Enryaku-ji is a Buddhist Temple and Monastery complex that covers part of the slopes of Mt. Hiei which is on the border of Kyoto Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture. Officially this temple is in Otsu city of Shiga prefecture, so I hadn't thought to add it to my Kyoto Photo BLOG before, however it does have a strong historical attachment to Kyoto. Not only that, it's also easily accessed from Kyoto and it's way more tranquil than most of the famous temples in Kyoto city.
The temple and monastery complex is very sprawling, spread out through a forest which makes for good hiking. I've titled this photo secret garden, because after about an hour of hiking through forest trails we found a building that was hidden from the main tracks. When we went down to take a look we found a small door in the wall and through that door was a beautiful zen garden. I don't know how many others have found this garden, there was no one else around when we went there.
Enryaku-ji can be accessed from Kyoto via the Eizan Main Line departing from Demachiyanagi station in the city's north and changing on to the the Eizan Cable Line at Yase-Hieizan-guchi. Another way and often quicker is to take a JR train from Kyoto station via the Kosei line to Hieizan-Sakamoto in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, where you can transfer to a bus and then the Sakamoto Cable Car. It's also possible to climb Mt. Hiei and a good place to start the climb is near the Sakamoto Cable Car station.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D50 camera and an AF Nikkor 50f/1.8D lens. This is the jpeg straight from the camera, no post processing has been performed on this image.
By the way if you're looking for a good camera to start getting serious about photography, I recommend getting a secondhand Nikon D50 if you can find one. It's so far Nikon's only budget dSLR that has a built in focus motor. All of the newer budget dSLRs that followed (i.e. the D40, D40x, D60, D3000 series, D5000 series) lack this feature which means they won't autofocus with the cheaper AF lenses, you need to buy the more expensive AF-S lenses to get autofocus with those cameras. I loved using the AF 50f/1.8 on the D50 when I had the D50. On the D50 it acted like a 75mm lens, which was great for portraits and other shots requiring a short telephoto.