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On The Path To (and From) Northwest Kyoto’s Jingoji Temple
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a fall-foliage scene near the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
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As I mentioned on the helicopter-and-rainbow post earlier in the week, I made a visit to a couple of remote mountain temples in the Takao area of north-west Kyoto. The first, the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), is accessed by walking down a long and winding flight of steps into a ravine, across a small bridge, then up an even steeper flight of windy steps on the side of the facing mountain.

The photos on this post are from the paths outside the temple area; it was really beautiful inside and I'm still a bit overwhelmed by the experience, so I'll have to dive into those photos once I can give them time.

In the photo above, I wasn't sure whether I liked the yellow leaf sticking up on the left of the frame, or the right, so I thought I'd just try both. Here's the other:

a fall-foliage scene near the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Yellow Leaf on the Right
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Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/3200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Due Diligence

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Wider View
in all its glory

The photos above are a good illustration of what I consider to be The First Rule of Photography, namely that if it's not in frame, it doesn't exist.

Those photos were taken near the bottom of the ravine, where a small road parallels the river and there are some small houses and businesses.

Crossing the river, we entered the path up to the temple...


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1600 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul Barr
just starting up

... and then two hours later after leaving the temple gate, just starting back down...

a fall-foliage scene near the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Exiting the Temple
Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
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Along the way there's a small restaurant along the path offering much-needed sustenance and rest to those making the climb. Its roof was, due to the steepness of the path, at first well below the path, so I could look down on its covering of moss and leaves...

a fall-foliage scene near the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Roof
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Under the roof was a bicyclist who, like anyone at this location, had climbed quite a lot of stairs to get here, and still had quite a few to go before getting back down (presumably to a bike where a whole new world of tired was waiting for him)....


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Exhausted

At one point the path makes a hairpin bend and you get a nice view across the valley to a roof peeking through the foliage on the opposite mountainside...

a fall-foliage scene near the Jingoji Temple (神護寺), Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Opposite Hill
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At the bridge crossing the ravine, I could look across to the path heading back up and saw that it was in the process of having all its leaves blown clear by a gardener...


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Job

It's common in Japan to clear leaves with unrelenting aggression as if they were cigarette butts, even when the leaves clearly add to the ambiance, but in this case on a slope I can imagine they'd be slippery in the rain (and it was raining on and off while we were there, so it was a present concern).


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Attention to Detail

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Perks of the Job
friendly chat

The light was really rich all day due to thick broken clouds punctuated by sunshine and misty rain. Almost back to the car, the sun peaked out to light the moss on a tipping tree growing on the side of the mountain, and it was really pretty...


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Rich Light

I suppose it looks as if I tilted the camera, but it's all the trees on the slope of the hill that are tilted; the camera was level.

Continued here...


Comments so far....

we were there last month, because it was the first place that the leaves turning color. I was very proud of my 4-year-old for walking up and down through so many steps after getting off the bus. It was too long, so her dad and she stayed at the small restaurant, and I continued to Shingoji Temple alone. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the updated view.

Emily from Irvine, CA

— comment by Emily on December 17th, 2011 at 8:02am JST (2 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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