Best of Japan Photos – Nature, Shrines & Cartoon Cats

Pardon the inconvenience.

I’ve been working on a novel with most of my time, so I’ve been left with little opportunity for updates. This post on traveling in Japan, for example, is half a year late, as my trip there took place during the cherry blossom (sakura) season in spring.

My month-long experience in Japan included the cities of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Matsue, Sakaiminato, Tsuruga, Kanazawa, Akita, Aomori, Hirosaki and Hakodate in Hokkaido (phew). All in all, it was one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. I found the Japanese people extremely friendly, and all the cities were clean, safe, and very welcoming. As I grew up in Hawaii, the sound of the Japanese language was a familiar melody from my childhood, so this was comforting for me as well.

While I’ll refrain from giving any city-specific tips readily found elsewhere, I will recommend planning your trip in advance to account for natural spectacles like the blooming of the cherry blossoms or the autumn changing of the leaves, as well as occurrences of cultural festivals. Another great tip is to purchase a JR Pass, which makes traveling on high-speed trains much more affordable. And because I know someone will inevitably ask, if you want to take a photo at the Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto without the crowds, head there as early as possible in the morning. If you can only visit during the day, hike up as high up as you can; the masses will thin the higher you ascend. (I had no intention of being pedestrian and getting a photo while I was there, but then here we are…)

Below are some of my favorite photos from my Japan trip. For more photos, check out my Instagram profile and the short videos in my Japan Instagram Stories highlight.

Hover over photos (desktop) or tap and hold (mobile) for descriptions. If you like what you see, consider following me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Yuushien Garden in Matsue

Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, in Kyoto

Cherry blossoms in full bloom in Hirosaki Park

A yakitori restaurant in Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo's Shinjuku

Night lights in Tokyo's Shinjuku

Spider-Man in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo

Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto

Shimanekko, the official cat-with-a-shrine-hat of Shimane Prefecture

Girl on Shinkansen takes photo of Mt. Fuji