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May 15 | Evan | No Comments |
Himeji Castle is a great place to visit anytime of the year when traveling to Japan, but the best time to visit Himeji Castle to take photographs is probably during cherry blossom season. Japan’s most spectacular castle is also perhaps one of the top 2 or 3 spots to view and take photos of cherry blossoms. Lucky for our group traveling to Japan, we had nice weather and perfect timing in regards to the cherry blossoms blooming.
Photo created by and courtesy of Kel Blake Photography.
There is no question that Himeji Castle is the star of the show in the city of Himeji, so finding interesting views to take photos of Himeji Castle is always fun as well. I’m always looking for a better or the best view to take photos of Himeji Castle Below, but not sure I have found it yet! Below is a photo of members of our group tour Japan, taking the photo and then the type of photo we could create from this observatory for a view of the city and Himeji Castle.
Photo created by and courtesy of Patricia Pomerleau.
The next morning we went up to a park to try and make some photos of Himeji Castle at sunrise. While we would have liked a little more color and perhaps moving the sunrise a little to the right, we still had a better sunrise than last year’s group visiting Japan!
With Tokyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Kyoto, my favorite city in Japan! After Kyoto we would continue our tour of Japan to photography Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes, still chasing and photographing the cherry blossoms around Japan! Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour? Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!
May 13 | Evan | No Comments |
Miyajima is a small and beautiful island off the coast of Hiroshima in Japan. Like the tides that come and go to make Itsukushima’s Great Torii float or just stick out of the sand, hordes of visitors come to visit Miyajima during the day and leave in the afternoon or early evening. Especially during the peak seasons for Miyajima which are cherry blossom season and during the Fall when the leaves of Momijidani change colors.
Like when our group was touring in Tokyo, we had perfect timing for cherry blossoms in Miyajima! We were basically surrounded by cherry blossoms in Miyajima and Hiroshima, even after a slightly rainy day had some of the cherry blossom pedals fall!
With Tokyo, Hiroshima and Miyajima finished, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Himeji, home to one of the best cherry blossom spots in Japan, Himeji Castle. We would also travel to Kyoto and the Fuji Five Lakes to chase and photograph the cherry blossoms around Japan! Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour? Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!
May 13 | Evan | No Comments |
Cherry blossom season in Japan is a beautiful time of year if you are lucky enough for good timing! Besides the cherry blossoms blooming slight different times in different years, after the cherry blossoms bloom, one strong storm can wash off a lot of the cherry blossoms. In 2015 the cherry blossom photo tour of Japan didn’t have the best luck with timing, but the 2016 cherry blossom photography tour of Japan, while going the almost exact same dates of the year, had just about perfect timing everywhere we went! Not only did we have perfect timing with the cherry blossoms, we were lucky enough not to have any strong storms until probably day 7 or so, after we had traveled to Kyoto.
Before Kyoto though, I have a lot to share from the other places we visited in Japan for this group tour of Japan from cherry blossom season! First up, like many escorted trips to Japan, Tokyo! Our group had 2 nights to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Tokyo along with other sights and experiences in Tokyo, including a home cooked meal and cooking lesson in a Japanese chef’s home. The photos above are from our first morning at Chidorigafuchi from a overcast morning in Tokyo. Later that day we made it to Sumida Park and then headed an older part of Tokyo, Yanaka where after enough cherry blossom viewing had a nice lunch with some locals. Here are a few photos of our group in Tokyo for cherry blossoms:
Our last morning in Tokyo, a few of us headed to Aoyama Cemetery for a few cherry blossoms photos before heading down to Hiroshima and Miyajima. During cherry blossom season in Japan, early in the morning is really the only time you can expect to easily get photos without crowds of people.
Next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Hiroshima and Miyajima. We would also travel to Himeji Castle, Kyoto and the Fuji Five Lakes to chase and photograph the cherry blossoms around Japan! Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour? Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!May 12 | Evan | No Comments |
Located in Nagano Prefecture, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Yamanouchi has become a very popular place for tourists visiting Japan to include on their Japan tour itinerary. If you google snow monkey Japan, you will find all sorts of articles and a few videos and then if you go to the images section of google, your heart will possibly melt from all the cute photos of these monkeys trying to stay warm during Winter in Japan!
While the snow monkey park is manmade, the surrounding mountains are the monkeys natural habitat and you can usually position yourself to so it’s not obvious you are in a park. The crowds of people have been increasing though, so sometimes it’s harder to avoid other humans in the photos with monkeys! Although, the other humans sometimes provide some interesting photo opportunities as well, like this guy who thought it was a good idea to get close to the monkey here:
It’s almost a perfect comic strip as the monkey’s reaction went from “What are you looking at?” to “Go away” to laughing to himself over how scared the human was! Besides taking photos here I really enjoyed just observing the monkeys in the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park…
I saw many characteristics displayed by the monkeys that appeared to be similar to humans, for example, love (grooming, taking care of, hugging and a little more… intimate), curiosity (one baby monkey untied a person’s shoes for example), bullying (one monkey launched a surprise attack on another) and of course, the natural desire we have to get warm when it’s cold. The peak season to visit the monkey park in Jigokudani is February as that’s when Yamanouchi tends to be the coldest and gets the most snow. I went just at the beginning of March and the path still had quite a bit of snow/ice and the snow monkey park had some snow but you can see that it wasn’t covered in snow. The snow monkey park may not be great for everyone visiting Japan, but as it can be done as a day trip from Tokyo, it certainly makes for a nice an unique opportunity to take photos in Japan! Below are a few more photos of the snow monkeys in Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park.
Interested in visiting Japan and the snow monkey park with me? Go ahead and contact me to get your escorted trip to Japan or photography tour of Japan started! Also, Japan Photo Guide is partnering with Magic Is Photo Tours for a 2017 Winter Photography Tour of Japan. At the time of this post, there are only 4 spots left for that trip!