If a picture is worth a thousand words, then your wedding photos should be worth an encyclopedia. Whether you are getting married in Japan or coming for your honeymoon, you can find amazing scenery as a backdrop for incredible memories. There is no shortage of photogenic spots across the country, and couples can choose the location that suits them best.
Pose in front of stunning mountains, in front of a historic shrine, or in front of iconic cherry blossom trees. Here are ten of the most picturesque places in Japan to treasure your “I do’s” forever.
1. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
If you’re looking for photos in a traditional Japanese setting, look no further than the country’s most famous bamboo forest. Surround yourself with the lush emerald backdrop of Arashiyama, Kyoto. For added charm, you can be photographed in a vintage rickshaw in front of the Nonomiya Shrine or let the bamboo do the talking and pose in front of the towering stalks. Feel relaxed and comfortable posing in the ethereal landscape here.
One of Japan’s most famous shrines, the Vermilion Gates of Fushimi Inari are a fantastic location for photos, including weddings. It is undoubtedly Japan and the first image of many people when they think of Kyoto. Red doors are said to ward off evil forces, which can be helpful for newlyweds. Made famous by many thanks to a scene in “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the visual sight of the race through the countless torii gates is breathtaking. In addition to the red doors, there are fox statues everywhere on the mountain. Beautiful base buildings can add variety to your snapshots.
Do you doubt between a tropical archipelago or Japan for your wedding photos? Kill two birds with one stone on one of the 160 southernmost islands that make up Okinawa. Along with historical sites like Shurjio Castle and the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park on the main island of Naha, the beaches are the main attraction here.
Famous for its white sand and turquoise waters, Okinawa’s romantic star-shaped sand can be found on many shores. Star Sand Beach on Iriomote Island, Kaiji Beach on Taketomi Island or the entire Hatoma Island are some places. Suppose you are very adventurous (and you have a photographer that fits you!); Why not go the extra mile and take some spectacular dive photos?
4. Tokyo Station
For a change of pace, bustling Tokyo Station is a hub steeped in history. The station and its surroundings boast some of the most beautiful architecture. The bright red brick façade of the station and its surroundings has a distinctly European look and retains a Tokyo sensibility. You can get very different images depending on whether you come here during the day or at night. Both could be a unique take on some of the more typical Japanese photo spots.
5. Imperial Palace
A stone’s throw from Tokyo Station is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan – the Tokyo Imperial Palace. You won’t be able to get too close as the inner grounds are closed to the public, but there are plenty of idyllic spots along the outer gardens. You can take a photo at the main gate facing the Nijubashi bridge. It looks like a pair of goggles when the water below creates a mirror image. Behind it is the Fushimi Dungeon Tower. The Ninomaru Japanese Garden in the East Gardens also offers picturesque scenery with a pond and trees that reflect the changing seasons.
Known as the Geisha District in Kyoto, Gion is a famous entertainment area with many traditional buildings. You may see a slippery geisha; however, taking pictures of or with them is not recommended. But with so many UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples like The Silver Pavillion, you won’t be short of photogenic scenes. You can also create unique wedding photos at Philosopher’s Path, Kiomizu-Dera Temple, Murin-An Gardens, or even the cityscape of Japan’s oldest areas.
On the northern island of Hokkaido, the central cities of Furano and Biei are home to many amazing attractions. In the summer, you can take photos in the fields of Tomita Farm surrounded by a lush carpet of lavender, among other beautiful flowers. Sure, a ski resort could make a winter wedding seem like paradise if you love the snow and aren’t afraid of the cold. Outside of Biei is the blue Shirogane Pond, with its rare turquoise color, if you don’t mind walking through the forest to reach this off-the-beaten-path spot. For a romantic marriage of green earth and clouds so close you’d think you could touch them, head to Shinei Hill.
If you’re taking wedding photos in the spring, cherry blossoms make the perfect backdrop. One of the most impressive places to see and photograph is along the Meguro River in Tokyo. The river stretches for almost 8 kilometers with many green areas and sakura. Cherry blossoms look amazing day or night when lit with paper lanterns.
9. Mount Fuji area (Kawaguchiko)
Nothing says Japan like photos with the one and only Mount Fuji. The Kawaguchiko area includes some of the most sought-after spots for taking photos with this legendary volcano in the background. Kawaguchiko 5th Station is one of the best places to take in stunning views, though Arakurayama Sengen Shrine is perhaps the most famous. It is worth climbing the almost 400 steps to the top, where you can take photos in one of the most photographed spots in the Chureito Pagoda. If you visit in spring, you can take photos with a perfect trifecta of Japanese imagery; Mount Fuji, a Japanese pagoda and cherry blossoms.
For a taste of Japan’s old and new, head to Asakusa. As far as photogenic spots go, this area is small but mighty. The Kaminarimon Gate is where you’ll find a giant red lantern sandwiched between the statues of the God of Thunder and the God of Wind. It can be hard to find a moment to take a photo here without other tourists, but if you come early in the morning it should be possible. Asakusa is also home to the Tokyo Sky Tree, where you can take a photo as you fly over the city from Japan’s tallest tower at 634 meters. There are countless other locations in Asakusa, and anyone with a keen eye will find some amazing places to make their wedding photos stand out.
Whether traditional or modern, Japan has plenty of photo spots to match your wedding aesthetic. If it’s too difficult to choose a place, why not travel and take photos together? Create a timeless scrapbook of wedding memories that you can remember for years to come.
Japan Merveille Voyage is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious food tours, we can help you put together the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and stories of each region you visit, our knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking guides will be happy to take you to the best places!
Also, we can provide any assistance you may need for your next trip to Japan, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help!