Light up during the Fall season, Eikando Zenrin-Ji Temple, Kyoto

Quite a number of temples illuminate and open their garden to the public in the evening during the Fall and the Spring. The time is usually limited to a few weeks, and the dates are different for each place. These “Light Ups” are very popular and for good reason. They are a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the garden, often enhanced by good illumination.  And of course, just about everyone brings a camera.  

Most of the places forbid the usage of any kind of tripods or monopods — this makes sense when you see the crowd of people. But it does make it more difficult to get a good long exposure photo. Well, this is when the high ISO capability of a camera comes in handy, isn’t it.   

Probably my favorite place for light up during the Fall or Kôyô season is the garden of the Eikan-Do Temple located the in Higashiyama District. The place is extremely popular during this period and it is not rare to see a very very long line of people waiting to get in right at the beginning of the night opening. The pond garden is rather large so the place can accommodate a large number of people, but… As with other places, I suggest going there about one hour before the closing time to avoid the crowd. 

This photo won the judge 1st choice and got the Crowd 4th position (

This was a winner for me early on in the submission stage. Magical reflections, image full of interest, the colours are glorious, I’m glad the photographer didn’t enhance them I really like the pastel tone to the whole image. The bridge perfectly set in the composition. It’s not crystal sharp but that gives it an ethereal feel. Even the shard of light on the left adds to the image. Well done seriously jealous to have been there let alone take the picture……..

Simon Hadleigh-Sparks