Sanjusangendo, also known as Rengeo-in, is located in eastern Kyoto. The main attraction are the 1001 statues of the goddess of mercy, Kannon. It was originally built way back in 1164. These statues are inside the main hall, which at over 100 meters long is Japan’s longest wooden building.
With Kyoto’s endless amount of temples and shrines and such a unique and rich history, sometimes the smaller, but equally beautiful, things are missed. When in Kyoto, of course some of the bigger places are nice and “must sees,” but also do not be afraid to go off the beaten path, got lost, and find your own place.
One thing that makes Kyoto such an interesting city is the mix of a very old society and culture with the modern day Japan. This contrast can really make for some interesting photos and can be seen all over the city. Let’s take houses in Kyoto for an example. Houses and buildings in Japan can really make for some interesting photos, but even more so in Kyoto.
Tofukuji is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and was built in 1236. Not only does Tofukuji bare resemblance to the great temples in Nara, Todaiji and Kofukuji, but Tofukuji even got its’ name from combining the names of the two temples. I went here in the spring and to be honest I was not that impressed. Partly because at this point I have been to so many temples that what I was once impressed with has kind of become average for me.
However, that being said, there is at least one very good reason to check this place out. See more photos and read the rest of this entry »
When I show my photographs to my Japanese friends, a lot of times they tell me that they have never looked at the subject the way I do. While I would like to think it is only because I am a good photographer, a large part of it is that I am looking at a culture that isn’t my own and as a result, I just see things differently.
“The hardest place to find beauty is in your own backyard.”
I believe this is one of the fundamental truths not only with photography but in life. Actually, when you think about it, it is saying the same thing as that quote about grass being greener… I know this is a travel photo travel blog, but sometimes we need to be reminded that what we are looking for can sometimes be right in front of us. Anyway, this post is to remind you, to go and search and “travel” the area where you live.
For example, during cherry blossom season, I traveled all over the Kansai region in hopes of getting some great photos, but as it turns out, some of my favorite photos from the 2007 cherry blossom season were taken about 10 minutes from where I live, in my own backyard.