Japan has some of the finest snow in the world. And when you witness the snow falling on ancient shrines and temples, the beauty of it is so unique that you may be tempted to take a moment to pinch yourself to ensure you’ve not wandered into a fairytale world.
This event may be challenging to capture on camera; however, a skilled photojournalist and Twitter user @zookomi0124 could accomplish precisely that. The picture, taken during a visit to Entsuin, a Buddhist temple located within Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, can trigger various emotions, perfectly illustrating the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
The photograph does an impressive job of introducing the viewer to the landscape with its superficial simplicity. As we gaze toward the temple, the sheer whiteness of the snowy landscape surrounds it and creates a space that is both expansive and inviting at the exact moment.
冬に東北は水墨画の世界になる pic.twitter.com/JeY6ADy5mr— zookomi0124 (@zookomi0124) January 7, 2022
It’s like the temple is staring back at the person looking at it, creating a personal connection with the viewer that no one else has. The image engages all of our senses simultaneously. We can be able to hear its silence and feel the cold from the snowflakes on our bodies and take in the crisp mountain air. It’s like purification for the eyes, the heart, and the soul.
Entsuin is a stunning location and has a significant and extensive culture. It was established in 1647 and was constructed to serve as the memorial temple to Date Mitsumune, the great-grandson of the legendary Daimyo Masamune (1585-1636), a vital historical figure in the region. Date Masamune also established the present-day city of Sendai and became the capital of the Miyagi Prefecture.
The structure in @zookomi0124‘s photo above is referred to as “sankeiden. ” Sankeiden” contains the miniature shrine of Mitsumune, who died in 1645 at the age of 19. Sankeiden is distinctive because of the photographs of roses in the building, which were painted following the time that people from the Date clan returned to Japan from Rome and were able to see the flowers in the early 1600s.
Sankeiden is regarded as so unique that it’s been declared an Important National Cultural Property. It’s a beautiful location for Mitsumune’s spirit to relax and also gives visitors a chance to enjoy a brief peace from the snares of our modern lives.
Most people plan their trips to the temples to coincide with the fall season. The trees surrounding the grounds explode into stunning colors; however, as this image illustrates, a snowy winter day may be a better time to visit.