Monday, March 13, 2017

Asia Mega Tour II - Kyoto First Day Pictures

Yes finally, after hours of work editing we have the first days pictures. On this our first day in Kyoto we were staying pretty close to hour hotel base. We also had a photography tour scheduled to start at 3:30 PM so we wanted to make sure we had some rest in between. Fortunately there were a number of sights all very close to where we are staying. Unfortunately as is so often the case, things that look so very close on a map, are much further apart when you are walking to them on foot.

Japanese Mud Garden
Wife and I have taken on the mental concept that each of these trips of ours is an adventure. As such regardless of your good or bad fortune on any given day or activity, it is all just part of the heroic adventure undertaking. This is particularly true when visiting various 'sights'. The Shousen Garden garden was reputed to be a fine example of a water body focused Japanese garden dating from start of Tokugawa Shogunate. Unfortunately there was not notification, even when you entered, that they were under taking major repairs and had drained the lake!

Examples of traditional a traditional Japanese dried mud bed and bridge reconstruction garden

There were a few good shots to be had despite the construction



On to Temples!
In Europe you get cathedrals and castels
In Japan you get Temples (Buddhist) and Shrines (Shinto)

Our first stop was Higashi Honganji Temple
It was very big but didn't necessarily excite me much



Our next stop we found by accident. We were looking for this one Temple that had a famous gate and found this my mistake. It was our good fortune because there was no one there and we were able to go inside one of the main prayer rooms by ourselves.

Kosho-ji Temple




video





Then after stumbling around we bumped into our target the Kara Mon Gate
It was well worth the effort because it was incredibly decorated and restored
We actually came to it from the wrong side so we were sort of entering the temple from its back entrance.






 
Then we entered the main Temple, The Nishi Hongwanji
The good karma we'd earned from going to the garden continued. It was some kind of major celebration. So funny because we stumbled upon it coming from the back.
video

And because of that they had opened major parts of the Temple that are mostly never opened to the public. Unfortunately pictures were forbidden.




We were able to get back to the hotel area, have lunch and have a good hour and a half to rest before our photo guide came to pick us up at 3:30. This was a real photography oriented workshop and our guide, Axel, a Frenchman, teaching us how to manage events to capture people pictures both posed and candid. The essence was to frame the area first for light and background and then get people in the shot. He also gave us many tips for Wife call 'paparazzi' photography, meaning disguising what you were doing so as to get a picture without being noticed. We took sooo many pictures. Clearly Wife with her superior knowledge and experience got much more out of this. I'm only posting those few that I thought were reasonably good.




All this took place a the Kiyomiziudera Temple where we were able to enjoy another of those tranquil Asian tourism experiences
video




Then as the sun started to set we went to the Yasaka Pagoda.
This is some renowned site for Japanese photographers at sunset.

Axel was having us work on silhouette shots and using the natural light




Finally we went to the Gion area where we were looking for real geisha paparazzi (not the dress up kids) shots. We had one opportunity but the shots didn't turn out. He did show us this neat shrine
This is the shrine where you come when you want to break up with some one. It could be a business partner, your spouse, your lover, your family member. You come here to ask the gods to help you get this person out of your life. Obviously it is very popular.

Food
First Japanese curry with fried cutlet - exceedingly yummy
Eating at small Japanese beef place where the meat is grilled right in front of you as you sit at the counter. Also very yummy.
Signage of the world
Babies and cell phones yes, smoking no
Not sure what these two places are really going to do with your hair



3 comments:

Bernice said...

I would be interested in the techniques of taking the pictures of people without them knowing you are taking the pictures. I will ask for a lesson when I next see you.

alexis said...

I'm excited to see the improvement in the photos over the course of your trip!

Agent W said...

Oh! These are such wonderful pictures!