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.
Taking place on January 4th, the Shin Aisatsu (新挨拶) or New Year’s Greeting of the Kamishichiken Hanamachi (Geisha District) is the first “event” of the year around Kyoto’s Kagai (another word for the so-called “flower town” or geisha world of Kyoto).
This beautiful and peaceful temple is a true gem located in the north east part of the city at the bottom of Mount Hiei. Note that it is only open to the public twice a year, in the Fall and the Spring.