This less visited rural village in Kyoto was exactly what Lori and I were hoping. With only a little research we had taken the hour-long scenic bus ride north from urban Kyoto to Ohara. After yesterday’s grueling, buzzer-beater pedal to the Golden Pavilion, our desire was for a slow-paced amble through the quiet countryside. Yes, some place calm was on our agenda. With a wealth of enchanting nature scenes and a dearth of rabid tourists, this quaint river valley town came through big time. Aside from getting lost for 20 minutes right out of the bus stop, we stayed mostly within the tranquil grounds of Sanzenin Temple, the village’s main attraction.
After wandering through the initial gate houses, our first stop was the Shuhekien Garden. As the photos in this post hopefully testify, the reflexive response to being in this still place was quiet contemplation. I took a few photos and we sat in contented silence for unhurried minutes before moving on to the main hall.
Shuhekien Garden was quiet photogenic. The natural green and yellow hues of the garden were nicely accented by the reds and oranges of the viewing platform. Also, the sunlight was softly diffused through the canopy of leaves providing excellent light for portraits.
As you can see on the right, before processing the vegetation was a bit too muted, indistinct, and light green in the frame. Wanting it to pop more, I slightly unsaturated the greens, lightened the yellows, and exaggerated darks/lights of the Tone Curve to give the area more visual variety in the frame. Also, I added a hint of sepia in the highlights and light blue in the shadows (via split toning) to enhance the ethereal quality of image in hopes of communicating what it was like to be there.