I quite like this photo as it contains a variety of elements. Filling the background you have Kyoto’s springtime cherry blossoms which line the small Biwako Canal along the Philosopher’s Walk, the orange traffic mirror gives a clear view down the side street giving a hint of the local housing and narrow back streets that mostly border the western side of the walking path. The orange/red taxi colour is a nice match to the traffic mirror’s orange coloured frame and walking out in front of the taxi is a smiling Japanese girl caught in full stride in middle of the crossroad.
It took a while to get this photograph, initially I could see the potential for an interesting photo when I first thought about the situation, but of course it all depended on something interesting being in the mirror and there were no guarantees that was going to happen.
I positioned myself below the mirror and to the side of the Philosopher’s Path just out of the way of the ambling crowds. Whatever was going to be in the mirror would only be there for a split second, so I was going to have to be quick with my picture taking. I had my camera set on continuous shutter so I could blast off a number of shots in succession when needed, plus I had to continuously point the camera directly at the mirror as I would have no time for lining the camera up when something interesting occurred in the reflection.
I’m sure you can imagine what an idiot I looked standing on the side of the Philosopher’s Walk path as dozens of sightseeing Japanese walked by, with my camera pointed at a boring traffic mirror for around 30 minutes waiting for ‘the shot’, when all around me was the beauty of Kyoto’s springtime ‘Sakura’ lining the banks of the Biwako Canal.
You will notice that the girl in the mirror’s reflection is smiling, she is actually walking directly towards me and I just know her smile is from the sight of the silly foreigner that’s frozen like a statue pointing his camera toward an old traffic mirror.
The actual Philosopher’s Path starts close to the Ginkakuji Temple in the north and follows the cherry tree lined Biwako Canal south for about 2 kilometres to the Kumano Nyakuoji Shrine. There are gardens, temples and shrines in an extended walk at the ends of the Philosophers Path as well as short walks from the path itself to see other temples and shrines.
The path can be walked in an hour or so if you only follow the pathway along the canal, but you can spend a day or more if you try to see all the attractions in the area.
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