Owakudani Ropeway

While current volcanic activity does not permit visitors on the ground, you can get a good view of the Owakudani hot springs on the gondola ride over the springs in Hakone.

Kyoto’s surprising gardens

There are small little gardens all over Kyoto – in restaurants, hotels and private homes in addition to the famous ones in temples. This one is the Hyatt Regency Kyoto’s.

Photographing Nature

Kyoto’s famous bamboo forest is best photographed when there are few people around. Early morning will usually find you there with only your fellow photographers.

Old Tokaido Road

The Tokaido Road goes through Hakone and the Odawara area. While the best known portion is in Hakone, other parts of the original road can be found with a little sleuthing.

 

Japanese Hydrangeas

The Japanese love to celebrate the flower of the season; and June is for hydrangeas. These little clouds of color come in a wide range of hues, from pin and magenta to lavender, periwinkle and sky blue.

Tea from the train

Tea plantations line some of the Tohoku Line Shinkansen route. The rows of plants, when photographed from the bullet train, blur into a beautiful velvet green.

Bamboo Forest Path

One of the views of Kyoto’s famed Bamboo Forest in the Arashiyama district. Be sure to be there before 7am to avoid all the tourists; this place has recently become jammed with thousands of tourists all day long.

River Reflections

Sometimes simple every day things are a still life in the making. These empty boats were sitting on the still waters of the Oi river in Arashiyama one early morning, just waiting for tourists to come for a ride.

Out the Train Window

Wonderful view of rice fields, small towns and distant hills outside Nagoya, as seen from the window of the Shinkansen train as it flies by at over 150 mph.

Rice Fields

We love taking pictures of the new rice fields in early summer as the fresh shoots are just popping up through their still bath.

Green Velvet Rice

Rice fields throughout Japan are at their brightest green in early June. Taking a photo out the train window blurs the planting rows into a velvety smooth green.

Landing at Narita

The verdant green of Japan in early summer beckons out the plane window coming into Narita. One of our favorite experiences during a trip to Japan.