From cherry blossoms in spring to vibrant foliage in fall, Japan is known for its breathtaking, colorful seasons. In winter, however, many parts of the country are blanketed in white snow, turning popular tourist spots into silent landscapes that look like they’re straight out of a fairytale. Japanese photographer wasabitool captures the magic of Kyoto during winter in a series of striking photos.
Wasabitool visited some of Kyoto’s sacred temples and shrines, where he managed to capture their mysterious beauty. He went to the famous Hosen-in Temple which is known as one of the “Bloody Temples of Kyoto.” Despite the tranquil surroundings, the temple symbolizes a violent past—part of its ceiling is made up of blood-stained wooden floorboards taken from Fushimi Castle after its last defenders committed ritual suicide in 1600. Wasabitool’s images capture the poignant contrast between the peaceful snow-covered garden outside and the darker hues of blood-stained wood inside.
The talented photographer also went to Kifune Shrine, in the northern mountains of Kyoto. Famous for its stairway lined with red lanterns, the scene looks particularly spectacular during snowy evenings. Wasabitool’s atmospheric images showcase the winter wonderland at its best—the lanterns are only lit during snowfall between January 18 and February 29.
Kyoto isn’t the only place wasabitool has explored with his camera—he travels all over the country capturing Japan’s stunning landscapes throughout the seasons. Scroll down to check out wasabitool’s Kyoto series and find more from his portfolio on Instagram and Twitter.