Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tours are considered by some to be the most beautiful and breathtaking in all of Japan. There are many locations in and around Kyoto to enjoy, but there are three that your Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) Photography Tour Leader recommend as the crème de la crème.
Heian Shrine, when compared to some of the other temples and shrines in Kyoto is a more recent addition, its history going back to 1895, but what it lacks in years, it makes up for in sheer beauty. You know you have arrived at the shrine when you go through the enormous torii, or gate, at the outside edge of the temple grounds. The gate itself is an amazing photo op, but that is only the first of many. The shrine itself is a magnificent testimony to preserving historical tradition. The shrine’s composition is a replica of the original Heian Period Imperial Palace in Japan, but suited to the land and space available. The final stop is the garden which is situated mainly behind the shrine. During spring, the sakura bloom seemingly at exactly the same time transforming form the verdant green to the soft, inviting pink of the cherry blossom. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the shrine grounds taking photo after photo and never take the same photo twice.
Fukushima prefecture may hold one of the most Japanese weeping cherry blossom trees, but Kyoto has an equally appealing shidarezakua (weeping cherry blossom variety) in Maruyama Park. The local Kyoto residents know the park well, and your JDS Photography Workshop Leader has spent years investigating and photographing in around the park, so you will be able to benefit from the best points of view to take away your own magical memories of Maruyama Park’s most spectacular cherry blossoms. The park is also set alight during the evening time to give you an entirely different perspective, a new way to enjoy the glittering pink petals of the weeping sakura trees.
The path between Nanzenji and Ginkakuji (more commonly known as the silver pavilion) has been dubbed the Philosopher’s Walk. The location was given the name after one of Japan’s most famous philosopher’s Nishida Kitaro used the 2 km stretch between the two temples to help focus himself before he arrived at Kyoto University. Rather than traditional hanami, cherry blossom viewing, most photographers and visitors slowly stroll the pathway and discover their own zen moments as they capture the burgeoning amount of vibrant pink above them in the sakura canopy along the Philosopher’s Walk. If you would like to take a moment’s respite and refresh yourself at one of the many restaurants or cafés along the walk, your JDS Photo Tour Guide is always happen to recommend some of his favorites.