I’ve been 8 times to Japan so far (from 2006 to 2018) and I always feel an intense need to go back. There are many reasons to go to Japan:

  • Japan is unique (culture, city, people, etc.)
  • Japan offers unlimited photography opportunities in every season (except may be summer)
  • Japan is probably the best place on the Earth to eat well, tasty and healthy

The map shows the different places I have visited in Japan so far… You can see that I still have a lot to discover!!!

When to go to Japan to make the best photos?

1/ Spring

The most famous period to visit Japan but beware of the heavy touristic affluence, especially during cherry blossom. It may spoil the experience

  • End of March - Beginning of April: Hanami (cherry blossom peak) in Tokyo & Kansai regions
  • Mid-End April: cherry blossom around Mont Fuji + Wisterias booming

To know with accuracy cherry blossom peak forecast, you can check this website

2/ Summer

I would recommend not to go to Japan at this period. It’s hot and humid. The light is not the best for photo. May be a nice period to visit Hokkaido though

3/ Fall

October/November: this is “Koyo” season. Great period to visit Japan and capture the red color leaves (Momiji)

4/ Winter

Winter in Tokyo and Kansai regions is clement. This is the perfect season to shoot Mont Fuji with the largest snow cap and a clear atmosphere from Tokyo. 

This is also the good time to visit the monkeys having a good time in the hot springs in Jigokudani near Nagano!

Japan is about Food

First of all for me Japan is about food!! Sushi, Sashimi, Kobe Beef, Ramen, Udon… if you think you know Japanese cuisine, you actually don’t if you haven’t been to Japan! You can eat at the best 3 stars chef restaurant in Tokyo or a bento in the Shinkansen or even some fast-food at the Seven Even, you will always enjoy it and it will taste good! 

Japan is also a great place to travel with kids!

Japan is very safe and you can easily find anything you need everywhere (but there are more diapers for elderly people than for babies!). The photos are a mix of my son’s journey in Japan in 2014 and 2016. As you can see, he already eats sushi, goes to onsen ryokans and preys in temples!

Diapers for elderly people in a supermarket (way more easy to find than for babies)

Japan is about people!

Beside the weight of conformism and corporatism of the Japanese society, Japanese people like to dress up. From 2006 to 2016, from Harajuku in Tokyo to Gion in Kyoto, I propose you a photo reportage of people I’ve met in Japan!

Japan is about trains!

When you go to Japan, don’t forget to buy JR Pass in your country prior to your journey. It will allow you to travel almost all around Japan unlimited (and with the Shinkansen Hikari and Sakura) with an affordable price. Then, you will realize that there are a lot of kind of trains in Japan for any kind of journey! and they all look very funny! (and always on time)

Shinjuku Station (in Tokyo) is the greatest train station in the world

Hashima: the most bizarre trip I have ever made in Japan

Do you remember the lost island with a city in ruins in Sky Fall (James Bond)? I visited it…

You can find this place off the coast of Nagasaki in Kyushu. It was a self-sufficient town built in an island by Mitsubishi for its employees to run coal mines during mid-twenty century. You can only go there with a private tour and you will be not allowed to do anything by yourself because there is a risk of collapse. It was funny because I was the only “gaijin” (foreigner) in the tour and then I experienced a typical Japanese guided tour! I felt like in a kinder garden: the staff were watching at us like kids! During the tour I sit on the ground to rest a little bit and the staff run at me with towels asking me if I was ok like if I was about to have a dizzy spell! In the way back on the boat, they were all playing “Shi Fu Mi”!!!!!!

Focus on Wakayama

Wakayama city is the capital city of Wakayama prefecture in Kansai Region.

This city, just one hour from Osaka and Kansai Airport is far from the touristy crowd you can experience in Kyoto, Nara or Osaka and propose a good sightseeing alternative

First of all this is a well known place for Ramen!

Then Wakayama has also a castle like the one in Osaka surrounded by a lovely garden, most beautiful at koyo season

At least it’s on seaside and during summer time, you can enjoy the beach or simply eat seafood the rest of the year. I would recommend a ryokan with a view to the harbor. 

How to get to Wakayama? 

There is a direct train (Nankai line) directly from Osaka. It last no more than 1 hour to get there. 

3 Days to visit Fuji Region with the Fuji Hakone Pass

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