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).


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.