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Kiyomizudera Night & Day (360˚ Panorama)

Somese Naoto (Photographer)[Profile]

Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Three times a year, the temple is beautifully lit up and opened to the public for special nighttime viewings in spring, summer, and autumn.

Using the Immersive PanoramasEven in Kyoto, a city with no shortage of ancient temples, Kiyomizudera stands out from the crowd with a history that dates all the way back to the year 778. The Buddhist temple is located on the slopes of Mt. Otowa in the eastern part of the city. The main hall and its famous pagoda are situated within expansive grounds that cover some 130,000m2. The precincts contain numerous buildings and priceless works of art that have been designated as national treasures. Some five million people visit the temple every year from all over the world.

In front of the main hall is a wooden platform nearly 13 meters high made from boards of hinoki cypress. The platform is supported by an imposing scaffolding of majestic pillars made from giant zelkova trees. A traditional belief had it that if someone jumped from the platform and survived, that person’s wishes would come true. Even today, people in Japan talk of “taking the Kiyomizu plunge” when throwing themselves into a major new undertaking.

This trip to Kyoto produced two sets of 360˚ panorama photographs—one taken during the daytime and the other at night, during the “illumination” season at the height of summer. We hope you enjoy the luxury of having Kiyomizudera all to yourself—no matter where in the world you happen to be!

(Photographs by Somese Naoto with permission from Kiyomizudera.)

  • [2011.10.04]

Photographer. Born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1964. Graduated from the Department of Photography in the College of Art, Nihon University. Specializes in portrait photography. His portfolio includes work for numerous magazines as well as several photograph collections. Currently an enthusiast of 360° panorama photography.


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