Okazaki Canal

Cherry blossoms hanging over water in Kyoto

Okazaki Canal is a watercourse connecting Lake Biwa canal with Kamo River in Kyoto, in Japan. Its stream is bordered by blooming cherry trees in early spring, offering very pleasant walks or cruises.

The walk along Okazaki Canal is a touristic hotspot in the east of Kyoto. The Canal connects Kamo River and Lake Biwa through the famous Keage Incline and forms an artificial border between the area surrounding Mount Daimonji (in the north) and Higashiyama (in the south) and their respective attractions.

Seasoned walkers, on a very well-planned day, can even try to hike on a "vertical" course from north to south between those two interesting areas, with a stop in the middle, around Okazaki. Most of visitors, however, will chose to visit Okazaki Canal and Heian-jingu shrine, as the latter’s huge torii proudly towers in the middle of Okazaki Park.

However, the main interest of the Canal, as the pictures show, is its wonderful bordering of perfectly aligned sakura cherry trees, on the river embankment, on its southern side. Tourists can enjoy three kilometers cruises on the canal below the plantation and view the sakura trees from the water at the beginning of spring: from the blooming during Ohanami period, to the vivid green of the cherry tree leaves afterwards.

The view is enjoyable from the shores as well, all the more at the end of March and beginning of April, when cherry trees are at their best and the city sets up a light-up to illuminate the wonderful flowers at nightfall.

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Okazaki Canal photo gallery

  • Okazaki Canal
  • Okazaki Canal, A cherry tree branch
  • Okazaki Canal, The watercourse embankment
  • Okazaki Canal, Heian-jingu shrine great torii
  • Okazaki Canal, Heian-jingu shrine garden
  • Okazaki Canal 2
  • Okazaki Canal 3
  • Okazaki Canal, A cherry tree branch 2


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How to get to Okazaki Canal

By bus -- n°5, 32, 46, 57 or 100 - Stop at "Kyoto kaikan Bijutsukan-mae" then 5 minutes walk

Location unreachable with the JR Pass

Get there with a rental car


Okazaki Park: Free

Cruises on the canal (advance booking is recommended):

  • ¥1,200 (~US$ 11.30) per adult
  • ¥600 (~US$ 5.70) per child (6 to 11 years old)
  • ¥300 (~US$ 2.80) per child (3 to 5 years old)

Get your Japanese Yens free of charge

Opening hours

Okazaki Park: no closing time

Light-up: in April, usually the first three weeks of the month

Cruises on the canal: usually from the end of March to the beginning of May, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (up to 8:30 p.m. during the full bloom)

How long / when to visit

Best in early spring: end of March / beginning of April during cherry trees blooming

Cruises on the canal: departure every 15 minutes, for a 25 minutes ride

In Japanese

岡崎運河 (Okazaki sosui)

Weather in Kyoto

27 / 35°C
28 / 36°C

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Day trips from Okazaki Canal (Higashiyama)