Eryn Wells


Zen Garden at Hase-Dera in Kamakura

長谷寺 (Hase-dera) is a temple in 鎌倉 (Kamakura). It has a beautiful zen garden tucked away behind a wall. I think the surrounding buildings might be monks’ quarters or administrative buildings for the temple. The gate was open the day I visited.

Happy Monks

These cute little stone statues of happy, smiling monks were all over 長谷寺 (Hase-dera).

ハチ公, The Goodest Good Boy

ハチ公 (Hachikō) is an incredibly good boy.

新宿 at Night

新宿 (Shinjuku) at night is how I’ve imagined 東京 (Tōkyō) since I was a kid: futuristic, bright lights, rain, and lots of umbrellas.

Trip to Japan

At the beginning of April, Tess and I took a trip to Japan for two weeks. She had a work meeting to attend in Tōkyō, and we were lucky to be able to extend the trip to take some vacation before her meeting.

This was my first trip to Japan. I had been wanting to travel there since I was a kid playing Pokémon Red on my OG Game Boy. To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement.

You can read all about our trip on my travel log page. Tess also wrote about it on her website.

Eaves of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto

This photo is a corner of the older part of the Imperial Palace in Kyōto. I’m impressed with the intricacy of the construction: the number and precision placement of the support beams, and the all of the artful details in the eaves and roof tiles.

Heian-Jingū’s Pagoda

The pagoda at Heian-Jingū


金閣寺 (Kinkaku-ji) was built as a private residence of a powerful lord. The house and surrounding grounds are beautiful; you can imagine escaping there for a few days to get away from the hustle and bustle of Japanese court life. In his will, he bequeathed the site to his favorite Buddhist sect who transformed it into the temple it is today.


清水寺 (Kiyomizu-Dera) is a Buddhist temple in the hills on the east side of Kyōto. It’s known for being the source of three sacred streams of water that grant various benefits to those who drink from them. (Tess and I did drink from one each; drinking from all three is said to be bad luck and greedy.) It is also known for it’s incredibly high “stage.”


The challenge at 伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi Inari-Taisha), is to capture both the manmade and natural elements of the shrine. I don’t think I really did it in any of the photos I took. Here is an attempt.