Kôyô, the Japanese term for the fall foliage season, is a beautiful and magical time in and around Kyoto. Starting from the surrounding mountains and hills, every temple, every garden burst with a combination of yellow, orange and red colors. This photo ebook, full of suggestions and inspiration, will help you discover and enjoy the beauty hat has been admired by the Japanese people for centuries.
Taking photos of any event in Kyoto obviously requires some planning. During almost the whole month of July, the Gion Matsuri keeps us busy with numerous events, ceremonies, and other happenings. Some of these are more interesting than others from a photographic point of view.
Here is how I took a few photos of the "Naginata-hoko Chigo Shasan" ritual that took place in the Yasaka Jinja Shrine.
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the most popular and most photographed place in the city. It's so popular, it's quite difficult to get a photo without anyone, that really capture the unique feeling of the place.
Takao is a thinly populated, mountainous area with three historic temples along its forested valley, a one-hour bus ride north of central Kyoto, and a perfect day trip outside the city. Worth a visit at any time of the year, Takao becomes most popular during the autumn leaf season, which usually peaks around mid-November.
On January 13th, all the Maiko and Geiko of the Gion Kobu Hanamachi (flower town or geisha district) visit the house of their teacher, Yachiyo Inoue, the master of Gion Kobu’s dance school, the Inoue School of Dance, to thank her for her service and present their best wishes for the New Year.
The Shugaku-in Imperial Villa is a set of gardens and outbuildings in the hills of the eastern suburbs of Kyoto. It consists of the Upper, Middle and Lower Villa areas, each featuring gardens and buildings of the traditional imperial style. Created as an imperial summer retreat, the garden complex is a fine example of Japanese landscape design.
I love this photograph of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. It's almost a black and white photograph except for the gold of the temple. The snow adds to the delicacy of the image and helps to exude a wintery atmosphere.
by Sue Barr, Expert judge for the contest
The rice is the last dish of a Kyo Kaiseki dinner (Kyoto Haute Cuisine). As usual, it is perfect, first visually and then with its flavor and taste. A dinner at Mitsuyasu is always a wonderful discovery!
We went to visit the Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine near Kyoto, which is famous for protection from evil and cherry blossom viewing. We were surprised to find out that a large martial art demonstration was taking place, with a lot of people from different swordsmanship schools.