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.”