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Awesome Two-Day Photo tour: Arashiyama, Kibune and Kurama

Such a pleasure to host Richard from Montreal on his first visit to Japan for two days of photography.

Day 1: Arashiyama

Smiles all round. After finding the bamboo path already busy at 7am we headed up to a deserted Otagi Nenbutsuji.

The 1200 moss-covered Rakan statues and their whimsical poses didn't disappoint despite the gloomy weather.

"It was great meeting you and your planning was perfect."

I find something new and amusing here every time I visit.

Rodin's Thinker? Elvis?

Next stop, Adashino Nenbutsuji. The small bamboo grove there more than made up for the pandemonium at the other place.

Not a soul around.

Time to explore all the angles.

Then off to the beautiful moss garden at Gioji.

And Jojakkoji.

Day two: Kibune & Kurama

First stop, up in the remote northern mountains, Kifune Shrine at 7:30am to shoot the iconic stairway. Worth the 4:45am alarm.

Not a soul around.

And once inside...

...plenty to focus on.

Moss and bamboo abound.

After the shrine we walk up through Kibune. Medicine for the soul being in this ancient and sacred spot.

With Kibune completed, we take the 50-minute climb over to Kurama Dera, a first for me and well worth it. The climb wasn't too hard and some interesting things to see along the way.

No road access to this place. Hikers only. But still impeccably maintained.

Coming out of the forest and getting near the main hall of Kurama Dera we encounter the temple bell.

Kurama Dera seems on top of the world.

Some wild cherry blossoms visible on the mountain side below.

No queues here.

And finally down to Kurama station and an encounter with Tengu, freshly painted it seems.

A huge thanks to Richard for an amazing two days of photography.

To learn about my tours visit the homepage and click the tours tab, or contact me at


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