Korea's neighbor to the east is steeped in tradition and natural beauty. Although these countries have not been friendly in the past, their current status is much improved after such a long and embattled history. Growing up in America, Japan is the beautiful half of the Asian limelight with China being its somewhat complicated counterpart. While most people can list off other countries in Asia and maybe even recount some details remembered from a history class, Japan and China are typically at the forefront of recollection. We've loved living in South Korea and learning about its history and culture as well as that of many countries we've been privileged enough to visit.
Japan, though, has always held a certain allure. Being in such close proximity to our current country of residence, it is an obvious choice when looking for a short vacation without a long travel time. After our first whirlwind trip to Fukuoka on a visa-run while living in Seoul, we were guilty of not returning to Japan's shores for a long long while. It has certainly been an instance of "never exploring your backyard" where we've taken Japan's proximity for granted but haven't been back. While we make a conscious effort to explore our surroundings in South Korea, we always put off vacations to Japan in favor of warmer climates and more exotic destinations with beaches and warm waters.
Recently we had an 8-day vacation available, though, where flights to Southeast Asia were too expensive in the way last-minute bookings are. Instead of paying far too much on the flight, we decided to return to beautiful Japan after more than two years of saying "We'll go back sometime. I mean, it's right there. We can go whenever." A flight to Osaka was booked with the real intention of visiting, arguably, the most beautiful and historic city in all of Japan: Kyoto. Draped in history, this former capital city retains its heritage like most cities only dream and we were wildly excited to see both Osaka and Kyoto on this eight day vacation. Most of our trip, by design, was focused on Kyoto, but some of the photos below are from our few days in Osaka before and after visiting Kyoto.
Our "In Focus" series is a passion project primarily examining locations we adore through some simple photography. While we often write far more to explain something we've enjoyed or make a video, we enjoy these simple posts filled with photos.
Please enjoy Japan; in focus.
In Focus: Japan