Cherry trees, symbol of the Japanese spring, flower in a riotous blaze of glory from late March through early April, suffusing the surrounding landscape with color. The peak viewing season, however, is extremely short; blossoms scattering without trace in a little over a week. Despite the fleeting nature of the spectacle, the cherry blossom has occupied a special place in the hearts of the Japanese since earliest times.
Doing its utmost to dazzle during its short life, the cherry blossom is seen as an ideal model for life and death, and a symbol embodying both the glorious and ephemeral natures of human existence. As such, for centuries it has provided inspiration for poets, painters, and many other artists.
Identifying a sublime spirituality in nature that transcends external beauty, and elevating that spirituality to an art form, lies at the core of Japanese culture. For over a millennium, the city of Kyoto has made this aesthetic sensibility its own, continuing to refine it even today.
This book features 48 superlative cherry blossom viewing locations captured by three photographers born and raised in Kyoto, who have made documenting its beauty their life work.
Photographs by Hidehiko Mizuno, Kayu Mizuno, and Yasutaka Ogawa.