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Keiko Tan­abe on Ky­oto.

It has been more than 25 years since Keiko Tan­abe left Ja­pan’s Ky­oto Pre­fec­ture to start a new chap­ter of her life in the United States. “But ev­ery year when I go back to Uji to visit fam­ily, I re­al­ize that my heart has never left home,” says the ac­com­plished wa­ter­col­orist. “That’s where I feel the weight of his­tory, as well as a strong con­nec­tion to my past and my rel­a­tives.” A small city lo­cated be­tween the an­cient Ja­panese cap­i­tals of Ky­oto and Nara, Uji has its own share of his­tor­i­cal at­trac­tions, among them the 11th-cen­tury Ujigami Shrine and— de­picted here—By­odo-in Tem­ple, orig­i­nally built in 998 and to­day one of the 17 monuments con­sti­tut­ing the World Her­itage Site of An­cient Ky­oto. “It’s a must-see sight for the mil­lions of tourists who flock to Ky­oto each year. But to me, more than any­thing, By­odo-in is an old friend along the path where I go for walks from my par­ents’ house. It re­minds me that I have come home.”

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