japan daily photos

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Daily Photo of Japan: On my first night in Kyoto, I went up to Fushimi Inari Taisha at night. I’d been there once before during the day, and while magnificent, it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Japan, and as such, it’s exceptionally crowded.

However, because Fushimi Inari Taisha is a shrine, it’s open 24 hours. Not a lot of people are aware of this, and it is absolutely spectacular at night.

Should you have the time, I unequivocally recommend going here at night. The view is incredible and the lighting is serene. In my opinion, it’s even more majestic at night than it is during the day.

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Daily Photo of Japan: On the second day of travels, I went up to Kurama-dera for the second time. To get to Kurama-dera, you have to take an electric street car that takes you all the up into the mountains on the northern end of Kyoto.

It’s a bit far out of the way, which may explain why not as many people frequent it. However, in my opinion, if you’re traveling Kyoto, Kurama-dera is a must see.

Daily Photo of Japan: When I first came to Asakita, I remember taking a walk around the neighborhood near my school. Not two blocks away, I came across this breathtaking vista. I’ve been up here in all four seasons, and I’ve always been in awe.

This is the last time I’ll see this beautiful scenery. I didn’t expect that it would come so soon.

Asakita, you’ve been kind to me. I’ll miss you dearly.

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Daily Photo of Japan: On the last day in Kyoto, I went up to Arashiyama. I’d been there once before, but this time I chose a route that would take me through the little town at the base of the mountain first.

While there’s a train station that will spit you out a few blocks away from the Bamboo Forest, it’s far more rewarding an experience to start in town and work your way up. There’s an amazing temple along the river (the name of which escapes me at the moment) that has some very kind monks and a spectacular view.

If you’re unsure of where to go, just follow the signs along the river, written in English, stating “Great View Temple”. They even have an accompanying Manga about the whole journey as seen through the eyes of for an average tourist. It’s definitely worth the stop.

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Daily Photo of Japan: I hadn’t intended to take any time off, but when traveling in Kyoto for Christmas, one thing led to another, and before you know it, it’s a week later. As such, I’ll be updating with twice a day until I’m caught back up.

The first stop in Kyoto was Kinkakuji (also known as The Golden Pavilion). The first time I came here, it was overcast, and as such, it was much less impressive. This time around, the sun was out, and I had a better understanding of Kinkakuji’s impressive beauty.

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Daily Photo of Japan: A friend of mine told me about her New Year’s tradition in which she watches the first sun rise of the new year. This sounded like a magical idea, so this morning I hiked around the mountain neighborhoods of Onomichi, looking for a prime location to watch the sun.

I finally managed to find a small patch of woods and caught the sun just as it was cresting the mountains across the bay.

I realized that I had never actually took the time to watch a sunrise before, and was impressed by how quickly it goes by.

It was such a beautiful experience, and one that I will continue with in the years to come.