Winter in Japan – day 4

SNOW!!

Woke this morning to torrential rain in Osaka and was a bit hesitant to set off for Mount Koya but in the end decided to give it a go… and so pleased that I did! 

The heavy rain continued all the way from Osaka to Gokurakubashi where the train terminates and passengers transfer to the koyasan cable car for the last 1500 ft of ascent to koyasan station.  As the car rose the rain quickly turned to a fine mist and slowly, through the mist, small pockets of snow could be glimpsed around the bases of the tall trees that cling to the steep slopes along the cable car route.

As we climbed the pockets grew in size and number until at the summit the whole base of the forest was carpeted in snow. 

If you told me months ago i could be granted one photography wish for the winter trip to Japan I’d have asked for snow at Koyasan.  As a second best, I’d have been happy with fog at Koyasan. I got both today! 

After the short bus trip from the cable car station to Okunoin I set off into the forest to try to grab some shots of the snow covered temples and high forest trees disappearing into the mist before the weather conditions changed. 

About an hour into the trip the sun began to break through the high clouds and almost instantly burned off the mist and began to melt the snow – so had the trip been postponed this morning due to the rain, I might well have missed the snow later in the week…

Okunoin is one of my favourite photography locations in Japan and I’ve been lucky enough to see it in full summer bloom and thick autumn mist but I always wanted to see it in the snow so today was great.

The photos in this blog were taken on my mobile phone and really don’t do the location, or the conditions, justice but I’m hopeful that I managed to grab some interesting images – and videos – to share on my return! 

Another Osaka day tomorrow, and the blue skies and warm sun are forecast to return so stay tuned for more images tomorrow! šŸ™‚

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