Tohoku Photography Tour mean choosing among amazing natural phenomenon based on clients’ preferences. One of those choices is Yamadera. The location simply translated means ‘mountain temple’, but there is a quiet elegance to town surrounding the hewn stone staircase approach to the temple’s main grounds and to the temple itself. During the summer, that solemn silence slowly gives way to the cicada’s cries. The transformation was so profound that the famous Basho wrote a poem about his experience visiting Yamadera during the summer: 静けさや岩にしみ入る蝉の声 shizukesa ya iwa ni shimiiru semi no koe “Silence, and penetrating into the rocks — the cry of the cicada.” As your Japan Photography workshop Tour Leader I will show you where to look to see this poem etched along the path as you trek toward the temple.
The temple’s history reaches back to the year 860, having been constructed by the Tendai Buddhist Sect. The natural landscapes are breathtaking, and the temple is surrounding by rolling mountain ranges that become more and more prominent the farther up the stone staircase you journey. There are approximately 1,000 steps to climb, but you won’t be able to count the steps because you will be so occupied taking photos of the beautiful landscapes all around you.
Ryūshaku-ji Temple is your final destination after having traversed the picturesque trail. You will be able to see all the mountains encircling the temple as well as the grounds which are repositories for several nationally designated treasures such as mandalas, sculptures, and others kept safely with the body of the temple itself. On our photography workshops participants always catalog many of these natural and historical treasures with us.
Every season presents a different type of natural photo op. In spring, the lush, verdant forest surrounding Yamadera will fill your viewfinder with greens of all different shades as well as few feathered friends who will be drinking the sweet nectars of the season’s offerings. Summer brings a larger opportunity for wildlife in nature as all the creatures come out to bask in the summer sun. Autumn means the red, yellow, and gold of the beautiful Japanese Maple trees distributed near the stone stairs, the temple grounds, and naturally dispersed all over the mountains and plateaus near Yamadera. The winter means the clearest views for you and your camera, and at Blain Harasymiw Photography you will get pointed in the right direction so you can make the most of the winter’s crisp, refreshing air to maximize your shutter chances.
No matter what season you decide to visit Japan we will make the Yamadera portion of your Tohoku Photo Tour something you remember forever.