Classic Japanese Garden

This classic garden with carefully pruned bushes, towering stones and a sand “river” can be found at Miyoshinji temple in Kyoto.

Moss Gardens

This is one of the hundreds of moss varieties that you will find throughout Japan offering a carpet of green as a foundation for the tranquil peace of a traditional garden.

Steamy View

This is the view of the Owakudani sulfer springs from above as you ride over it on the Ropeway.

Kura Walls

The small town of Kurashiki was known as a warehouse “kura” town and shipping was an important part of their economy historically. The town is awash with charm, including a lot of original kura walls with their white on grey pattern.

Spring Decorations

Many of the buildings in Kurashiki are decorated with branches with multi-colored “flowers” on them in early spring. Rather than relying on blooms, most of them seemed to be made of clay or paper.

Kenrokuen Garden

Beautiful moss covers the ground of Kenrokuen Garden in this summertime picture. In the background you can see the bamboo ropes that hold up the branches on some of the older trees.

Hakone Mizuki

This lovely tree flowers in the late spring and early summer and is the representative flower of the Hakone region.

Hakone Daimonji-yaki

The Kanji near Hakone is visible on the far hill when taking the ropeway to Owakudani hot springs. Hakone Daimon-ji yaki is one of the biggest traditional summer events of Hakone. A huge fire with a shape of kanji character “大” will appear at the hillside of Mount Meijogatake. There will be also fireworks to be launched on the day in order to live up the atmosphere of the event.

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.