After following a beautiful path from Moto-Hakone village, lined with traditional Japanese lanterns and surrounded by a tall cedar tress, visitors to Hakone Shrine reach the water purification pavilion and gate leading up to the inner shrine.

Water Purification Pavilion 「Chōzuya, 手水舎」 and Fourth Shrine Gate 「Dai-yon-torii, 第四鳥居」

Hakone Shrine: Chozuya and Fourth Torii (HDR Photo)
NIKON D5200 (18mm, f/11, 1/3 sec, ISO100)
Hakone Shrine: Chozuya and Fourth Torii (HDR Photo)

The chōzuya (water purification pavilion) is an important building found at every shrine in Japan. Through the ritual of temizu, you are cleansed before entering the sacred ground of the shrine.

Torii (Shinto shrine gates) are also almost always found at shrines, and some temples, and mark the entrance to sacred sites.

I was inspired to visit this shrine by the HDR work of others. High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures a wider range of shadows, midtones and highlights, which I feel can reproduce a photo more consistent with what you see with the human eye. The process involves taking multiple photos, at different exposures (i.e. different brightness) and combining them in special software on a computer.

For detailed info on how I shoot shrines and temples in HDR, see HDR Photography of Japanese Shrines & Temples: Working The Shot & Post-Processing Techniques.

Read the detailed Hakone Shrine Travel Guide, complete with 14 stunning HDR photos, where this photo was originally posted.