The “Ohmato Taikai” is a 400 year old archery competition held at the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple in January.
This temple in Kyoto has always attracted Kyudo (Japanese archery) enthusiasts. The main hall building is the longest wooden building in Japan — it is 120 meters long.
Saimyo-ji is the smallest of the three temples located in Takao, a mountainous region in the northwestern edge of Kyoto. It is only an hour away from central Kyoto and is an attractive destination, mainly during the fall.
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.