Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Exploring Kyoto

with 11 comments

Something I found fascinating during my last stay in Japan was exploring little side streets and alleys wherever we happened to be. Tucked away in bustling neighborhoods and often times barely wide enough for single-file foot traffic, these paths offer peaceful exploration away from the busier main streets, and are full of interesting sights.

I suppose that after being completely overwhelmed by the extremely crowded streets of Tokyo, we wanted to try our best to find ways to explore Kyoto as “alone” as possible. Which is why we got up really early in the morning on the days we went touring the city. Exploring the Gion area as well as various parks, temples, and shrines in Kyoto starting at 7:00am proved to be a great idea. We seemed to have the city all to ourselves at such an early hour, which not only made sightseeing more enjoyable, but also made photographing the city much easier.

Head out too late, especially during Sakura season, and you’ll run into way too many people, which definitely takes the fun out of touring for me. I was fortunate to head out early enough, for instance, to the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto one morning. When we arrived, virtually no one was there, giving me the freedom to take many shots without anyone walking into the frame. By the time we left the shrine, so many tourists had showed up that getting a shot without gaijin standing in the way would have been next to impossible.

Moral of the story? Don’t sleep in when you travel!

Camera Specs:

Top Image: Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-150mm f/2.8 at 85mm f/2.8 ISO1250 1/200 Second
Second Image: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/4 ISO200 1/15 Second
Third Image: Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-150mm at 50mm f/3.5 ISO400 1/80 Second
Fourth Image: Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-150mm at 75mm f/7.1 ISO200 1/200 Second
Fifth Image: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 45mm f/5.6 ISO360 1/8 Second (VC works!)

11 Responses

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  1. Nice picture! Have been following your blog for quite a while! You really made good use of the D300s!

    Sim Kay Sen

    April 25, 2010 at 2:09 am

    • Thanks for visiting! I hope you’re enjoying your D300s as well. One day I’ll have to pick up that 70-200 f/2.8 VR too 😉


      April 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  2. I love reading your blog and love looking at your picture.. About your Kyoto entry, it makes me want to go to Kyoto badly.. huhuhu..


    April 25, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    • Thanks for your comment! Kyoto is a beautiful city. I want to go back!


      April 27, 2010 at 6:43 am

  3. These are great shots! And I totally agree that getting up early makes a trip so much better.


    April 26, 2010 at 5:51 am

    • Thank you man! And thanks for linking me to your latest post.


      April 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

  4. […] And last but not least, Jonathan Fleming takes us on a journey through the lovely, winding streets of Kyoto. […]

  5. Wow! I love the photo 1 and 3 in particular. they are of ordinary back alleys of Kyoto and you made them lovely picture! Perfect:))
    I love Fushimi Inari photo, too! The air there is expressed so well. Wonderful!


    April 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    • Thank you Akane! I drew some inspiration from your travel photos when I took these shots =)


      April 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

  6. crazy good shots man!! WOW


    October 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  7. I lived in Asia for over six years but never made it to Japan for any decent length of time. The image you made down the back street with the lanterns just starting to glow makes me yearn to book a flight there right now. Fantastic!

    Chris Martin

    February 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

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