2017 Private Summer Tour of Japan | Nikko

Aug 07 | Evan | No Comments |

After an awesome morning photographing and learning from a Japanese master sword smith, our small group continued our tour of Japan to Nikko.  Nikko is in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo and well regarded for it’s beauty in both nature and man made structures like the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shoguns, Toshogu.  Nikko is also a fantastic spot in Autumn to see the the Fall foliage with it’s hiking trails, lakes (Lake Chuzenji is most famous), scenic mountains and waterfalls (Ryuzu Waterfall and Kegon Waterfall are both great).  There is actually a famous Japanese saying that translates something like “you haven’t seen beauty until you’ve seen Nikko” or substituting beauty with magnificent. 

This day though, while not Autumn was a Summer day but thanks to some overcast and misty weather in Nikko, the temperature felt closer to a day in October than a day in June!  For a place like Nikko, this misty weather isn’t horrible for photos and it did let me slow the shutter speed down quite a bit to play with the awesome IBIS (in body image stabilization) of my Olympus OMD-EM1 Mark II.  For other photographers, the shutter speeds of the photo just above this paragraph and the photos below, in order from top to bottom are 1/13th of a second, 1/5th of a second and 1/10th of a second.  All of those are handheld, no tripod.  

Back to the private tour of Japan though! As much as I would have liked to visit Lake Chunzenji, Kegon Falls and Ryuzu Falls, photographers do tend to move at a slower pace than most tourists in Japan and we just had time to visit Toshogu and Kanmangafuchi Abyss. Toshogu is the mausoleum of the first Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu and walking around it certainly makes you think of the famous Japanese saying I mentioned earlier. The Kanmangafuchi Abyss is a pleasant walk along a gorge and also known for it’s “Narabi Jizo” or “Jizo in a line.”  See more more photos of our time in Nikko below.