As I was later informed, I was not the first to mistake this tiny shrine for the larger shrine with the same name in north Kyoto that I had originally intended to visit. I am sure Kyoto has countless smaller shrines tucked away in suburban streets and side roads, too inconspicuous to warrant attention from the guidebooks and accompanying foot traffic of curious tourists.
This Imamiya Shrine is one of them. Once here, I was the only human being on the entire grounds. I felt my conscious expand to fill the whole of the quiet space and revelled in the fact it was mine to enjoy. Although it looked no more than an ordinary old shrine, it was beautiful and special.
Of all the shrines in Kyoto, this shrine taught me about the relativity of perception and the will to find beauty in anything. I realised the best memories come from when you step off the map, because you own the memory. From my own happy mistake, I encourage you to take a spontaneous left turn down an alleyway on your next travels!
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The language intrigues me and as well as Japan's personality, vividly different in each season in the year. Having previously lived in Tokyo for a year, I've developed a weakness for onsen, Mt. Fuji, autumn leaves, the festivals and Japanese stationery. More than trying my hand at photography, I enjoy sharing my photos and travel experiences with others so that they can laugh, feel inspired and come along for some of the journey!