Japan Trip 2024

hazwing

Regular
Just sharing some shots from a recent trip to Japan.

We went around end of march - mid april, hoping to catch the cherry blossoms. However the forecasts were a bit off with the cherry blossom coming a bit later than anticipated for Tokyo. Thankfully we did manage to catch them at some other region locations in our itinerary, which meant we could appreciate them with less crowds than Tokyo. Our itinerary took us from Yokohama -> Kawaguchiko -> Yuya Onsen/Okimikawa region (regional japan) -> Nagoya -> Kanazawa -> Tokyo . Part of journey we rented a car, which gave us a fair bit of flexibility in our regional travel.

In terms of gear taken, this trip I decided to go pretty light. Bought the sony a7c with 28-60mm, sony 35mm 1.8, and use my samsung s24 ultra (s24u) phone for ultrawide and telephoto. I ended up using my phone a lot more on the trip than in the past, using it for quick snap shots of things like food & selfies. I was able to cull the photos on the phone as the trip went by, so I didn’t have an overwhelming about of photos at the end.

I used the a7c a fair bit at the start, but as the trip went by I found I didn’t want to bring my camera bag with the sony a7c and preferred to just take shots on my phone. Mainly bringing out the a7c when I was expecting more serious photo opportunities. With the a7c I would feel obliged to shoot in RAW meaning I would feel the need to post-process the photos afterwards and have a huge backlog of processing to do. With the s24u, I just shot jpg and didn’t really bother with post processing besides cropping and trying some of the new AI removal tools.

Now that I’m back and have sorted the photos and processing some of my favourites, the image quality and processing latitude is definitely better on the a7c files. But the s24u photos are still decent for snap shots, and it felt freeing when I didn’t need to carry a camera bag everywhere.

I found the screen that the photos are viewed on also makes a big difference between the s24u jpg vs a7c files. I believe the s24u has some sort of HDR tone mapping embedded on the jpg, so when viewing on a compatible device the screen brightens up and the photos seem to pop more. When viewing those same photos on my older laptop, they seem more flat. Also a smaller screen is quite forgiving for lower quality files.

Will add more photos an commentary as time permits.
 
I'll start with some photos around kawaguchiko and the fuji 5 lakes region. We were lucky to get some good weather on some of the days we were there. I'm sort surprised how big Mt Fuji actually looked when we were in that area.


View of Mt Fuji from Oiishi Park

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Tried a different framing with the grasses

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This is from Saiko - it's a bit further out that Kawaguchiko, less crowded, but also less potential viewpoints. A lot of people go there for camping and fishing




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We were actually too early for peak cherry blossom season, but there was ONE tree by the lake that had some in blossom. Everyone was crowding around it in the afternoon trying to get a shot, so I decide to get up early the next morning at dawn to get some photos without the crowds. Unfortunately it was an overcast day and the sun didn't really come out to play. Still got a nice shot of this bird at just the right moment.

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This is a photo near where we parked for the chureito pagoda. We went the the pagoda, but didn't actually get the classic shot from the observation deck, as the line was just too long by the time we go there.

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Nice set of photos. Too bad you did not go to Kamakura. I have always enjoyed the temples there. When I was in Yokohama on business, we could see Fuji from the office when there was a north wind. I would also see Fuji on the train when traveling from Yokohama to Odawara or Osaka
 
Just sharing some shots from a recent trip to Japan.

We went around end of march - mid april, hoping to catch the cherry blossoms. However the forecasts were a bit off with the cherry blossom coming a bit later than anticipated for Tokyo. Thankfully we did manage to catch them at some other region locations in our itinerary, which meant we could appreciate them with less crowds than Tokyo. Our itinerary took us from Yokohama -> Kawaguchiko -> Yuya Onsen/Okimikawa region (regional japan) -> Nagoya -> Kanazawa -> Tokyo . Part of journey we rented a car, which gave us a fair bit of flexibility in our regional travel.

In terms of gear taken, this trip I decided to go pretty light. Bought the sony a7c with 28-60mm, sony 35mm 1.8, and use my samsung s24 ultra (s24u) phone for ultrawide and telephoto. I ended up using my phone a lot more on the trip than in the past, using it for quick snap shots of things like food & selfies. I was able to cull the photos on the phone as the trip went by, so I didn’t have an overwhelming about of photos at the end.

I used the a7c a fair bit at the start, but as the trip went by I found I didn’t want to bring my camera bag with the sony a7c and preferred to just take shots on my phone. Mainly bringing out the a7c when I was expecting more serious photo opportunities. With the a7c I would feel obliged to shoot in RAW meaning I would feel the need to post-process the photos afterwards and have a huge backlog of processing to do. With the s24u, I just shot jpg and didn’t really bother with post processing besides cropping and trying some of the new AI removal tools.

Now that I’m back and have sorted the photos and processing some of my favourites, the image quality and processing latitude is definitely better on the a7c files. But the s24u photos are still decent for snap shots, and it felt freeing when I didn’t need to carry a camera bag everywhere.

I found the screen that the photos are viewed on also makes a big difference between the s24u jpg vs a7c files. I believe the s24u has some sort of HDR tone mapping embedded on the jpg, so when viewing on a compatible device the screen brightens up and the photos seem to pop more. When viewing those same photos on my older laptop, they seem more flat. Also a smaller screen is quite forgiving for lower quality files.

Will add more photos a commentary as time permits.
Look forward to it.
 
On our drive from Mt Fuji to Yuya Onsen, we decide to pick a couple of random spots to break up our trip.

One was Shiraito Falls

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Starting to see a smattering of cherry blossoms near the falls

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The other stop was a Tea Museum in Shizuoka, as my wife has a interest in tea and tea ceremony.

This is the view of the garden behind the Tea Musuem
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A surprising discovery just behind the Museum, there was a little park with cherry blossom near full bloom, with a look out over the city below. There was even a little tower you could climb up to get a better view amongst the upper branches of the tree! We were pretty excited at this point, as we were able to enjoy this scenery without any any crowds.

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Nice, we just got back from Japan on Monday. Third time but this time we just stayed in Tokyo as it was a shorter trip than usual. According to my Fitbit I walked over 140 miles while there yet I still don't feel I've started to scratch the surface of Tokyo. All just a glimpse. Looking forward to seeing your photos.
 
Nice, we just got back from Japan on Monday. Third time but this time we just stayed in Tokyo as it was a shorter trip than usual. According to my Fitbit I walked over 140 miles while there yet I still don't feel I've started to scratch the surface of Tokyo. All just a glimpse. Looking forward to seeing your photos.
Ah nice! This is our second trip. We went over 13 years ago and have always wanted to go back. We decided to try go different places this time and tried to go out more regional. You should share your shots when you have a chance. My photos will tend to gravitate towards nature and scenery, rather people or street.
 
Ah nice! This is our second trip. We went over 13 years ago and have always wanted to go back. We decided to try go different places this time and tried to go out more regional. You should share your shots when you have a chance. My photos will tend to gravitate towards nature and scenery, rather people or street.
Long ago, I lived in Japan for a year. Travelled the length of Japan. For Cherry Blossoms, followed the blooms from southern Japan all the way to the very north of Honshu. A great trip! This year, spent a few days in Fukuoka for cherry blossoms. A short trip from Taipei where I’ll be for a few years.
 
Long ago, I lived in Japan for a year. Travelled the length of Japan. For Cherry Blossoms, followed the blooms from southern Japan all the way to the very north of Honshu. A great trip! This year, spent a few days in Fukuoka for cherry blossoms. A short trip from Taipei where I’ll be for a few years.
Yeah, I'm jealous of how close Taipei is to Japan. I hear people sometimes go over for a weekend away since it's so close!
 
We arrived in a town called Yuya Onsen. It's not some where that a lot foreign tourists go to. When I was researching it before going, not much comes up on the Japan travel facebook groups or on youtube. It only came on our radar when my wife saw on her social media an Aussie/Japanese couple moving to area and starting local tours for the region.

There is a train station to get there, but I'd recommend getting and international license and driving around the region

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Some scenes from around the town

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View of the river from the onsen in our accommodation. We were the only ones staying at the guesthouse and had the whole place to our selves!

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We did a tour with HiHumi123, the couple who had moved from Australia to the area. We got a history into the Atera Waterfalls, hiked around their local town and learnt about their experience on their farm and property.

Here is the view from their property and the local mountain cherry blossoms:
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The Seven Atera Waterfalls.

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On our last day of the Okumikawa region, they had the Sakurabuichi Festival on. The cherry blossoms where in full bloom and stunning!

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Evening Illuminations of the Cherry Blossoms in Kanazawa Castle and Ken Rokuen

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