Kyoto, Japan

Portfolio

Kyoto, Japan

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us
-Anonymous

The magic of Kyoto

Kyoto is home to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine whos origin predates the capital’s move to Kyoto in 794. It is know for the thousands of red and black, vermilion torii gates that straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. Dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, it features statues of foxes which are thought to be Inari’s messengers. High in the mountains of Kyoto behind the city you find Shogunzuka which is known for its observation decks which offer spectacular views out over the city, and its famous Shorenin temple.

Shogunzuka Temple Aerial

Shogunzuka 

Shōgunzuka is located in the mountains of Kyoto at a spot where it is said that Emperor Kanmu first surveyed the valley where he ultimately built the ancient capital city. The area is part of Shorenin Temple whose buildings stand at the base of the mountain.

It is said that the Shogunzuka Mound contains a two and a half meter high statue of a general in battle armor holding a sword,  an iron bow and an arrow. It serves as a guardian talisman for the city and legend has it that the mound rumbles when the city is in danger. Next to the mound you can find the Seiryuden temple which houses a painting of the Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo, holding a sword and rope, surrounded by flames.

Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine

Shooting in Kyoto

Kyoto is a major tourist destination and taking photos in Kyoto is difficult at the best of times as it is filled with thousands of tourists. Once the nation’s political capital, it remains very much the heart of Japan’s cultural traditions, and its beautiful temples, shrines, and gardens are exactly the sort of images that grace the covers of travel guides and then stay in the hearts of visitors.

The use of drones is legal in Japan but is forbidden in Kyoto. In order to get photos of Shogunzouka I had to get permission from the head of the temple, and even so could only do it before the temple opened and after it closed, controlling my drone from outside of the property.

Portfolio Photographs

Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine