COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is always holding photo contests. Cherry blossoms have always been a source of comfort and relaxation for those who see them, and here we'll introduce collaborations of cherry blossoms with stunning architecture and spectacular views that can only be seen in Japan, as well as highlights of famous places and tips for any photographers.
COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a social, video curation site that introduces the charms of Japan to people around the world who are interested in Japan.
Our photo contests allow you to participate and even win with photos taken via your smartphone! Stick around to learn more!
Cherry Blossoms in Past Photo Contests
This time, from among the many works that convey the charms of Japan, we've selected beautiful photos of cherry blossoms of all different varieties. We'll also introduce highlights for each area and photography tips.
Photographer: 山本 こころ
Location: Oide Park (Hakuba, Nagano)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Oide Park, a Famous Place for Cherry Blossoms
Oide Park, a famous place for viewing cherry blossoms in Hakuba, Nagano, was developed over a period of five years by the local residents and Hakuba Village. The scenery changes from season to season, but the cherry blossom season is the most photogenic and recommended season to visit.
From the observation deck at Oide Park, visitors can see cherry blossoms along the riverside, fresh green grass, the Oide no Tsuribashi Suspension Bridge over the clear stream of Himekawa River, and the snowy Hakuba Sanzan (three peaks of Hakuba), making it a popular photography spot.
A Video Article About Hakuba Village in Nagano Prefecture
Location: Himeji Castle (Himeji, Hyogo)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Himeji Castle
In the spring, someiyoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees can be seen blooming at Himeji Castle, a famous tourist attraction, attracting visitors to the castle.
There are many places to see, such as Sannomaru Square, Nishinomaru Garden, Princess Sen Peony Garden, and Shirotopia Memorial Park on the north side of the castle! You can take pictures of the cherry blossoms and the main keep from various angles.
The red Shiromi Bridge over the inner moat in the east and the south of the zoo where visitors can take pictures of the main keep over the Japanese-style sightseeing boats are popular photo spots.
A Video Article About Himeji Castle, the "White Heron" Castle of Hyogo Prefecture
Location: Ogawa Village (Nagano Prefecture)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Ogawa Village
The village of Ogawa in Nagano Prefecture is often called one of the most beautiful villages in Japan. Located in the mountains with a view of the majestic Northern Alps, Ogawa has some of the best spots for photographing cherry blossoms.
The most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Ogawa Village are Bansho no Sakura, a 70-year-old benishidare (a type of weeping cherry tree) on Mt. Sakura (桜山, Sakurayama), Tachiya no Sakura, a 300-year-old edohigan (another type of cherry tree), and Nitanda no Sakura, where many cherry trees bloom on the hillside. Visitors can take a tour of the cherry blossoms in Ogawa and capture the contrast between the cherry blossoms, the snowy Northern Alps of Japan, and the blue sky all in one shot!
A Video Article About Mt. Yoshino
Photographer: 平岩 蘭
Location: Cherry Blossoms at Rokudo Bank (Nagano Prefecture)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Rokudo Bank, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Rokudo Bank is a cherry blossom viewing spot located near Takato Joshi Park, a tourist attraction in Ina, Nagano. Approximately 120 cherry trees can be seen blooming on the bank of this agricultural reservoir.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of compositions, such as a tunnel of cherry blossoms and cherry blossoms reflecting on the surface of the water. Under a blue sky, visitors can capture a well-balanced photo of the snowy Alpine mountains, the cherry blossoms, and the surface of the water.
Originally, this was a hidden gem amongst the local residents. Please be sure to exercise good manners in order to preserve the beautiful scenery.
A Video Article About Rokudo Bank in Nagano Prefecture
Location: Daigo Sakura (Maniwa, Okayama)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Daigo Sakura, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Daigo Sakura in Maniwa, Okayama, is a large cherry tree said to be over 1,000 years old. It was praised by Emperor Godaigo in the Kamakura period. It is designated as a natural monument by Okayama Prefecture and has been selected as one of the "Top 100 Famous Trees of New Japan. Standing on a small hill, the Daigo Sakura is a large tree with branches stretching 20 meters in all directions, and stands 18 meters tall.
The composition of the divine cherry tree, which has been carefully protected as a sacred tree by the local residents, along with the vast sky is a powerful sight. During the blooming period, the cherry blossoms are illuminated from sunset to 9:00 p.m., creating an even more photogenic scene.
A Video Article About Yubara Onsen in Okayama Prefecture
Photographer: Phúc Jindo
Location: Fuji Motosuko Resort (Yamanashi Prefecture)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Fuji Motosuko Resort, a Popular Tourist Attraction
The Fuji Shibazakura Festival held at Fuji Motosuko Resort is a springtime tradition at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The festival site is filled with 500,000 shibazakura (moss phlox) of eight different varieties, creating a magnificent scene depicting a glorious spring day.
From the observatory, visitors can take wide-angle photos of Mt. Fuji with lingering snow as well as a panoramic view of the shibazakura. You can also try your hand at taking close-up photos of the pretty shibazakura.
There are also a number of recommended photo spots in the area. Visitors are sure to find a variety of photogenic compositions, including taking a picture of the art installations and the shibazakura.
A Video Article About the Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture
Location: Tsuruga Castle (Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Tsuruga Castle, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Tsuruga Castle, a famous sightseeing spot in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukishima is a cherry blossom viewing spot wwhere approximately 1,000 cherry trees bloom in the spring. Many varieties of cherry trees, including Someiyoshino, Edohigan, weeping cherries, etc., bloom at different times of the year here.
The castle tower of Tsuruga Castle has a unique red-tile roof. The beautiful white walls with red tiles combined with the cherry blossoms in full bloom makes this a must-see spot for any photographers! During the cherry blossom period, the castle is lit up and can be enjoyed at night.
A Video Article About Tsuruga Castle Park in Fukushima Prefecture
Location: Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Shinjuku Gyoen, a Famous Place for Cherry Blossoms
At Shinjuku Gyoen, an oasis in the heart of Tokyo, approximately 1,000 cherry trees of 65 varieties can be seen blooming in the spring. With both early-blooming cherry trees and late-blooming cherry trees, visitors can enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms for about a month. This is one of the major attractions of Shinjuku Gyoen.
There are also four weeping cherry trees planted in Shimo no Ike Pond, and their blossoming branches hang down to the ground when they are in full bloom, making for some lovely photos.
A Video Article About Shinjuku Gyoen
Location: Kawazu Cherry Blossoms (Kawazu, Shizuoka)
Highlights and Photography Tips for the Kawazu Cherry Blossoms, a Famous Place for Cherry Blossoms
The beautiful row of cherry blossoms in Kawazu, Shizuoka signals the early arrival of spring each year. The contrast between the dark pink blossoms of the 850 Kawazu cherry trees along the Kawazu River and the blue sky is truly spectacular! The rows of cherry blossoms and rape blossoms on both banks of the river, which can be seen from the riverbanks, are great photo spots for photographers and Instagrammers.
The 2023 Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from February 1 to 28, and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., a portion of the area will be lit up, allowing visitors to enjoy the cherry blossoms at night.
A Video Article About the Kawazu Cherry Blossoms Festival
Location: Sogenji Temple (Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)
Highlights and Photography Tips for Sogenji Temple, a Famous Place for Cherry Blossoms
Sogenji Temple, located 15 minutes by car from JR Okayama Station in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, is famous for its weeping cherry blossoms. Two weeping cherry trees stand by the pond in the garden, which is said to have been created in the Edo period (1603-1868). The trees are said to be more than 80 years old. On a day when the wind is calm, you can take photos of the weeping cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the pond.
Sogenji Temple is also famous for its autumn foliage. Be sure to visit in autumn to photograph the well-maintained garden and colorful views of nature!
A Video Article About Okayama Castle
Features of COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests
COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a social, video curation site that shares the charms of Japan with people all over the world who are interested in Japan.
Click here for more information about COOLJAPANVIDEOS
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS photo contests are open to everyone! Even a photo taken by chance with your smartphone could win a prize! Here are some of the features of our contests.
・Photos taken not only with SLR cameras and digital cameras, but also with smartphones and other devices can be submitted.
・You can submit as many photos as you like during the contest period.
・Image editing, such as cropping and color changes, is also allowed!
Here you can find all of the past photo contest winners in one place. You can also see the prizes for each contest, as well as the locations where the photos were taken and the judges' critiques.
Click here to see past photo contest winners
Current Photo Contest
The following is information about the current photo contest.
[Ongoing From March 2023] The 16th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest
Theme: Tourist Attractions in Japan to Visit in Spring
Submission period: March. 1, 2023 0:00 AM – April. 30 2023 11:59 PM(JST)
Prizes: ■Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card (1 Winner) ■Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card (5 Winners)
Tourist Attractions in Japan to Visit in Spring
Summary of Kansai in COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests
That concludes our introduction of beautiful photos of tourist attractions in Japan's Kansai Region in past COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests. Next time you're visiting any of these tourist attractions, be sure to try out some of these photography tips! With the spread of smartphones, the world of photography has become more accessible than ever. We invite you to share your photos of Japan with the people of the world by submitting them to COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.