20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Through the Chinowa

Taken in April of 2020 at a temple that is normally packed with tourists, especially during cherry blossom season. In a normal year you would never see a couple of Maiko (apprentice geisha) on a Sunday-stroll to see the cherry blossoms stop to pass through the large grass ring called Chinowa. The chinowa ring at Yasaka shrine, which normally goes up in June, was constructed earlier than usual this year to allow people to perform the purification ritual ‘Chinowa Kuguri’ (meant to cleanse impurities and offer health) in light of coronavirus. Up until the previous week, spots like this were pretty full of domestic tourists taking their turn going through the ring. However, on this weekend the normally busy spots in Kyoto were almost completely empty, except for a couple of locals, as even domestic tourism has came to a halt due to the most recent covid restrictions.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Kyoto, Japan
Camera: LEICA Q2
Copyright: © Jonathan Jasberg