It was raining lightly, and a typhoon was in the forecast as we hiked along the sacred Yamanobe-no-michi (Yamanobe Path) in Sakurai, Japan. The route passes along small roads, through neighborhoods, and down footpaths through woods and by farms, rivers and lakes, winding through the foothills of Mt. Miwa and north to the more-touristed city of Nara. While Mt. Miwa itself is said to be the most important to be honored here, there are a number of temples and shrines, each different, with varying focus and decoration. Pilgrims stop to meditate or pray or drink from blessed waters. For us, this photo reflects how Japan is able to harmoniously combine ancient traditions and modern lifestyle. Places like this are oases of calm and peace in what can otherwise be a hectic, fast-paced modern country. It shows grace, harmony and balance, essential elements of Japanese culture.
As far as the two nominations Kristian Leven (of kristianlevenphotography.co.uk), and Ted & Bethany, (of twooregonians.com). Kristian is a London based photographer and traveler with a amazing eye. Ted and Bethany are currently in the middle of a year long RTW trip.
Thanks Donny for contributing probably the most elegant picture so far. Perhaps Ted & Bethany and Kristian can better this photo of Japan.
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