Japan – My Trip and Why Japan Is an Ideal Location for a Photographer

Miyajima Otorii Gate


Back in 2002, I went on a holiday to Japan. A member of my family was living in Osaka, which made an ideal base and meant I had an expert tour guide! I’d recently purchased my first digital camera – an HP Photosmart C812. This was a 4-megapixel camera, with a 3x optical zoom. Little in the way of manual controls, but it was one of the better 4-megapixel cameras of the time.

Iconic Temples and Gardens

There are so many beautiful temples and gardens to see in Japan.

Kyoto was around 1 hour in the train from Osaka. Located here are several iconic sights including the ‘Golden Template’ (officially known as Rokuon-ji). You’ll find bold colours, great vegetation for backgrounds and often lakes / ponds for wonderful reflections.

Kyoto Kinkaku ji
Nara Todai ji

Nara was another great location, again around 1 hour from Osaka. It’s the home to one of the largest temples ‘Todai-ji’ – it’s difficult to see the scale in the photo, but it’s simply huge!

There are also many traditional Japanese Gardens – perfectly designed and make great photos.

Urban City Scenes

The cities of Japan offer some great photography opportunities. With the dazzling neon lights, they make for great photos day and night.

Osaka Street
Osaka Evening view

Wildlife and Nature

Although people often think of the city scenes and temples, Japan also has a large amount of wildlife and nature. One fantastic place to visit is Miyajima, which is a small island close to Hiroshima. This is a quiet island with little development and you’ll find peaceful walks though the hills and forest – with lots of viewpoints for photos. It’s also where you’ll find the iconic Otorii Gate.

Miyajima Mt Misen Monkeys
Miyajima View of beach


You can’t visit Japan without trying their traditional food. Sushi bars with the conveyors are plentiful and in traditional hotels (such as in Miyajima) you can try a full traditional dinner with candle burner. Before I visited Japan, I’d never tried sushi and now it’s one of my favourite foods! There is such a variety of food (Both Japanese and others) with many interesting shapes and colours, which present good opportunity for close-up macro photography.

Osaka Sushi bar
Miyajima Fish dinner

Another trip?

Japan is definitely on the list to visit again in the coming years. It’s such a great place to be, with such an interesting culture, excellent public transport and so many beautiful things to see that are also great photo opportunities.

Please note that the photos shown in the post are unfortunately not available to buy as prints as the 4-megapixel resolution is simply not high enough for larger prints.

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