Snow at Honkokuji in Yamashina

Red bridge, gold dragon, white snow

By Cathy Cawood   Jan 11, 2015

It snowed in Kyoto on the last day of 2014, but I remember another snowy New Year. That was the day I went to Honkokuji beside Biwako Canal, and found scenery that took my breath away. To reach Honkokuji you must cross the red bridge over Biwako Canal and walk along the road until you reach the first red gate. Then there is a second gate of unpainted wood with guardian statues on either side. The temple was still quite new back in 2010. The wood was un-weathered, and the gate guardians, the dragon and the small torii were all gleaming gold. It was all extremely beautiful!

If you'd like to see this temple in autumn, there is a photo story here.

Japan Travel Partner

Join the discussion

Saskia Gilmour 2 years ago
Wow! So picturesque! This is definitely another one to add to the bucket list...
Takako Sakamoto 3 years ago
I thought I was the only one who'd venture out in snow you are! I found my pal here! And THIS IS BEAUTIFUL Cathy!
Cathy Cawood Photographer 3 years ago
Thank you Takako! I wish I had snow right now, but these photos are from a few years ago. This is one of my favorite temples in Kyoto, and I'm sure it looked as beautiful as this over New Year!
Mandy Bartok 3 years ago
Ahhhh, you're killing me, Cathy! Take me somewhere snowy NOW! :)
Cathy Cawood Photographer 3 years ago
Hi Mandy! Actually, I'm kind of torturing myself. These photos are from a few years ago. There's no snow here in Tokyo. I want snow too!