Snowy Gardens of the Heian Shrine, Part I
Still Water is Meant to be Poked -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Water is Meant to be Poked

I'm still sick, so today's post is a simple continuation of yesterday's snowy visit to the Heian Shrine, today focusing mostly on the gardens, except for this next picture:

Arriving at the Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Arriving at the Heian Shrine

You can see how little snow there was, compared to the amazing shots last week.

The rest of the pictures are from inside the gardens, which costs 600 yen (US $6) to enter per adult. Anthony got in free. We were the first to enter, the two photographers behind us immediately ran to the far gardens, while we took a more leisurely pace.

Many areas of the gardens have bamboo lattice that support the “crimson weeping-willow cherry trees” that populate the grounds. (I don't know their name in English, but the Japanese is benishidarezakura紅枝垂桜.) In a few months, these lattice will be supporting a heavy burden of intense pink. Today, they supported only a layer of snow.

Bamboo Lattice -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/180 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Bamboo Lattice
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

Not all plants were totally covered; some were in more protected areas...

n Chilly Fern -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/n
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm — 1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Chilly Fern

But overall, most plants had a nice layer of snow....

Private Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Private Gardens

It's hard to believe when looking at pictures like this – just as it's hard to believe when you're there – that this shrine is right in the city. There's a major street 60 yards away, the huge intersection of Marutamachi and Higashiooji is just two tenths of a mile away, and my own house is less than four tenths of a mile away. When you're there, you feel like you're a million miles away from it all.

Footprints -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/60 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Footprints

I was disappointed that the two photographers who had run ahead of us had marred the snow in this tiny bridge. At five years old, Anthony's natural inclination is, naturally, to indulge in anything that involves smashing ice or snow, but especially in the gardens, we've encouraged him to preserve the beauty as is. It's a balance between letting a kid be a kid, and respect for nature and for others' enjoyment of it, but in gardens like this, “respect” certainly wins.

So, to not make it worse, we had him step into the footprints that were there, and we made sure he understood why.

Life Lessons -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Life Lessons

The little bridge was the start of a long path the runs across the back of the property, connecting one area of gardens to another. On it, we met a shrine worker with a broom and dustpan...

Morning Chores -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Morning Chores

The long path lets out at the main set of gardens, none of which have shown up in pictures on my blog yet. All those from yesterday and today are from the minor western gardens. We'll see some of the main gardens tomorrow, if my cold allows...

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Beautiful shots.

My first reaction to the footprint on the bridge was that it was the footprint that made the image interesting, showing in a graphically cool the interaction of people and nature. Doesn’t seem that making a mark on the snow on the bridge has anything to do with “respect for nature,” since there isn’t anything natural about a bridge to begin with….

— comment by Zak on February 29th, 2008 at 11:58pm JST (9 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I just noticed the bird tracks on the bridge next to the human footprints. That makes it an even more interesting shot.

It would have been nice to have a series of three images: the pristine snow on the bridge, just the bird tracks, then the bird and human footprints. Had you been any kind of a disciplined photographer, you would have stalked that bridge out as soon as the snow fell waiting to take those pictures.

I was first in line waiting for the gardens to open. The respect I talk about is not of nature, but of other people’s enjoyment of it. I don’t think nature cares whether Anthony ruins a photogenic scene, but everyone coming after him would. The two people who passed me knew I was there to take pictures of the gardens, which is why I was disappointed they didn’t spend the small amount of effort needed to preserve that little scene. —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on March 1st, 2008 at 12:05am JST (9 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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