Maruyama Park is a park on the eastern side of Kyoto, near Gion, and behind Yasaka Temple. This is known as Kyoto's best place to view cherry blossoms in the spring, with attention especially focused on its huge weeping cherry tree. The park also has paths, playgrounds, and koi ponds.
Besides Yasaka Temple to the west, the park is surrounded by several other temples, the most famous are Chion-in and Shoren-in Temples to the north, and Chorakuji Temple to the south.
Maruyama Park is a large and park in the center of many of Higashiyama's famous sites! Most people enter from Yasaka Shrine, but Chion-in Temple also borders it and Kodaiji is not far. Within the park itself is a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Shintaro, a nice pond, some vendors, and many places to sit and relax. In the evenings, there are often performers that do magic tricks here. It's fun to watch, if you have the time.
The park is also famous for its large weeping cherry tree, which is lit up at night during the cherry blossom season. There are many vendors in the park, creating a nice festive atmosphere!
Entrance is free.
The Maruyama Park is located in between many temples and is a good place to have a break in between all the site seeing and temple visits. You can have picnic in the park or take a break in one nice cafe, as the Chourakukan cafe just by one of the entries to this park.
This park is famous for watching the cherry blossom viewing (hanami).
The centerpiece of the park is a tall shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree), which gets lit up in the night.
There's also these interesting statues of Ryoma Sakamoto and Shintaro Nakaoka.
These 2 samurai were quite influential figures during Meiji Restoration in 19th century.
Maruyama-koen is at the eastern end of Shijo Dori, behind the Yasaka Shrine. In the park you can see a solitary old cherry tree. I was lucky enough to time a short 2 hour visit to Kyoto in 2007 with the tree being in full blossom. This tree is very old and venerated by the locals. Make sure you get your photo taken with it in the background, if you are lucky enough to be in Maruyama park when it is flowering.
I should add that when this tree and the other sakura are in full bloom, there is a real festival feel in Maruyama park with hanami picnickers and food stalls lining the paths.
Maruyama-koen is a busy park next to the Chion-in Temple and the Yasaka Shrine. During the cherry blossom, most of the green spaces are covered with blue blankets and reserved for Japanese people doing blossom viewing. The centrepiece is a massive weeping cherry tree, which is lit from below at night.
Outside the sakura season, the park is supposed to be a good place to escape the bustle of the city and wander around gardens, ponds and souvenir shops.