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#SweetEscapeTips: Unique Photo Spots in Kyoto
18 Dec 2017IDEASBY SweetEscape

Kyoto has been known for its mild temperature, even during winter from early December to mid-march. Everywhere you go, there’s a sense of apparent and dignified beauty of the city that can be felt through your every core. The snow lingers magically on the ground, while the shrines and temples in the clear cold air of winter glow with elegance.

The scenery of pure white snow typical doesn’t last long in Kyoto. Hence, it’s important to know where to enjoy this rare winter treat and this city to the fullest.

1 Fushimi Inari

by Keiko for SweetEscape in Kyoto
by Keiko for SweetEscape in Kyoto

The head shrine of the god Inari, Fushimi Inari is a famous Shinto shrine that is located at the base of Mount Inari. As you trail up the mountain pass the wooden forest , there are many other smaller shrines dotted along the way. The iconic vermilion torii gates is an attractive photo spot which many visitors can’t get enough of.

During winter, Fushimi Inari is usually not as crowded as during any other season. This means that there’s one more reason to visit this unique photo spot and enjoy your photo session for as much as your heart’s content.

2 Yasaka Shrine

by Danica for SweetEscape in Kyoto

Also known as Gion Shrine, this is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto dated back to more than 1300 years ago. Located between Gion and Higashiyama District, the amazing shrine consists of the main hall as sanctuary and an offering area into one building. There is also a dance stage where hundreds of lanterns are lit in the evenings. Each lantern represents the name of a local business asking for abundance and luck.

Yasaka shrine is especially well-known for its summer festival, but the place is just equally stunning with an aura of tranquility that will highlight your trip with unforgettable winter wonder.

3 Maruyama Park

by Danica for SweetEscape in Kyoto

After you entrance through Yasaka Shrine, you will see Maruyama Park, one of the most famous spots for 'hanami' or cherry blossom viewing. One of the reason why is because a large, 70-years-old weeping cherry blossom tree stands at the center of the park. At night the tree is illuminated and it couldn't get any prettier than that!

Maruyama Park can get very crowded during sakura season, but actually the park remains beautiful in any season.

4 Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

by Keiko for SweetEscape in Kyoto

Another Kyoto’s top photo spot, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a journey back to the nature that will soothe your soul. Amid the soaring stalks of bamboo, this sprawling forest promises you an experience unlike any other place in the country.

For visitors traveling to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest during winter, you are definitely in for a magical treat. The place gets even more amazing with windy breeze and the sound of rustling bamboo leaves. You’ll be put into the best mood for strolling and photo taking with your loved ones under the green shades of bamboo trees.

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Sidney and Etha Mohede: Christmas Tradition in Our Family
12 Dec 2019STORIESBY SweetEscape

Among the Indonesian Christian community, Sidney and Etha Mohede are extremely popular. Sidney is best known as an award-winning gospel singer-songwriter and one of the pastors of a Jakarta-based megachurch, while Etha is a social media influencer. This Christmas season, we had the opportunity to talk with The Mohedes about their Christmas tradition, how they're going to spend this year's Christmas, and the importance of photography for their family.

by Priscilla for SweetEscape in Amsterdam
by Priscilla for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

1. Tell us about Christmas in your family!

We think our family's Christmas is just like any other family's. When we're in Jakarta, on Christmas morning we'd wake up and open our Christmas presents. But, since these couple of years we spent our Christmases traveling overseas, we'd open the presents before we fly off.

Also, we like to think that the trip itself is the present for the entire family, and we are happy to enjoy the trip together, just us and our three children.

2. Any particular Christmas dinner tradition?

Our family's Christmas dinner usually happens on the Christmas Eve, with simple dishes and no special table decorations. We always like to finish up all the hassle before Christmas Day itself. On Christmas Day we'd usually just eat simple take outs and just enjoy our time together.

However, we think that our family's dinners–be it Christmas or not–is a tradition in itself. We want to make sure that every family member sit around the table at dinner time. We see nowadays in modern families, at dinner time everybody's still busy with their own things; the kids watching videos on their tables, the parents still busy with their gadgets... We don't want that in our family. We make sure that everyone sits around the table and really enjoy our time together, including on Christmas dinners.

by Donny for SweetEscape in Bali

3. Where will you be spending Christmas this year?

This year we'll be going to Europe, namely Italy and the Netherlands. This would be our first time in Italy, and it's a 3-families trip. We're flying off to Dusseldorf, then we'll travel to Milan and meet the other 2 families there. Then we'd spend 7 days in Italy and 7 days in Netherlands, so in total it would be a 14 days trip.

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

As for the detailed itinerary, we honestly have no clue, but we've already booked a car to drive around. We want to try a road trip-style holiday this time around, and we think it would be fun! It's going to be an adventure!

4. We know you travel a lot, especially Sidney. Do you take photos of your trip?

Of course! For me (Sidney) personally, I love photography because it is a way I can express my passion easily. I was an art major in university, and my first passion was drawing and painting. But drawing something takes a lot of time. With a camera, I can capture the beauty of what I was seeing wherever I go with a single snap. I can still use my brain and eye for the compositions and colours, and I can express my visual arts passion in an easy way, without having to spend more than 30 minutes to draw one picture.

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam
by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

Which is why, we also love SweetEscape very much, because the idea of not being the one who takes the photographs and actually being photographed once in a while is really fun! Honestly, I'm (Sidney) not a big fan of being photographed, like most guys, I believe. But for a family photo, it's always nice to have, since most of the times we'd have to take turns taking pictures with the kids, or resort to selfies. With SweetEscape, we don't have to worry about this, and all five of us can be in the picture together!

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

SweetEscape connects you to thousands of local professional photographers in more than 500 cities around the world, so you can capture every moment and get beautiful photos directly to your devices in just 48 hours after your session. This holiday season, capture more with SweetEscape's JINGLE DEALS, where you can get sessions starting as low as USD 50! Download our app, book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!