Wednesday, January 21, 2015

kyoto/nara photo diary 2014


Shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens and Sony NEX-5n

Kyoto and Nara were such mesmerisingly beautiful places to visit, with stunning landscapes and endless temples, shrines, castles and palaces to explore. The photos in this post, therefore, mostly consist of scenery and the finer details of the culturally rich buildings and landmarks that we visited or simply passed by. 

We made two day trips to Kyoto from Osaka. After a tasty buffet breakfast, the first day was spent visiting a couple of temples that were bordered by beautiful leaves of red and green, before catching a bus to the geisha district of Gion. It was interesting to catch a glimpse of real life geishas, with my only previous exposure to geisha culture being from the film "Memoirs of a Geisha"… Before heading back to our hotel in Osaka that day, we devoured a delectable dessert of huge matcha and chestnut parfaits that were filled with matcha macarons, matcha jelly, sponge cake, matcha mousse, matcha biscuit, matcha and vanilla ice cream, and finished on top with sprinkled flakes of gold. Craving that deliciousness just thinking about it now...

Entry to some of the landmarks was only possible if you participated in a local tour, so we joined a one-day Kyoto/Nara tour on the second day, where we were guided through the Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle, Golden Pavillion (Kinkakuji Temple), Todai-ji Temple, Nara Park and Kasuga-Nashi Shrine. As is typical for most tourists of Nara, we were all ecstatic about the prospect of seeing wild deer in Nara Park, and couldn't help giggling like children on their first trip to the zoo, whilst snapping countless photos. I found it amazing how the deer were so accustomed to humans that they did not shy away from cameras or even sniffing and biting you in inappropriate places.

Whilst I loved all of the colours of Kyoto, I found myself even more drawn to the cosy, countryside feeling that Nara emanated. I guess we were also especially lucky to be able to experience these two cities in all of their autumn foliage glory and under extremely pleasant weather conditions.

Anyway, hopefully these photos speak for themselves. No words can really describe how wonderstruck I consistently felt throughout the two days of this trip.

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