7 Best Cherry Blossom Photoshoot Spots in Kyoto & Nara, Japan

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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.

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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.

Hirano Shrine, Kyoto
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#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...

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#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!

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Yiting & Chen in Nara by CHYMO & MORE Photography
 

 

#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. 

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#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.

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#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.

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Fine art film wedding photographer Europe CHYMO & MORE (http://c

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 chymomore@gmail.com.

Looking forward to meeting you! 

Xx Chymo

 

Traditional Japan Engagement session with cherry blossoms and deer

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Yiting and Chen are greatly influenced by Japanese culture and nature. They got in touch with me after seeing my upcoming trip announcement to Japan, and together we decided to take their engagement photos in one of the most preserved and stunning cities, Nara. The bride is fascinated with its historic gardens and temples, and of course the cutest deer hanging on the streets of Nara.

 

We spent the morning wandering around the traditional district as well as a quiet and peaceful Buddhist garden formed with elements of “zen”. It was early April, so every corner was covered with sakura / cherry blossom. In the afternoon, the couple changed into kimonos at rental shop MIYABI. We took a small trip to the park of Nara, where cherry blossom trees are the fullest and prettiest.  The day ended at a hidden shrine which dedicated in blessing for relationships and marriage. The perfect way to end an engagement session!

 

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Yiting & Chen's engagement session in Kasuga Taisha and Nara Park, Nara, Japan