Photo Of The Day: Koyasan, Japan’s Temple Town

hktang, Flickr

Between the gentle peaks of the Kii moutain range, just south of Osaka, sit over 100 Buddhist temples in a beautifully dense forest. This seemingly hidden town of Koyasan, has possibly the densest concentration of temples anywhere in Japan, all of startlingly different architectural styles, from the simple to the ridiculous, none of which are any less than astounding. Xiaojun Deng beautifully shows the iconic vermilion color of Japanese temples in this photo of the Konpon Daito pagoda. Koyasan makes for an amazing and unique day trip from Osaka or Kyoto, showing Japan‘s often forgotten mountainous side.

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Photo Of The Day: Sri Lanka Temple

Photo of the Day Sri Lanka temple
Jaliyaj, Flickr

I’ve been traveling vicariously this week through my aunt who is temporarily based in Singapore and exploring Sri Lanka right now. The south Asian country has been on my wish list for years, ever since I learned the capital from playing “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and imagined it was a place where my bartender might be an international jewel thief with an eye patch. On the less sinister side, part of Sri Lanka’s appeal is gorgeous beaches and interesting temples. Today’s Photo of the Day has both, spying a Buddhist temple on an island off the beach. It looks like a peaceful and inspiring place to pray, hopefully they aren’t harboring any jewel thieves.

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Photo Of The Day: Sunset At Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

It’s difficult to describe the magic of Kyoto, Japan, but today’s Photo of the Day comes awfully close. Taken at sunset from the Kiyomizu-dera temple, the image showcases the traditional architecture of the temple, the bright reds and oranges of the fall foliage, the city below and the mountains in the distance. Capturing the shot wasn’t a simple endeavor, but Flickr user Chung Hu persisted:

It seemed like the whole Japan was there the day that we went. We managed to squeeze ourselves up to the edge of a viewing platform during sunset. No tripod use was allowed. I took a few bracketing shots, but in the end, decided to go with the single shot exposure with my trusty grad filter.

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[Photo Credit: Flickr user Chung Hu]

Photo Of The Day: The Old And The New In Seoul, South Korea

As we’ve seen in Jonathan Kramer’s “The Kimchi-ite” series, South Korea is a country that embraces both its past and its future. That notion is captured perfectly in this Photo of the Day from Flickr user and photographer Ohad Ben-Yoseph, which depicts a colorful old temple set against a sparkling new skyscraper in perfect juxtaposition. Ben-Yoseph’s Flickr photo stream is filled with similarly evocative photographs, showing a country in transition.Do you have any great travel photos? You now have two options to enter your snapshots into the running for Gadling’s Photo of the Day. Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool, or mention @GadlingTravel and use hashtag #gadling in the caption or comments for your post on Instagram. Don’t forget to give us a follow too!

[Photo Credit: Flickr user ohad*]

2700-Year-Old Temple Discovered In Israel

A new temple discovered in IsraelA construction crew planning an expansion to a highway running between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel has discovered an ancient temple believed to be more than 2700 years old. The archaeological site was unearthed last Wednesday and is part of the larger dig at Tel Motza, which features ruins dating back to the Neolithic Era.

The temple has an entrance that faces east, allowing the first light of the day to illuminate its sparse interior. Inside, archaeologists found a large square structure that is thought to be an alter, as well as an array of ceremonial objects. Those objects include the remains of pottery and chalices, and tiny clay figures of humans and animals that are believed to have been used in religious rituals.

This new find is just the latest to be discovered in Motza, which has been part of an ongoing archaeological excavation since the 1990s. The temple is similar in age to some of the other ruins in the area, which also include an underground reservoir that dates to the time of the Crusades and grain silos that once served as storage for the city of Jerusalem.

Once the small temple has been completely examined it will be sealed off from the public and preserved from harm. The new highway expansion will move ahead directly over the site, which will prevent it from being accessible to the public. The ceremonial objects discovered inside will be cataloged and put on display in museums.

[Photo Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority]