In Focus: Japan

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.

Signature

 

 

...


In Focus: Japan

River in Kyoto, Japan

GIon Shopping District

Gion

Kiyomizudera Temple

Gion Kiyomizudera Temple

Camellia in snow

tofukuji temple kyoto snow

tofukuji temple kyoto snow

tofukuji temple kyoto snow

tofukuji temple kyoto snow

tofukuji temple kyoto snow

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Kyoto Japan

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

More In Focus!

2017-03-06T09:21:05+00:00 By |Destinations, Japan|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Megan Indoe March 30, 2016 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Wow, some seriously stunning photos here you guys! You’ve captured the zen of Japan and you’ve made it seem like this place has ZERO crowds to the rest of Asia. I love all of these, thanks for sharing!

    • Hedgers Abroad March 31, 2016 at 12:26 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Megan! Japan is certainly a peaceful country in certain places, but what you’re seeing is the work of loads of zen patience and camera angles. The crowds are amazingly large, but each of these photos, we think, ended up being worth it.

  2. Scott Herder March 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos guys. I really like the one where Ryan is in the snow in front of the building. Growing up in southern California scenes like that are just like fairytales to me. Anyhow, a great collection of images. Well done, Megan can’t stop gushing about how it looks like you were the only two in the whole country and loves how empty it looks.

    • Hedgers Abroad March 31, 2016 at 12:28 am - Reply

      The snow that day was beautiful and was certainly a departure from what we are used to in Oklahoma, too. Sure we have more snow that southern Cali., but the surroundings were a spectacular backdrop. Really glad you enjoyed, especially coming from another photographer.

  3. Melody (@theMAREVOLI) March 31, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Gorgeous photos- I especially love the ones in the snow. I went to Tokyo a month after I arrived to Korea to teach and loved it. I’ve been flirting with the idea of going back to see Osaka and Kyoto before my time is up over here and these photos definitely just solidified my decision!

    Melody // MAREVOLI

    • Hedgers Abroad March 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you- we’re glad you enjoyed our pictures! Kyoto and Osaka are both pretty wonderful places, but Kyoto is probably our favorite just for the sheer number of photo opportunities! Ryan had a hard time focusing on anything with his camera in his hand, but the pictures, thankfully, are worth it. The snow was beautiful and very much made up for our visit being in the colder months instead of the summer ones. Go back, and let us know how it goes!

  4. […] With paths winding through this forest, we see this grove of bamboo trees as a legitimate rival to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto.  Spectacularly beautiful and larger than its more-famous brother forest in […]

  5. Taiwan: In Focus - Hedgers Abroad August 28, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    […] trip was wonderful for many reasons. Like our Japan trip earlier this year, we were lucky enough to re-visit a place we felt we’d not yet spent enough […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Read previous post:
Yeosu City Guide – Spring Flower Locations

Close