Archive for the 'Temples and Shrines' Category

Posts about various temples and shrines

That Kyoto Temple With the Many Whimsical Statues

After so many cycling-related posts lately, it's time I get back to my basics with some pretty photos.

最近僕のブログはサイクリング関係ばかりみたいので、やっぱりたまに美しい京都の写真にも戻らなければいけない。

I've been meaning to write about the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple (愛宕念仏寺) temple for years, and indeed all the photos on this post are from 2012 (from visits to the temple in April and December of that year). A few of the photos appeared a year ago in "A Few Desktop Backgrounds from the Delightfully Whimsical Otaginenbutsuji Temple", and one appears as the subject of my Photo-Development Challenge #2.

It's at the far north end of the Arashiyama area that is already [...]


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Informal Camera Comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs. Nikon D4

Paul Barr at the Toji-in Temple (等持院) in Kyoto, Japan, in photos taken by two different cameras (whose names are included in the data under each photo).

最近小さいカメラ(パナソニックLX100)を買いました、サイクリングをする時に使うと思います。 僕の普通のカメラ(大きいなニコンのD4)と比べると質はどうでしょうか。京都市の等持院でテストをしました、同時二つのカメラを使って、だいたい同じ写真二枚を撮った。結局LX100は結構良かった。この記事の写真の下にカメラ名が付いている。

When I started cycling earlier in the year, I brought along my big Nikon D4, carried slung across my back like this so that I'd have it ready to shoot when I wanted (like this).

It's a heavy camera to carry, especially on steep uphill mountain rides, but I like the quality of photograph that it allows me to get. I don't think I'd be able to get these kinds [...]


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Conquering Kyoto’s Seryo Pass with Manu Mohan

Today I went with Manu Mohan on his first "real" cycling ride.

Manu is a National Scholar student of linguists at Kyoto University who happens to part-time at the convenience store near me, and his easy smile and cheerful attitude made me want to connect with him beyond the 30-seconds snippets at the cash register. When he saw on Facebook that I was into cycling, he expressed interest.

So today we got together for an easy, untaxing first ride.

I somehow had it in my head that he lived near Nijo Castle halfway across town from me, so I suggested [...]


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A Day of Vertical-Climb Cycling Torture in Western Kyoto

The problem with adding a new hobby is that it takes time away from other things. I've been cycling a fair amount lately, but still must devote time to family and my Lightroom work, so what falls behind is my blogging.

Yesterday I led a 100km extreme-mountain cycle ride with some friends from Cycling Kyoto. I was the slowest/weakest of the five guys, so "lead" was only in the map sense, but I purposefully made a route in the mountains of western Kyoto with as much vertical climb as I could fit in.

It ended up being a hot, [...]


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Photo-Development Challenge Results #2: Statues

It's been three months to the day since I posted "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation", and I'm mortified that it's only the second set of results that I'm finally getting around to sharing (the first having been "Hillside Temple Buildings" 2½ months ago). In retrospect, it was irresponsible of me to post the challenge right before a long family vacation. Sorry.

In any case, to recap what's going on, I posted some raw photos and asked others to develop them to their taste, and here I'll share what those different interpretations looked like.

First, today's [...]


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Discovering Kyoto’s Wonderful Toji-in Temple on a Tour with NORU

I had a fun outing this morning on a temple tour led by Joshua Levine, who wanted to lead a test tour in preparation for offering tours by bicycle as part of his "cycle cafe" NORU, scheduled to open near the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine at the end of the month.

Unlike the cafe whose target demographic is cyclists, the tours merely use bicycle as a means to move around freely, so they're cute highly-adjustable easy-to-ride little bikes. Riders ranged from 153cm to 192cm (5'0 ~ 6'2) and we all had a great fit. The bikes were surprisingly easy to ride.

[...]
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Architectural Details at the Kyoto Imperial Palace

最近の記事はサイクリングと撮影ソフトばかりので、やっと僕の基本に一雄戻ります。

I've been posting mostly cycling and Lightroom stuff lately, so time to return a bit to my roots with something Kyoto...

Last November I took a tour of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and at the time posted "A Few Photos From The Start of a Visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace", but got sidetracked, as I often do, before posting more. So today I'm picking up from there with a few architectural shots....

Let's start with a simple wigglegram of the courtyard that ended the previous post...

Looking through, the columns and doors on the wall on the right [...]


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Visiting Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine with Matt Campagna and a Super-Wide-Angle Lens

It's been three weeks since I posted "Matt Campagna Wigglegrams Kyoto", so I'm finally getting around now to posting other photos from that outing, where I met fellow Lightroom developer Matt Campagna while he was visiting Kyoto.

Our plan was to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and since I'd been there for photoshoots many times (most recently with former Yahoo! co-worker Andrei Zmievski, and The Japan Times columnist Alice Gordenker), I thought I'd try something different this time.

Unless I'm going out on a bike ride or other special situation like a heavy snowfall, I tend to bring three lenses, [...]


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Pleasant 105km Bike Ride From Kyoto, Along Lake Biwa, to Takashima’s Shirohige Shrine

I finally made my first 100+km bike ride the other day, cycling with some folks from the Cycling Kyoto Facebook group.

Strava says the ride was 105km (65 miles). Even though it's 10% longer than the first long ride I did, this time was much easier because it had only 1,300m (4,200 ft) of vertical rise, only about a ⅓rd of the first ride's climbs. Even last month's 58km ride was much harder, again, due to having more elevation. Flat distance seems to be easy.

Anyway, as usual we met in front of the Sanjo St. Starbucks...

The route I'd [...]


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Matt Campagna Wigglegrams Kyoto

I got to meet Matt Campagna of The Turning Gate Software yesterday for coffee, conversation, and a hike over the mountain paths of the Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社). He makes highly-regarded Web Gallery plugins for Lightroom, so we had plenty to talk about with the release of Lightroom 6 that had happened earlier that day.

I think this is my second wigglegrams I've published from this location, the first having been this one in December. Neither are quite as nice the previous wigglegram I published last weekend. 😉

I've tweaked the code for the wigglegram on this one so [...]


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Highly-Visible Cycle Ride Though the Mountains of Northern Kyoto

For my first "real" cycling ride after my USA vacation, I had a lot of Under Armour clothes to choose from. I've been enamored with the brand for a while, so took the opportunity while in The States of actually being able to find my size to buy about a thousand dollars worth of the stuff, from sportswear to casual wear to jackets.

With sportsware I'm partial to loud vibrant colors, especially for visibility when road cycling. But perhaps in retrospect I shouldn't have quite gone so full throttle. Still, with this getup I bet I could always get a [...]


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Photo-Development Challenge Results #1: Hillside Temple Buildings

Today I'm sharing the first results from "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation". Today's photo is one of some minor outlying buildings at the Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺) in Kyoto, Japan.

First, let's look at the uninspiring original:

This was from a productive outing four years ago that produced "Temple Hopping in the Mountains of South-Western Kyoto", two examples for "Heading Out To Photograph The Fall Foliage? Don’t Forget The Polarizer Filter", and an item on "Visiting My Photo Archives: Random Pretty Shots #1".

For lack of a better idea, I'll present the various results in the [...]


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Another Nice (Tough!) Bicycle Ride in the Mountains Around Kyoto

水曜日もサイクリングをしました。今回は友達6人と一緒に60kmの山上下いっぱいのルートでした。

Two days ago I did a short easy bicycle ride into the mountains of western Kyoto, but yesterday I did something a bit more ambitious. As seems to be the habit since my first ride with folks from Cycling Kyoto!, we met in front of the Starbucks on Sanjo Street. This time there were seven people total...

Today's route would be a repeat of one that Manseki had done two days prior, so he was group lead. We got moving at 9:20.

We spent the first 45 minutes heading east on Route 1. The route looks horrible in the [...]


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A Bicycle Ride to the Kuuya-taki Waterfall in Western Kyoto with Manseki Kanemitsu

Today I went out for a short, mostly-easy bicycle ride (track at Strava) with Manseki Kanemitsu, another member of the Cycling Kyoto! group on Facebook. Rain was forecast for the late afternoon so it was just us.

It was my first real ride since the grueling 90km mountain/snow adventure three weeks ago, and my third "real" ride in total, since my inaugural ride a month and a half ago.

(We're planning to do a more ambitious ride tomorrow with a larger group, so that'll be ride #4.)

We decided to head off to the Arashiyama area of western Kyoto, which [...]


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Attempting a 100km Bikeride in the Mountains of Kyoto, Part 2: The Last 70km

In part 1 about last weekend's cycling into the mountains north of Kyoto, I ended the story 23km into the journey at the top of the Hanase Pass (花背峠). At 769m it would be the highest point of the trip (a trip that started and ended at an elevation of about 60m).

With a nice downhill to look forward to, I didn't linger long at the pass. After a minute-and-a-half's rest and a selfie, I carried on.

I couldn't let myself build up much speed because the road was quite snowy/icy, so I dragged on the rear brake most of [...]


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Unexpectedly Snowy Photoshoot at the Joshokoji Temple

Through the cycle group that I mentioned last week, I met photographer/triathlete Kumiko Mini, who as it happened was expecting photographer friends from San Francisco to join her for a week of photography fun in Kyoto. I got to tag along on a trip into the mountains where they planned to do a little photoshoot at a temple far away from the crowds of the city.

There was no forecast for snow, but as we got into the mountains the flakes started coming and got thicker by the minute. The mountains turned splendid with a puffy, frosty blanket.

By the [...]


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Exploring The Mountains of Northern Kyoto by Bicycle

Today I made my first "real" bicycling ride. Normally the bicycle is just for transportation from one place to the other, and not my first choice for either exercise nor pleasure, but I recently replaced my 10-year-old mamachari ("Mama Chariot", heavy, built like a tank, and can carry oodles of kids and stuff) with a lighter cross bike.

今日は初めての本物の自転車でツアーイング。新しい友達と一緒に55キロの山巡り。大原と貴船を見に行きました。

Through the Cycling Kyoto Facebook group I learned that some folks would have a "slow easy" ride today, so I thought it was a good opportunity to give it a try.

We ended up going 55km (34 miles) up into the [...]


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The 2015 Young-Adult Archery Event at the Sanjusangendo Temple

Today was the annual toshiya archery event for new adults at the Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂) here in Kyoto. I blogged about it extensively three years ago starting with "Traditional Archery Like a Boss".

I then followed up with what turned into one of my most popular series of posts, starting with "Total Discipline: Anatomy of a Japanese Archer’s Shot", followed by a note about the crowds and the hubub outside and the instructors taking their turn ("More Badass Japanese Archery") and then a look at the colorful wardrobes of the ladies and then perhaps my favorite post on the subject: [...]


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Inside the “New” Temple Building at Shogunzuka Overlooking Kyoto

This post continues from "New Views of Kyoto from Shogunzuka’s New Observation Deck", about some big construction at Shougunzuka (将軍家) on a mountain overlooking eastern Kyoto that finally completed last fall. This post looks at the "new" temple building.

In that previous post I showed this photo of the new temple building from the outside:

This looks a bit odd for a temple building, and from the back you can see that it has what appears to be distinctly-new and distinctly-old sections:

Above the entrance is a richly engraved/painted sign showing the name of the place. It's rare for me [...]


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Kyoto At Night During a Heavy Snow, Part 3

A continuation from part one and part two of my nighttime stroll during a rare snowstorom in Kyoto on the early morning of January 3rd.

The photo above is much less impressive than the actual view was, with the trees receding at various stages up the mountain in the background in crisp relief to the temporarily-clear sky, it had a particularly three-dimensional feel, with added weight and depth due to the heavily-laden trees.

I wish I would have made it a Wigglegram. When this thought first popped in my mind as I wrote the caption above, it was as a [...]


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