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AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio (a J!-ENT Book Review)

July 8, 2009 by  



“Visually beautiful, for those who have seen the magical transformation of these maple trees around the well-known shrines in the Kyoto region can easily talk about its tranquile, beautiful and nearly artistic look but ‘AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio’ gives us the visual connection of that beauty and its vibrancy.  Beautiful and peaceful to look at, for those wanting that coffee table book showcasing the vibrancy of Kyoto, you can’t go wrong with this book.  It’s so beautiful to look at and enjoy!”

(c) Images courtesy of Kodansha International

TITLE: AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio

PHOTOGRAPHY by Hidehiko Mizuno, Mayu Mizuno and Yasutaka Ogawa

PUBLISHER: Kodansha International

PAGE COUNT: 108

Released on August 3, 2009

Why are the autumn colors of yoto described as the most beautiful in Japan?

The delicate, almost translucent autumn tints of Kyoto, which derive from the city’s unique plant life and climate, are undoubtedly lovely to behold, but clearly that is not the only reason.  The secret of Kyoto’s autumn beauty lies in a perfect harmony of the natural and the man-made – the culmination of centuries of history.

This book introduces forty-nine magnificent Kyoto locations-predominately temples and shrines – ideal for viewing autumn tints, elegantly captured by three photographers who have devoted their careers to convey the beauty of this remarkable city through the camera lens.  Turning the pages, readers will soon note that far from being consigned to history, the ancient places of worship within are assiduously maintained as centers for present-day religious devotions.  These quintessential Kyoto locations coexist seamlessly with their surroundings in a model of beauty nurtured over 1,200 years in Japan’s cultural capital.

For those who have had the opportunity to go to Japan, far from the concrete jungles of Tokyo but anyplace that showcases the beauty of nature, you will hear that Kyoto is an absolute destination for peace and tranquility.

Although many people tend to talk about the beauty of the cherry blossoms, those who have seen the maple trees bloom and give off an array of colors at these Kyoto shrines can describe the beauty.  Of course, for many people, beauty when used in conversation is something that a person needs that visual to understand when a person talks about the beautiful colors of the maple trees and how, being at these locations is like viewing a real life painting.

“AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio” is that book that can help show you that visual and show the reader that those discussions of art through nature is real and there are people who make it a career of capturing that beauty of nature.

Photography is done by Hidehiko Mizuno, Kayu Mizuno and Yasutaka Ogawa, three well-distinguished photographers who do a fine job of presenting us with this visually, magnificent book that not only brings me tranquility by looking at their photography but the beauty captured looks to good to be real.  Almost like a painting but knowing its not.  This is real Kyoto and the trees give off that vibrancy of their autumn colors.

The photographers not only give you a visual look at the shrines but also a little history of the shrine and the trees around it.  And they divide their photo coverage into five traditional areas in Kyoto Rakuchu (Central), Rakuto (East), Rakusai (West), Rakunan (South) and Rakuhoku (North) and even give the reader a map, address and contact information of their best sites that showcase these autumn colors.

From the Shimogamo Shrine which features maple trees filled with yellow and red leaves encircled by a pond, brown tree trunks and green tees around it.  Or the Myoken-Ji Temple which is a serene and clean prayer hall with its tranquil green plants that surround a maple tree full of red leaves.  But among these 49 locations, there are shrines that showcase different color of leaves.  From Iwato Ochiba Shrine that showcases yellow leaves to the Rokuo-in Temple with red leaves that litter the ground but yellow leaves on the trees.

“AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio” is a beautiful book that just captures the beauty of these maple trees and brings out color to its darker green, black and brown surroundings.

Visually beautiful, for those who have seen the magical transformation of these maple trees around the well-known shrines in the Kyoto region can easily talk about its tranquil, beautiful and nearly artistic look but ‘AUTUMN COLORS OF KYOTO: A Seasonal Portfolio’ gives us the visual connection of that beauty and its vibrancy.  Beautiful and peaceful to look at, for those wanting that coffee table book showcasing the vibrancy of Kyoto, you can’t go wrong with this book.  It’s so beautiful to look at and enjoy!

I enjoyed this book immensely and found myself staring at the various colors of the leaves and just be in awe of how these colors really bring out the shrine but just adds true beauty through nature.  Highly recommended!






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