Autumn in Japan: Enlightenment in the Dark

Jen Waltmon

Sydney, Australia

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Part of 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 statues.

This goddess stood out against a stark, plain white wall. She was beautiful, complete with a green patina finish. She was at the Chōhō-ji (頂法寺 Chōhō-ji), also known as Rokkaku-dō (六角堂 Rokkaku-dō) Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, behind a Starbucks (of all places!)

Captured in October 2010 with my Nikon D90. Japanese writing texture added from Altered Bits and adjustments made in Photoshop CS5.

© jdub photography 2010

Artwork Comments

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  • Jen Waltmon
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