If you know me or follow me on insta, you probably know I've been visiting Japan during the cherry blossom season in the past years for personal travel and photoshoots. Both times I was lucky enough to experience full bloom in Kyoto and Nara, two of the oldest and most beautiful cities with countless temples and beautifully curated cherry blossom trees.
I've spent days in both cities ticking off the list of best cherry blossom viewing spots and have discovered my very own favorite places. Some of them you can see in Yiting & Chen's engagement session in Nara last year, but I have so many more to share. So today I'll be sharing:
my favorite spots for shooting cherry blossom sessions in Kyoto and nara
#1 Hirano Shrine, Kyoto
The moment I stepped inside the park I was overwhelmed by the fact that my sight was completed filled with cherry blossoms. Though the park is very popular among locals and tourists, you'll be able to find a quieter corner which makes it perfect for photoshoots.
#2 Arashiyama, Kyoto
Arashiyama is a whole different area than the center of Kyoto. Most people visit it for the famous bamboo forest, but I'll recommend the streets and random corners with traditional Japanese houses. It's one of my favorite places for pre-wedding photoshoots because it has so much potential. I can create different scenes with the traditional streets, backyards with cherry blossom trees, mountains full of greenery, tea houses, temples...
#3 Nara Park, Nara
Perhaps the most iconic photo you've seen of Nara is taken at Nara Park with the charming deers underneath the cherry blossom trees. My heart literally melt the first time I was there. Personally I find Nara much more suitable for photoshoots compared to Kyoto, because again it's less crowded, and the deers allow for lots of natural interaction which is always a great way to bring out genuine emotion. If you are an animal lover and have a soft spot for these adorable creatures, definitely go for Nara park!
#4 Yasui Konpiragū, Kyoto
A small temple not too far from Gion area. What makes it different is the shape of the cherry blossom trees here. The low branches makes for interesting framing and composition.
#6 Nanzen-ji, Kyoto
I went to Nanzen-ji on an raining day. This place is spacious including several temples and traditional gardens. Due to time limits I was only able to see one of them (Nanzenin), but it was so worth it. The combination of gray, pink and off-white looks so wonderful photos.
#7 Random streets where you see pinkness. Everywhere
This seems like a lame recommendation but it's so true. Some of my best photos were shot wandering around or transporting from one location to the next. Cherry blossom is literally everywhere in Japan - it's nearly impossible to visit all the recommended spots you can find on the internet and miss out the opportunity to discover your own. Of course when it comes to work, I have a bunch of starred coordinates in my Google map to ensure we'll get the best results, but it's always nice to go on an adventure together and create something one of a kind.
This year I'll be in Japan again from September to October. Get in touch here if you are interested in a shoot with me or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to meeting you!