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Old Japan

I’m rounding out my final two posts from my Japan trip earlier this year. These will be all the images I shot on my 5D Mk3, as previously all my Japan posts have been taken with my Canon G7X. This post features a collection of stills from what I would call the ‘Old Japan’: Temples, nature, shrines and gardens. I had a wonderful time walking around all these stunning places, I really cannot recommend visiting Japan enough in that respect. Most of these were shot with my new 85mm 1.8 lens, which I got just before the trip. Most of my photography revolves around action, and I realised that because of that I rarely get to shoot images with nice blurry bokeh. Therefore I especially enjoyed shooting with it here!

(From the Japanese: [boke]) Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”)

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This was early morning in Nara, which is famous for its numerous wild deer that inhabit the shrines.

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You have to be very slow, and very quiet. This one was a little shy, but generally they are quite tame. Especially if you have ‘Deer Cookies’ to give them!

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It slowly approached me.

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As it looked up at me, time stopped. Blessed to have shared a moment with this majestic creature.

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Even though it was late august, some trees were still blooming!

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This pagoda on the lake was a tranquil spot.

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I then walked over to the major temples to visit.

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Tōdai-ji temple is the largest wooden structure in the world. It houses a stunning cast bronze buddha.

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It was absolutely gigantic!

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Some of the other statues were also exquisite.

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Nara was just wonderfully peaceful.

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I love that 85mm lens.

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Being in Nara so early, I literally got the entire temple complex more or less to myself. There were parts where I would walk through shrines and not see another human. Very spirited away.

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These gates are a very common sight in Japanese shrines.

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I then walked over to a working temple.

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The girls that were here had a strange kind of grace to them.

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A little red bridge.

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I wandered back over to the pavillion and saw this couple having wedding photos taken. I love the umbrellas.

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Walking through the Isuien Garden in Nara, a great stop if you enjoy Japanese landscaping.

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Leaves and ripples.

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Arashiyama is a Bamboo Grove in Kyoto.

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Its only really about 500m of one walkway, which is where all the famous photos are taken.

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Once again, I was there by 7AM so I could enjoy it in peace.

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This is Kinkaku-ji, also knows as the Golden Pavillion. It was probably the busiest place I visited, tourist wise.

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Found a mirror, took a selfie.

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This is Fushimi-Inari, in Kyoto that comprises of some 20+ separate shrines all up the side of a mountain.

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Its most famous for its 10,000+ Tori gates, which when you walk through, line up to create this beautiful tunnel.

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Again, I was here very early.

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This tree looked quite magical in the morning light.

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Each gate is donated by a Japanese business, as the shrine is dedicated to ‘Inari’ the god of business.

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I spent over a hour doing the hike across the mountain and I actually bumped into a few businessmen on the way. Apparently sometimes they will visit the shrine before an important meeting or job interview.

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Finally, a couple images from my garden walks in Kyoto and Himeji.

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I’ve been trying to create natural frames in my compositions recently.

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This was a beautiful day.

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These stepping stones are so perfectly Japanese. Whimsical and functional.

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My final Japan 2015 post will be my photos from the new japan, mostly Tokyo, with plenty of rooftop images to come!

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