see the iconic weeping cherry tree Shidarezakura, which is 88 years old and about 40 feet tall.
For those who want to experience the elegance of hanami, but do not want to leave the comfort of their hotel, we recommend staying at The Four Seasons Kyoto. This luxury hotel transforms itself during sakura and immerses its guests in the natural beauty of the festival. Located in the Temple District, The Four Seasons Kyoto has 22 cherry blossom trees and an 800-year-old Shakusui-en pond surrounded by bamboo where Koi fish swim. The hotel’s culinary team creates one-of-a-kind edible experiences for their guests featuring sakura inspired dishes, such as sakura scones and blush cocktails. We recommend the Sakura Sour with plum wine and coffee-grain whiskey that makes this frothy and floral cocktail almost too pretty to drink. If you’re craving something a little more fresh and fragrant, try the Hanami Martini where the flavors of mandarin bitters and sakura flowers combine flawlessly.
Perhaps what makes Kyoto the perfect spring break hanami destination is that it is home to one of most lavish hanami of all time. In 1598, the Japanese rule Toyotomi Hideyoshi hosted more than 1,000 guests and planted some 700 cherry blossom trees at Daigo-ji Temple. It is now a world heritage site and still home to one of the country’s most famous hanami festivals. A recreation of this legendary party, called Ho-Taiko Hanami Gyoretsu, takes place every April where hundreds of festival-goers dress in traditional clothing and parade through the temple’s grounds.
Experience Kyoto this Spring
- Closest airport for private jet charter to Kyoto: Osaka International Airport (ITM)
- Where to stay: Four Seasons Kyoto, The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto
- Where to eat: Kichisen, Nakamura, & Chihana
Looking to travel this Spring Break? Contact our charter team to request a quote from our wide selection of aircraft.