An hour northwest of Kyoto nestled in the valley of the kiyotaki river 清滝川 lies the little hamlet of Takao 高雄, home of three large temples, a small residential community, and a handful of soba restaurants. I visited in late December and was pleasantly surprised when the rain changed to snow as the city bus ascended the winding road into the mountains. Above you see the temple complex of Saimyo-ji 西明寺、with easily one of the most beautiful entry sequences I've ever experienced, especially if you consider it begins with this view of the three rooflines nestled in the forest before it bounds across the river and up a steep escarpment on the far side.
Below are some of the paths that cut through the forest surrounding Kozan-ji 高山寺 down the road, which is magnificent in its own way—with high vaulted forest like gothic canopy and brilliant komorebi 木漏れ日 that pours through. The view from the main hall, or kondo 金堂, is unequaled, and intentionally not pictured. I hope that you may visit and be surprised as I was.
Finally here are some images of the roads and paths and rivers of Takao, not explicitly part of any temple complex: a wall detail of someone's private drive; a view along the road toward Jingo-ji 神護寺, the largest of the three temples in Takao; a bust stop with a proper green roof; a soba restaurant 瓦そば 松右衛門 perched above the kiyotaki river, and finally a view along the footpath from the main road to the river below. During the peak season that little stand would be selling refreshments.
35mm film, December 2017