Kyoto Imperial Palace is a real oasis of the city. Locals and visitors from abroad get together for celebrating beauty and elegance of flowering cherry in Spring. More than 910 km square estate contains 1,100 cherry trees and proudly wait for garden visitors during a season. White and pink light colours melt on eyes. The visitors literary can feel being surrounded by Spring lights.
You will see every single visitor holds a camera. Blooming cherry flowers get them fanatical of taking photographs!
The first place I visited for a cherry shooting was Kyoto Imperial Palace, and where I met a highly experienced professional commercial photographer, Naoyuki Fukamachi, from Tokyo. It seems to be a good omen at the beginning of a Spring shooting!
Naoyuki is a more than 30 years experienced photographer and has his own photography studio in the central Tokyo. His studio covers industrial and portrait photography work. Every year for this season, he visits Kyoto for a cherry shooting.
In Kyoto Imperial Palace, the quality and intensity of flowering cherry are outstanding, probably more than any other places in Kyoto. A majority of cherry trees is mature and has existed more than few hundred years in a deep care of cherry and garden specialists.
The diversity of cherry trees is enormous, including famous somei yoshino, toranoo, ukon, yae zakura, shidare zakura and so many more! Due to the diversity of different cherry trees, the garden attracts visitors for a long time whereas the peak of the flowers ends within a week. It is a real luxury for commuters to pass through the garden by walk and bike, before heading to an office early morning.
Kyoto Imperial Palace is situated in Kyoto Gyoen. The palace officially has existed since 12th century and functioned both for a ritual ceremony and as a residence of the Imperial family more than 500 years.
The place and the garden experienced a time of decay after Meiji emperor and the imperial family moved from Kyoto to Tokyo at the time of Meiji Restoration in the mid 19th century. Since then, the garden has been opened publicly. The Imperial Household Agency hosts public tours of the buildings and so that please make a booking in advance!
Kyoto Imperial Palace is one of my best favourite places for garden photography. It takes less than ten minutes by bike from my place. Any Kyoto visitors are strongly suggested to visit the garden in Spring! Let me know if you have any questions!!