Japan - Jeff Henry Photography
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The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Kyoto, as one of Japan's cultural centers, has a wealth of beautiful sights. Everything from centuries old classic gardens to stunning examples of traditional Japanese architecture. The Rokuon-ji falls into the latter category, one of Kyoto's most visited temples.

Unofficially called the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, it's history dates to 1397, though the temple was rebuilt in 1955 after it had been burned down. The Pavilion is most recognizable for its gold-leaf coating, which covers the top two floors of the structure.

I've had the chance to visit Rokuon-ji a few times during my travels to Japan, and each time I've enjoyed visiting the Pavilion. Despite being a major tourist attraction, the entire complex maintains a tranquil serenity; were it not for the obviously pun, I would describe it as zen-like.

Photographing the Golden Pavilion is also a joy, though it can take a while for the crowds along with waterfront to disperse enough to allow for the right angle and reflection. I lucked out this specific day, with overcast skies which were helpful since I was shooting film. I absolutely love the reflection of the tree, Pavilion and the clouds in the water; without those, the image would only be mediocre.

AsiaColorFilmJapanKodak Portra 400KyotoMamiya 7ii