Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kyoto in Autumn

When I went to Kyoto last November I got some wonderful pictures, but there were a several shots that just didn't come out. Eikando had such amazing light, and my little point and shoot just wasn't up to the task. With a better camera and better skills, I hoped to go back and see what I could do to capture that light. Rather than go solo, I fell in with a pretty large group of people. Travis, Fiona (new, from Ireland, not the previous Fiona from England. Its all so complicated, even Zach was a bit confused.), Marie, Caroline, and the aformentioned Zach.

Sadly, while my camera was ready to capture the amazing fall foliage, the weather was not in a mood to cooperate. We were confronted with a grey, rainy, and generally miserable day! Our first stop was Sanjusanendo. While I have encountered the tallest wooden building in Japan at nearby Toji, here were had the longest wooden building in Japan. The long hall was filled with 1000 near life sized images, and one larger than life sized image, of the Buddist goddess Kannon. Interestingly enough, according to wikipedia, in the Edo period underground Christians would 'hide' statues of Mary by representing her as Kannon.

To my dismay, photography was forbidden inside, so no compelling images of the long, dusky, incense ridden hall of Kannon.

Our next stop was back at Eikando, which is one of the prime leaf viewing sites in Kyoto. Our trip was a little early for the spectacular golds, reds, and oranges of the Maple leaves, but there was still a plethora of other golds, reds, and oranges. The drizzle kept things a little subdued, but it also kept the famous Kyoto Crowds down.

This magnificent Heron buzzed us moments after I shot this photo. I tried to get a picture of him going by, but Herons moving at top speed are difficult to capture on film.

We left the beatiful leaves and made a beeline for a quick supper before the main event... the lighting of one of Kyoto's most famous landmarks, Kiyomizu-dera.

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