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.

Quiet sunset at Lake Tuomiojärvi

Summer evening at Lake Tuomiojärvi

A simple click of Lake Tuomiojärvi I made during an evening walk. It’s a shame I didn’t take more than one photo of this beautiful scene, but then again, this one photo is all I need to remember the moment.

See this photo on Flickr

Apartment buildings lit by the setting sun


Sunset reflecting on windows of apartment buildings in Kuokkala and apartment buildings reflecting on Lake Jyväsjärvi. This photo was taken on Kuokkala bridge from where there’s a nice view to both the city and the lake. This in an older image that I’ve previously published on the old incarnation of this website, but I recently reprocessed it and decided to post it again.

See this photo on Flickr

License this photo on Getty Images

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.

See this image on Flickr

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.

See this image on Flickr

License this photo on Getty Images

Skiing into the sunset

Skiing into the sunset

I went out to photograph the sunset on a cold January afternoon because it looked like there might some nice colors in the sky. As I was looking for a good position, this man skied past me and I knew I had to get him in the frame with the sun. I had my camera hanging on my neck, but I wasn’t really prepared to take any photos. Luckily he wasn’t too fast and I was able to adjust my camera settings and take this photo. Looking back, I think this was the best photo I took that day.

For those of you who are interested in tech stuff, the image is a blend of two differently exposed versions of the same file. Blending allowed me to adjust the exposure of the snow and the sky more easily to my liking.

See this image on Flickr

License this photo on Getty Images

Sunset on a hill

Winter sunset

There’s a small hill with a relatively nice view near our apartment where we sometimes go. I originally shot this photo bracketed to make an HDR image, but ended up using only one exposure. Apart from the sun there wasn’t much need for the extra dynamic range. I think I’ll try to make the HDR version later when I have more time.

See this image on Flickr

License this photo on Getty Images

Crows over a lake

Winter Sunset

This image is also from 2007. It was taken just a little after the one I posted earlier. Well, actually it’s a composite of a few photos, but the base image was taken in 2007. This year I plan to do more processing than before, so some of these experiments might go a bit over the top. I try to keep them tasteful though.

See this image on Flickr