After a beautiful cherry blossoms season, things slow down a bit and all is quiet for a while. Then, around the middle of the month of May, is the perfect time to look around the temples and the mountains for the maple trees having new leaves. This is a beautiful period with incredibly strong greens on the maple trees with their new leaves, all around Kyoto.
The cherry blossoms hold a special place in the heart of the Japanese people. These elusive little flowers known as sakura have a deeper meaning in Japan where, as the country’s national flower, they have become a cultural icon known around the world. For photographers, the subject is varied and offers unlimited options.
This year’s cherry blossoms season started even earlier than last year! The early blooming varieties of cherry trees have already past their full bloom. I had the chance to visit two places where one can see these flowers.
Today was a big day for a young girl. Yes, after completing her pre-apprenticeship or training for several months (sometimes up to a year), Maiko Haruchizu (Tama Okiya) has finally been introduced to the people of her Hanamachi (geisha district). This is what is called a “Misedashi” or formal introduction/debut.
The plum trees are the first ones to delight us with their beautiful white, pink and red flowers that smell so well. These blossoms as early as February. Here are a few photos captured around Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Jonangu Shrine and a special garden in Mie prefecture, near Kyoto.