After some time spent in Tokyo and on Kyushu island, I decided to head straight to Kyoto. I was very happy and excited to go there again, after my first visit in 2013. And what's more, I arrived just in time to assist to a wedding of a very good friend of mine :) This turned out to be an awesome occasion not only to meet some old and new friends, but also to take photos of a traditional, shinto wedding ceremony.
After a week-end of celebrations, I happened to have my 2nd exhibition getting started in Kyoto which perfectly coincided with the time of my stay in the city. I can hardly imagine a better opportunity to meet new people, have discussions about photography and show some of my favorite photos of Paris to an audience that is not very active on social media and that don't necessarily know my work. Many exchanges that I've had in Kitano Gallery on that occasion were extremely enriching and I'm very grateful to everyone who dropped in to meet me :)
Luckily, even if a bit busy with the exhibition, I still managed to find some time to shoot around the city too. Especially in the morning, before going to the gallery. This time I was much less in a rush, than during my first stay in Kyoto, when I remember feeling a kind of pressure to see as much as possible, not knowing if I'd ever be able to come back again.
During this stay I decided to focus on my favorite parts of the city. Therefore, I spent a lot of time in Gion and old parts of Kyoto. I walked through Ponto-chō area at least several times and I loitered more than once around Yasaka Pagoda and Kiyomizu Dera, getting lost in some of the most charming, medieval streets I've ever seen.
I took a huge pleasure in shooting city life, streets and people, occasionally beautiful light too and even some maiko, although they might've been some disguised tourists just as well...
I've been lucky enough to already have visited Kyoto in spring, when sakura trees are in full blossom. During this period, some parts of the city look really unworldly. However, it turned out that autumn colors in late November are no less spectacular, if not even more.
Of course, in Europe we have lovely autumn colors too, but honestly, once you see the Japanese version of the same season, you get to understand why it is so famous in Japan, as well as elsewhere. I can hardly recall seeing such incredible and strong colors in autumnal Europe. Many trees are so red that it looks completely unreal and when the sunlight shines through, it's simply indescribable. Just have a look at this:
The best locations to see such amazing views are without any doubt temples and shrines. Many of them have incredibly beautiful gardens. However, if you're visiting Kyoto at this time of year, be prepared to face unbelievable crowds of people. Sometimes it's so crowded that it is literally impossible to move forward, not to mention taking any good photos.
This is why, I visited only a few places, like for example Tofuku-ji, Heian Shrine (that happened to be less crowded) or famous Fushimi Inari. Yet, it turned out to be sufficient to take some nice pictures of elegant ladies wearing kimonos and even more red leaves ;)
Back to Paris, I already miss that beautiful country, with its welcoming people and tasty food. I guess I should be going back there sooner than the last time and discover more different seasons.