Walking the Hanatouro
As I mentioned a few BLOGs ago, Hanatouro means "Flower Lantern Path" and in my opinion this would probably be one of the most beautiful sections of the Hanatouro. Seeing Yasaka pagoda framed by traditional shop houses along Hachizaka-dori is almost like stepping back in time. All year round Hachizaka-dori is a beautiful path to walk along, but it is at its absolute best during the Higashiyama Hanatouro with the lanterns and all the buildings lit up.
The best way to get to this place is from Kiyomizu-dera (Kiyomizu temple). From the temple head west downhill along Kiyomizu-Zaka (Matsubara Dori). Turn right into Sannezaka which is the first lane on your right, but it's quite a way down from the temple. Head north downhill along Sannezaka, then westward along Hachizaka which is what Sannezaka becomes once you pass Ninenzaka. After you've seen Yasaka pagoda, it's worth heading a couple of blocks west to "% Arabica Cafe". The coffee there has even the most fussy coffee drinkers raving.
This photo was taken with a D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 24f/2.8D lens. It was captured as a RAW (.NEF) and post processed with DxO Optics Pro and then split toned in the gimp. I made the following adjustments: Cropped to square format; Default camera corrections applied; DxO Smart lighting (slight) applied; DxO Clear View filter applied (at 25%); PRIME Noise Reduction applied; Highlights reduced; Black areas and shadows lightened; Microcontrast levels increased; and converted to monochrome by reducing saturation to -100. The image was exported from DxO as a TIFF file and imported into the gimp. I then applied split toning in the gimp before exporting as a high quality JPEG.
BTW the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) season is almost upon us here in Kyoto. Last year they went from a few flowers to full bloom in a day. This year they're slowly building up. With the forecast warmer weather coming, I'm sure they'll all come out in the next 5 days. I hope I can get some good shots of the Sakura this year to share with you all.