60+ of the Best Sakura Photos from Japan『日本の桜の写真』

Japan’s best cherry blossom photos of 2013

Only the best of Japan’s cherry blossoms from the spring of 2013…

…a warm start to March (the first month of spring in Japan) saw the bloom of sakura come early this year.

Kyoto hit it’s peak in the first week of April and Tokyo’s peak came 12 days earlier than average (at the start of the last week of March). In many areas, late snow fall covered cherry blossoms for an incredible mix of spring, snow and sakura.

This is a HUGE post with lots of photos! This year as I waded through thousands of photos to share on JapanTravelMate’s Facebook Page and @JapanTravelMate on Twitter, it was clear that this year the tourists, local photographers, J-bloggers and J-photographers were out in force!

Most of these photos look better at a higher resolution, so be sure to click on any photo to view a larger version.

The Best Sakura Photos from Japan 2013

Best of Japan’s Cherry Blossom Photos by J-bloggers and J-photographers

To wrap up the year in sakura, I approached my favourite bloggers and photographers based in Japan, and asked them to share their favourites…

By Leslie Tayler, GaijinCamera.com

Cherry blossom trees at Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture:
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The famous Meguro-gawa in Tokyo:
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By Japan Dave, japandave.com

A wall of cherry blossoms in Okazaki:
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Sakura surrounds a small bridge in Okazaki:
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Shisare-zakura (weeping cherry blossom):
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By Hida Satoyama Cycling

Tourists on a cycling tour in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture:
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By Shibuya246, shibuya246.com

A plum blossom and cherry blossom tree at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park:
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Plum blossom and cherry blossom trees at Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

Photo by shibuya246.com. Original photo: Spring Walk, Kyoto Gosho.

By Zooming Japan, zoomingjapan.com

A deer in Nara city:
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Deer at Nara (Japan) standing near cherry blossom trees

PENTAX K-x (18mm, f/7.1, 1/320 sec, ISO200)
Photo by Zooming Japan, zoomingjapan.com.

Great Buddha Hall (daibutsu-den) at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Todai-ji in Nara city, Nara Prefecture:
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Cherry blossoms in front of Todaiji, Nara

PENTAX K-x (18mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Photo by Zooming Japan, zoomingjapan.com.

By Lee Chapman, tokyotimes.org

A brief but beautiful cherry blossom moment in Tokyo:

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By Muza-chan, muza-chan.net

Higashi Shinen, Heian Shrine, Kyoto:
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Sanjo-Ohashi, Kyoto:
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By ME! Dean Wormald, japantravelmate.com

Sakura at Okazaki Castle – 岡崎城の桜:
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Okazaki Castle Park Sakura – 岡崎城公園の桜:
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Five-storied pagoda and sakura at Kofuku-ji in Nara. 奈良市 興福寺の五重&#22612:
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Sakura in front of the pagoda (goju-no-to) at Kofuku-ji, Nara.

Sakura at Kofuku-ji in Nara

HDR Photos of Sakura from Japan

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range – a photography process where multiple photos are taken of the exact same scene, at different exposures, to capture a broad range of highlights, midtones and shadows. When combined in post-processing, this images create a HDR photo.

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Sakura at Odawara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture (HDR Photo)

Sakura reflections at Odawara city, Kanagawa Prefecture (HDR Photo). Photo credit: shinnygogo

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Cherry blossoms surround Osaka-jo (HDR Photo)

Osaka castle #1. Photo credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes

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Sakura at Osaka Castle (HDR Photo)

Osaka castle #2. Photo credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes

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Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (HDR Photo)

Tokyo Imperial Palace Moat. Photo credit: DJPHUNKYPHRESH

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Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (HDR Photo)

Tokyo. Photo credit: DJPHUNKYPHRESH

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Sakura at Tokyo Imperial Palace (HDR Photo)

Tokyo Imperial Palace Moat. Photo credit: DJPHUNKYPHRESH

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Sakura beside a river in Saga Prefecture (HDR Photo)

Saga Prefecture. Photo credit: WindyLife

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Weeping Cherry 'Shidare Sakura', Niigata Prefecture (HDR Photo)

Weeping Cherry ‘Shidare Sakura’, Niigata Prefecture. Photo credit: Shin-ichiro Uemura

More Beautiful Film and Digital Photos of Sakura

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Sakura in front of Tokyo's Skytree

Sakura in front of Tokyo Skytree. Photo credit: ajpscs

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Sakura at Chidorigafuchi (North-Eastern moat of the Imperial Palace)

Sakura at Chidorigafuchi (North-Eastern moat of the Imperial Palace). Photo credit: ajpscs

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Sakura flowers and branches in Japan

Photo credit: Mos Lin

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Kanzan sakura at Sekiyama, Niigata Prefecture

Kanzan sakura at Sekiyama, Niigata Prefecture. Photo credit: Mos Lin, 関山(かんざん)桜

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Two sakura trees and a train in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Komi-nato Railway “Cherry Tree Light Up”. 小湊鉄道 桜ライトアップ Photo credit: 夜の鉄道 Railway at night

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Sakura and moon in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Photo credit:月と桜 Night Sea

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Cherry blossoms at night at Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower.

Photo credit: 東京の夜桜 Tokyo Cherry Blossoms

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Cherry blossoms at Shirakawa

Sakura in front of a gassho-zukuri style house at at Shirakawa-go. Original photo from Hida Kanko Co. Shirakawa-go

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Sakura at Shirakawa-go, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Sakura at Shirakawa-go, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Photo credit: Miyamoto.

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Sakura, lights and reflections at night

Photo credit: Yoshiki Fujiwara

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"1000 sakura at a glance": Yoshino-yama, Nara Prefecture

“1,000 sakura at a glance”, Yoshino-yama, Nara Prefecture. Photo credit: Yoshiki Fujiwara

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Sakura in front of Kiyomizu-dera's romon (tower gate) in Kyoto

Sakura in front of Kiyomizu-dera’s romon (tower gate) in Kyoto. Photo credit: cadacha

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Sakura cover the Meguro-gawa in Tokyo

Meguro-gawa in Tokyo. Photo credit: mnagare

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Rows of cherry blossoms at Obuse, Nagano

Rows of cherry blossoms at Obuse, Nagano. Photo credit: polarstar02

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Sakura along the Ryuganbuchi Urui River near Mt Fuji

Sakura along the Ryuganbuchi Urui River near Mt Fuji.

Photo credit: Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji 桜と富士山

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Sakura at Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture

Sakura at Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture. Photo credit: Spring in the Air

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Film photo of cherry blossoms at Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

Film photo at Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto. Photo credit: Alex Chen

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Film photo of sakura in front of the old Yamagata Prefectural Hall

Film photo of sakura in front of the old Yamagata Prefectural Hall.
Photo credit: marutyo

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Sakura tunnel in Shizuoka Prefecture

Shizuoka Prefecture. Photo credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes

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A sakura tree in Tokyo

Somewhere in Tokyo. Photo credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes

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Sakura tunnel over a stream in Yokohama, Kanagawa

Yokohama city, Kanagawa Prefecture. Photo credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes

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Sakura surround train tracks

Photo credit: Matsuura

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Cherry blossom tree branches - Tokyo

Sakura branches in Tokyo. Photo credit: *Sakura*

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Film photo of sakura and a Japanese lady in Kansai

Film photo, somewhere in Kansai. Photo credit: Alex Chen

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Film photo, sakura in Kansai

Film photo, Kansai. Photo credit: Alex Chen

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Hirosaki cherry blossoms, traditional Japanese lanterns

Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture. Photo credit: Glenn Waters

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Sakura leaves scattered on a pond, koi under the water

Koi swim under sakura leaves, scattered on the surface. Photo credit: 九尾

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Giant torii and sakura in Kyoto

Kyoto, near Kyoto University. Photo credit: cadacha

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Cherry blossoms at the peak of spring in Kyoto - Shirakwaka River in the Gion area.

Cherry blossoms at the peak of spring in Kyoto – Shirakwaka River in the Gion area. 京都の春(祇園白川)
Photo credit: nobu

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Sakura at Hirano Jinja Shrine, Kyoto

Sakigake-Sakura at Hirano Jinja Shrine, Kyoto / 平野神社の魁桜(京都)
Photo credit: Kaoru Honda

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Cherry blossoms in front of Sakura at Hirano Jinja Shrine, Kyoto

Kondo Hall at Omuro Ninna-ji, Kyoto. Photo credit: ELCAN KE-7A

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Closeup of cherry blossoms at a pagoda at Miyajima, Hiroshima

宮島の桜 Cherry blossoms (closeup), Miyajima. Photo credit: kamoda

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Cherry and plum blossoms in front of the pagoda at Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan

宮島の桜 Cherry and plum blossoms in front of Miyajima’s pagoda. Photo credit: kamoda

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Closeup of sakura in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo. Photo credit: *Sakura*

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Snow-will blossom branch, Chiba, Japan

Snow-willow blossoms in Chiba Prefecture. Photo credit: Damon Bay

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Sakura stuck to a torii after rain in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Fallen sakura stuck to a torii after rain in Chiba Prefecture. 鳥居に咲いた桜. Photo credit: Damon Bay

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A torii, a shrine, a little girl and cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan

A little girl bows before passing through a torii in Tokyo. Photo credit: Kohji Matsubayashi

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Sakura line a river in Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Ueno Park, Tokyo. You need to see the high res version of this! Photo credit: Wil and Lil

Best sakura photo of 2012?

These images aren’t from 2013, but they are well worth a mention!
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Snow on sakura at Mount Yoshino, Nara Prefecture

Snow on sakura in at Mount Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. Photo credit: Totoro Times

Finally, a very old cherry blossom photo

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120+ year old photo of sakura in Japan

120+ year old photo of sakura in Japan. Photo credit: British Library/Robana / British Library/Robana via Getty

That’s it!

If you like any of the photos above, be sure to quickly hit the VOTE button on your favourites.

Keep in touch with JapanTravelMate to find out which is the best sakura photo of 2013.

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2 comments

  1. Wow! So many stunning photos!
    I see I still have a LOT to learn about photography.
    Thanks for including my amateur photos next to all these professional shots! :D

    Oh, I was wondering who took the snow-covered sakura photo in Nagano! I’ve seen it all over the social media, but no credit. So thanks for clarifying! :D

    • You’re photos are great, thanks for sharing!

      Finally tracked down the original photo of the snow-covered sakura… it wasn’t actually Nagano, it was Yoshino-yama in 2012. I’ve updated with the original reference (I too could only find it on social media from this year) which I found via Google’s search by image.

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