For anyone who has never been, Kyoto lives up to its reputation as one of the best big cities in the world. With over 17 World Heritage Sites, it is easily a must-see destination for tourists in the country during non-pandemic times.

Visitors are also well-advised to arrive with camera in-hand to capture Kyoto's countless attractions. Take, for instance, shrine maidens performing traditional dances in quiet areas outside the city, or dazzling digital cherry blossom projection art displayed at Nijo Castle. The city is also home to picture-purrfect tasty treats and sensually detailed traditional craftsmanship.

Natural Kyoto

Indeed, with so many world-famous temples and traditional activities, visitors to Kyoto would be forgiven for overlooking the city's natural beauty. Nevertheless, they would certainly be missing out.

Anyone in need of convincing simply need check out a recent Twitter post by photographer Kankidan (@maaaaberaaaa). Early one morning, the artist captured an other-worldly photo of a forest landscape draped in the morning mist. Awe-inspiring, the scene highlights Japan's natural beauty.

Reproduced with permission from Kankidan (@maaaaberaaaa)

The photo almost seems as though it were taken in some fantasy world, say LOTR or something from studio Ghibli. Kankidan noted:

“I came across this awe-inspiring scene somewhere in Kyoto. Just after sunrise, as the morning mist gathered in a sunken valley, the morning sun shone on the area creating a shear mark. You could pass by the area 100 times and never see something like it, so I was very fortunate to capture this photo on my fourth attempt. It almost looks like a painting of some other-wordly scene. Without a doubt, this is the best picture I’ve taken all year.”

Indeed, the photograph is entirely striking, a vista seemingly taken from some fantasy world. To me, the morning mist is very true-to-form for the Japanese natural aesthetic. It would indeed be amazing to live in the area and wake up to this image every day.

Naturally, Kankidan’s followers were also impressed. They commented:

  • “Thinking this some historical piece of fine art, I was surprised to realize it was actually a photo.”
  • “This is very moving. It really is an awe-inspiring scene.”
  • “The ‘artwork’ created by nature is truly amazing.”

If you liked this photo, you can find more like it—including other pictures of Kyoto—on Kankidan’s Twitter feed or Instagram. Enjoy!

By - Luke Mahoney.