Nestled between the Eastern hills of Kyoto and Biwako Canal is a temple named Honkokuji. It is not large or famous, it is never busy, nor is it very old. The first time I visited, almost ten years ago, there was so much gold - the gate guardians, roof decorations, lanterns, the bell, a small tori and a fabulous dragon. It seemed very flashy and unusual. (Recently they toned things down, and only the dragon is still gold.) For some reason Honkokuji appeals to me, and I have visited it in every season, and taken many photos. I love crossing the red bridge, and rounding the curve in the road to catch the first glimpse of the red gate. I like atmosphere of the place, and I really love the gold dragon!
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.