David Hay • Photographing Autumnal Kyoto

Hanami is the traditional Japanese practice of watching the cherry blossoms bloom. These verdant trees can provide lush beauty for any photographer. David Hay’s report comes from Kyoto

There are two main seasons for landscape photography in Japan: the ‘sakura’ (cherry blossom) season in spring and the glorious colours of the Japanese maples in late autumn. We timed our visit to Japan to coincide with the peak autumn colours, which in the central area around Tokyo and Kyoto happens from mid to late November. There are plenty of websites available that chart the progress of the peak autumn colours in each region in real time.

Both the cherry blossom and the maple trees are very popular with Japanese people, as well as visitors, so it makes sense to arrange your visits carefully. Hotel prices can rise steeply at weekends in Kyoto in the peak colour season as many working people come from Tokyo for the weekend to enjoy the spectacle. We planned our visit to last four days, midweek, to take advantage of ...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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