In 794 this place was named the capital of Japan. The political hub has since moved more than 200 miles away, but thanks to well- preserved streets like the one pictured here, this city remains the unofficial capital of the region's history. The stone staircase's name literally means Three-Year Slope -- though a name covering a longer span of time may be more appropriate. Machiya, the city's traditional wooden town houses, stand alongside Buddhist temples and shrines, and vendors peddle pottery and bamboo ware from centuries-old stalls. "It is probably the single most memorable street in this city," says photographer Raymond Patrick, who shot the path for an upcoming islands feature. "Especially right at the top of the hill, where it starts." In this city, it's the beginnings that count.
Patrick shot this image with a Nikon D700 fitted with a 35mm lens. The shutter speed was 1/20 second at f/2.4 and ISO 2500.
If you can name the Japanese city and street pictured on this page, which will be featured in the next issue of the magazine, send your answer in by March 13, 2009. Readers who submit the correct answer will be entered to win a gift pack courtesy of ISLANDS.
ISLANDS next issue - On Sale March 31, 2009
- The Most Private Escapes
- Japan's Past and Present
- Vancouver Island's Bear