Over 10,000 Miles since November…

Last night, I was introduced to the following website which connects Itsukushima Shrine and Mont Saint Michel. It turns out that I have been fortunate enough to travel and shoot at both locations (over 6000 miles apart) within the last 5 months. Some of the things that both locations have in common include:

  • They are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Both are over 1300 years old
  • Both are religious sites
  • Both are in strong tidal areas
  • Both are in regions known for special delicacies: Itsukushima Shrine for Momiji Manju, and Mont Saint Michel for Calvados and Galettes.

I was surprised to hear that they are sister cities, but I can understand as the similarities are now more apparent to me.

So, I thought I’d write a post about it today and share some images from my visits to both locations. Japan, in November of last year, and France, just last month.

This is the Ootorii, the torii gate which sits in the bay at Miyajima. It is one of the most photographed tourist spots in Japan.

During low tide, you can walk out into the shallow bay, even out to the Tori gate. The ground is pretty sandy/muddy in some places and there is quite a bit of seaweed everywhere.

You can see the shallowness of the bay and the lushness of the surrounding mountains one the island in this next image.

At night, the main and other buildings of the shrine are beautifully lit.

Mont Saint-Michel is over 6000 miles away, and is also heavily affected by the moving tide. It has been an abbey, a prison, and is now a huge tourist attraction with a rich history. The roads and marshes along the coast leading to the Mont’s causeway provide some spectacular views, especially when the early morning mist is still about.

This is a night shot of the abbey. It looks both beautiful and ominous to me at night (not that it is much kinder looking in the daytime). Its original name was Mount Tomb.

I shot this the following morning after I arrived, it has a bit of a dreamy look from the post processing, but I liked it and decided to go with it.

This was also shot the next morning, while the tide was coming in (but before it reached me and the camera!)

Here’s a brief video I shot (unfortunately with me narrating in my sleepy voice) of the tide coming in that morning.

More info about the shrine/abbey connection can be found here.

Also, please remember that each of these images, as well as those on my website, are available for downloads as phone and computer screen savers. I can also make them available as high-quality framed prints and greeting cards if you like.

Jonathon

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