Capturing the Beauty of Kyoto and Osaka Through Photography: A Photo Diary
Kyoto and Osaka offer some of the most picturesque scenes in Japan for photography, with their stunning temples, shrines, gardens, bustling streets, colourful signs, and towering skyscrapers.
As a photographer, I was thrilled to spend six days split between these two incredible cities, Kyoto and Osaka, exploring and photographing their beauty through my camera lens.
Day 1-3: Kyoto
Kyoto is a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning temples, shrines, and gardens. My first stop was Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site perched on a hillside overlooking the city. The temple’s wooden architecture was impressive, and I took several photos of the shrine. Additionally, I was lucky enough to come across many women dressed in traditional kimono, which added a unique cultural element to my photos.
One of the standout features of the temple was the Otowa waterfall, where visitors can drink from three streams of water, each said to have a different benefit – longevity, success at school, and love. I took a photo of visitors drinking from the streams, and it was a special moment to witness the tradition firsthand.
Heian Jingu Shrine and The Philosopher’s Path
Next, I visited Heian Jingu Shrine, known for its vibrant torii gates and large gardens. I took many photos of the shrine itself, as well as the gardens, which were in full bloom with cherry blossoms. The Philosopher’s Path was another highlight, with its peaceful canal lined with cherry trees. I took a lot of landscape shots here, trying to capture the tranquility of the surroundings.
While walking in the streets of Kyoto, I took many photos of the cherry blossoms – or Sakura – in full bloom, as well as the city’s unique architecture and street scenes.
Fushimi Inari and Nijo Castle
Fushimi Inari-taisha was a bit of a hike up the mountain, but the view from the top was worth it. The iconic orange torii gates winding up the mountain made for some striking photos, especially with the cherry blossoms in the background. I also visited Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful gardens and architecture. The cherry trees here were in full bloom, and I took many close-up shots of the petals against the castle walls.
After exploring Kyoto’s many temples and shrines, it was time to move on to Osaka, another fantastic city for photography. Osaka offered me plenty of opportunities to capture the city’s unique charm through my camera lens.
Day 4-6: Osaka
Osaka is a city full of energy and vibrancy, with its bustling streets, colourful signs, and towering skyscrapers.
The Osaka Castle park
Osaka Castle park was a highlight, with its expansive grounds covered in cherry blossom trees. I took a lot of wide-angle shots here, trying to capture the sheer volume of pink and white flowers. The contrast of Sakura against the castle’s imposing walls was also striking.
Dōtonbori Canal was another must-visit spot, with its neon lights, street performers and lively atmosphere. I took many candid shots of people enjoying the scene, trying to capture the energy and vibrancy of the area.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel was a great spot for panoramic views of the city. I walked around the Tempozan Ferris Wheel area and took some long-exposure photos of the wheel itself, which added an interesting element to my photo collection. If you’re interested in more long-exposure photography ideas, check out my other blog post on the topic. The contrast between the neon lights and the night sky made for some stunning shots.
Reflecting on my six-day trip to Kyoto and Osaka, I am grateful for the opportunity to capture the beauty of these two cities through my photography. From the stunning temples, shrines, and gardens to the bustling streets, colorful signs, and towering skyscrapers, Kyoto and Osaka provided a wealth of subjects to capture through my camera lens. The cherry blossom season added an extra layer of beauty to the already stunning scenery, and I am excited to share my photos with others who appreciate the photographic potential of Kyoto and Osaka.