Silent serenity speaks volumes with its overwhelming beauty.

Japan is known for having some of the best snow in the world, and when you see it falling on centuries-old temples and shrines, the beauty can be so otherworldly you might be tempted to pinch yourself to make sure you haven’t entered a fantasy dreamland.

It’s an experience that can be hard to catch on camera, but talented photographer and Twitter user @zookomi0124 was able to do just that recently. Their photo — taken at Entsuin, a Buddhist temple located in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture — evokes a myriad of emotions, perfectly exemplifying the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

▼ You might want to gaze at the scene for a moment to allow it to sink in.

The photo does an amazing job of drawing the viewer into the scene with its pure simplicity. As our gaze is led towards the temple building, our line of sight is enriched by the whiteness of the snowscape that surrounds it, creating a space that’s both broad yet inviting at the same time.

It’s as if the temple is gazing right back at the viewer, creating a personal connection where nobody else exists. The photo engages so many senses simultaneously — we can hear the silence, feel the chill of the snowflakes on our skin and smell the crisp mountain air. It’s like a purification for the eyes, heart and soul.

▼ The photographer likened the scene to an ink painting.

People online were equally swept up in the beauty of the photo, saying:

“It’s like I can only hear the sound of my footsteps.”
“What an incredible scene!”
“Great photo – it looks very much like a drawing!!”
“Stunning, particularly because of the way it’s been photographed — thank you!”
“Entsuin under a layer of snow takes its beauty to a whole other dimension!”

Entsuin truly is a beautiful spot, and it has a rich and important cultural heritage tied to it as well. Founded in 1647, it was built as the memorial temple for Date Mitsumune, the grandson of legendary warrior and daimyo Date Masamune (1585–1636), a revered historical figure in the region who also founded the modern-day city of Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture.

The building in @zookomi0124‘s photo above is called the “Sankeiden“, and it contains a miniature shrine enshrining Mitsumune, who died in 1645 at the age of 19. Sankeiden is particularly unique due to the images of roses inside, which were painted after members of the Date clan returned to Japan from Rome, where they saw the flowers, in the early 1600s.

Sankeiden is considered so special it’s been designated an Important National Cultural Property. It’s a beautiful spot for Mitsumune’s spirit to rest, and it also offers visitors a moment of respite from the distractions of the modern world.

Most people time their visits to the temple to coincide with autumn, when the trees around the grounds burst into brilliant displays of colour, but as this photo shows, a snowy winter’s day can sometimes be a more perfect time to visit.

Source: Twitter@zookomi0124 via Net Lab
Images: Twitter@zookomi0124
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!