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Autumn in Japan: The Accidental Temple

Jen Waltmon

Sydney, Australia

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Artist's Description

The 66th image from my “Autumn in Japan” series.

I’ve wanted to visit Asia since I was a teenager, and in October of 2010, my wish finally came true. I spent about 10 days in Japan.

My fascination with Asian culture and traditions finally became a reality to me, and the photographer in me went into overdrive. In 10 days, I captured 2,500+ pictures. I hope you enjoy my first (but hopefully not my last) perspective of this beautiful & amazing country.

When I took the Shinkansen to Kyoto, my main motivation was to see the Imperial Palace. But getting there proved to be a bit of a challenge. After heading in the wrong direction for about 1.5 hours after leaving the train station, I walked back through it, and down the street to the other side. I was anxious to get to the palace, but couldn’t help but stop to take pictures of all of the interesting shop fronts, people, buildings, temples and shrines along the way. Finally, when I could see the entrance to the Imperial Palace in the (far) distance, I was elated (and a bit surprised!) to also see a Starbucks nearby!! It was about 1:30pm and I hadn’t had breakfast or lunch yet. I was so thirsty and famished. I figured I would at least stop in for my favorite – an Iced Chai Tea Latte. After happily taking my order and heading towards the straws, what I saw out the back window made me stop in utter amazement. The entire back wall of Starbucks was glass, and just beyond the glass – an absolutely amazing temple. I stood there for about 30 seconds, in shock, and then quickly slurped down my Iced Chai Tea Latte so that I could go experience this magical place! Here I spent about an hour, taking in the colors, the Omikuji, ponds and Jizo statues.

From Wikipedia: Chōhō-ji (頂法寺 Chōhō-ji), also known as Rokkaku-dō (六角堂 Rokkaku-dō) because of its main hall’s hexagonal shape, is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, said to have been established by Prince Shotoku. This temple is part of the Saigoku Pilgrimage route.

Captured in October 2010 with my Nikon D90. Slight adjustments made in CS5, and texture added from CG Textures.

© jdub photography 2010

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