Kyoto - jamri

Kiyomizu-dera on a Winter's Afternoon

If you only have time to see one temple in Kyoto, then Kiyomizu-dera is probably your best choice. This world heritage listed temple is not only good to see for it's amazing architecture, but also for the views of Kyoto city that can be seen from there. Given it's the most famous temple in Kyoto, there's usually a lot of people there. However the temple does open from 6am and not many people go at that time of day. If you're not an early bird winter is a good time to visit, as long as you avoid holiday periods like New Year.
Another advantage of winter is that the trees around the main building of the temple have lost their leaves, this allows a better view of it's most unique architecture feature: the numerous vertical and horizontal wooden beams that attach the temple building to the side of a mountain.
This photo was taken 3 years ago, while I was showing some sites of Kyoto to a friend who was visiting from Australia. It was late on a Sunday afternoon, so it was a little more crowded than week days. We enjoyed seeing the various buildings of the temple in golden sunshine and catching the view of the sun setting over city from the vantage point of the temple.
This photo was captured with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 35f/2D lens. In iPhoto I darkened the highlights and brighten the shadow areas slightly. This temple is quite challenging to photograph because of it's dark colour against the bright background.

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