The mirror pond at Kinkakuji

The mirror pond at the Kinkakuji temple

Here’s one more image of the Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto. I wanted to post this separately as I felt that the Kyōko-chi pond (the Mirror Pond) deserved attention. The reason the pond, designed in the Muromachi period, is called the name Mirror pond is that it reflects the Golden Pavilion. It contains 10 small islands, which according to Wikipedia represent famous places in Chinese and Japanese literature, and it seems that the surroundings of the pavilion were built according to descriptions of the Western Paradise of the Buddha Amida, the largest islet representing the Japanese islands.

Even though you weren’t interested in the history of the pond, there’s no denying that the golden pavilion wouldn’t be half as spectacular without the carefully designed pond that really makes the building shine.

Five views of the Golden Pavilion

The Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto at sunset

There’s a time for words and a time for images, and now’s the latter. I already wrote about the Rokuonji temple in a previous post so I won’t go into detail about its history anymore. Instead I decided to show the temple’s main attraction, Kinkaku, the golden pavilion from different angles that you see when you walk around the pond and the temple area. I was extremely lucky that the evening when I visited the temple turned out so beautiful. I hope you enjoy these images!

The Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto at dusk

Reflection of the Kinkakuji

Kinkakuji seen from behind

Side view of Kinkakuji

Sunset at Kinkakuji

The Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto

After a quick tour at the Nijo Castle, we headed to the final destination of the day, the famous Kinkakuji temple or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The official name of the temple is Rokuonji, but Kinkakuji has become the more common name for it. it is probably one of the most famous buildings in Kyoto, and also one of the city’s World Heritage Sites. And like many other temple’s in Kyoto, Kinkakuji too was burned down by a monk, although the arson at Kinkakuji took place as late as the 1950s.

The top floor of the Pavilion is covered with leaf gold, and the architecture of each floor is different. There’s a detailed description of the temple in Kinkakuji in Wikipedia, so I’m not going to copy and paste the article here in its entirety. What I like about the temple site even more than the temple though, is the garden around the temple. If you happen to go there when the number of tourists is low, it is a quiet and relaxing environment. We visited the temple in early October and entered about 15 minutes before the closing time, which meant that most of the visitors had already left and because the trees had not yet changed to autumn colors, it wasn’t the peak tourist season. We walked around the area taking photos until a guard ushered us out, but it wasn’t until 25 minutes after the closing time that we actually left the area.

I’ve also visited Kinkakuji in winter (early February), and because Kyoto gets a bit chilly in winter (not really, if you’re a Finn), there weren’t a lot of visitors then either. It also happened to snow that time so I got to see Kinkakuji covered in snow. So, although Kyoto’s temple’s are beautiful in autumn and the climate is really pleasant then, I wouldn’t shy away from visiting Kyoto during other seasons either.

Tomorrow everything will be better

Tomorrow everything will be better

I’m still working on bringing my old travel blog over to the new site, but I’ve also been working on some old images. This one was taken in Sendai and I intended to process it as a “realistic” travel image until I realized that there was a person in this image. I can’t believe that it took me four years to notice that little detail, but that changed the way I saw this image entirely and I decided took make it dark and moody. Once I’d decided to ditch realism, I went ahead and removed a utility pole that I didn’t like and applied split toning to give the image the look that I wanted.

I also decided to give the site yet another facelift. It wasn’t too long ago that I changed the theme and restructured the site, but I found that the theme I was using didn’t met neither my needs nor my expectations. It was a pain to update and customize so when I had a chance to try the current theme from Graph Paper Press, I didn’t think twice about switching it. I really like the new simple look, and thanks to the responsive design, now the site looks great even on mobile devices! And there’s more! I’ve also added a new page that displays my latest Instagram images – you can access it from the left sidebar menu. Hope you like the changes.

Pappilanjoki River on a sunny spring day


This image was pulled from the previous version of this blog. I took it in Rantasalmi, my home town, a few years ago on a sunny spring day. There’s a small river called Pappilanjoki (Parsonage’s river) that connects two lakes, Lake Kosulanlampi and Pieni Raudanvesi.

Both Lake Kosulanlampi and the river have become eutrophic due to the surrounding agriculture and municipal waste waters. On the right behind the trees, there’s an old parsonage built in 1870. Because of quality of water in the river and the lake, there’s a lot of vegetation on the shores and riverbanks, which has made this area an important resting stop for many species of migratory birds.

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A train at Pieksämäki Station

Pieksämäki Station

I visited my home town recently to meet some friends. On the way back to Jyväskylä I had to wait for the train at Pieksämäki station, and having nothing better to do, I snapped a few photos with my phone. I’ve actually posted a couple of those photos on Tumblr, including another version of this image, but I like this one better.

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Misty sunset at Lake Palokkajärvi

Sunset at Lake Palokkajärvi

I think misty nights like this are one of the nicest things about Finnish summer. In this case, I don’t even regret that I didn’t have a DSLR with me because the mobile phone did a fairly good job in capturing the scene.

I created the image by merging three exposures in Photoshop and removing some unwanted elements, after which I applied some noise reduction to it in Lightroom.

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Fishing by the lake

Fishing by the lake

In July, I visited my home town in Eastern Finland. These visits usually include swimming in the lake and going to sauna. After we’d done swimming, I took a few sunset shots on the shore and my father spent a while casting his fishing rod. For some reason, I haven’t got that many photographs of my parents, so I took the opportunity to snap a few shots of him in the beautiful evening light.

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