In Kyoto, the sakura trees start to bloom around the last week of March and reach peak blossom at the beginning of April. During this season, hanami or cherry blossom viewing parties are common in Japan. Hanami parties take place during daytime or nighttime among family, friends and co-workers. People eat and drink together while enjoying the vibrant swaths of white and pink blossoms. The picturesque district of Arashiyama has been a prime hanami spot for centuries. It comprises many notable tourist attractions – Tenryuji Temple, Togetsukyo Bridge and the Arashiyama bamboo groves. Maruyama-Park is also one of the most popular places in Kyoto to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Visit Maruyama Park at night to see the artfully lit weeping cherry trees alive with gentle pink blossoms. For a most romantic experience that transports you back to ancient Japan, wind your way down The Philosopher's Path. This pedestrian path follows a cherry tree lined canal that winds itself between temples Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji.

Visit Kyoto in the Spring for both these stunning flowers and the renowned experience of Japanese hospitality. Spend the night at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, where a gentle fusion of traditional culture and modern style are the focus. Dive into this special atmosphere upon check-in, when a kimono-clad guide shows you to your guest room to enjoy a serving of traditional Japanese tea. The little details at this impeccable hotel make it the perfect home base for exploring Kyoto.

Look to Kyoto for fall travel when both a brand new Aman Resort and Four Seasons Hotel are expected to open.