After visiting Fushimi-inari Taisha and its 10,000 Torii we headed over to a much smaller and quiet temple call Komyo-in. We ended up hiring a car and driver while in Kyoto to make it easier to get around. Things are very spread out in Kyoto and it is relatively affordable and convient to have a car and driver. This allowed me to cover a lot more ground in a day but also gave me a guide who really knew the area. In speaking to our driver I explained that I wanted quiet places for photography. Luckily I was there the day after Golden Week so Kyoto was already very quiet but he was able to find some pretty special places for us as well. With 1,600 temples in Kyoto you have a lot of choices.
Me in the mirror Kyoto temple style...
Today’s configuration: Leica M6 with various Leica lenses shot on Kodak Ektar film.
Kyoto is an amazing place. Some of the smaller temples and shrines you could walk right past and not realize it was even there. The name of this Zen temple, "Komyo", consists of two kanji characters; "ko" - light of the sun and "myo" - light of the moon or stars. When combined, these mean the light given off from the body of Buddha, or wisdom / mercy of Buddha.
I love Japanese lanterns.... You can have a lot of fun shooting them and get some great shots.
Komyo-in is a sub-temple of Tofuku-ji which I visited a little later in the trip. It was founded in 1391. Komyo-in is known for it karesansui, or dry landscape garden. This stylized landscape is a carefully composed arrangement of rocks, water, moss, pruned trees and bushes and uses gravel or sand that is raked to represent ripples in water. One thing you will often see in these gardens is a group of three stones that is thought to represent one of the Buddhas together with appropriate flanking bodhisattvas. When you know to look for it you will start to see it everywhere.
It was very peaceful to sit there and look out into the garden at its complex simplicity.
Much more Kyoto on the way. I am also shooting in Tokyo so I have a big backlog of photos to bring you. Thanks for stopping by today…