During my recent visit to Japan, I focused predominantly on Japanese architecture, street portraits and uncovering the best locations to shoot the perfect image. To find out where to take the best photos of Japan (along with a few handy tips), keep on reading.
Best time to visit Japan
Japan is an incredible country boasting culture, sights and history unlike anywhere else. Despite its small size, there is so much to see and do, so you’ll need to dedicate a solid amount of time if you’re looking to see it all!
While it might be possible to spend just a short amount of time in Japan, however, it really is a place for explorers. Each alleyway, small town and prefecture have something totally unique to offer. Japan is also very seasonal, meaning depending on when you’re looking to visit you’ll contend with either sweltering days or freezing cold days.
For travellers who enjoy a more balanced climate, consider travelling in spring or autumn. The spring is a very special time for Japan as the cherry blossoms begin to open all around the nation, filling the streets and parks with a beautiful soft pink palette. For photographers, this is a unique opportunity to explore the beautiful colours and to come away with some memorable photographs.
Travelling in Japan
My travels took me from Tokyo right down south the districts of Tokushima and Kagawa over a period of five weeks. The photos I captured changed drastically as we moved through the country as there is simply so much to offer. From beautiful rural landscapes to flashing city lights, Japan delivered such a unique photographic experience.
Tokyo made up the largest portion of our trip where we spent a little over two of the five weeks. We stayed in the vibrant hub of Shibuya, very close to the infamous Shibuya Crossing. Tokyo is an extremely large city, there are multiple business districts, nightlife districts and parkland sprawled amongst more suburban areas. This juxtaposition soon became the focus of a lot of the work I produced.
Patience is key, particularly in Japan where there is so much to photograph. Being an architectural photographer I settled into photographing houses, buildings and some of the more obscure corners of Tokyo. I also found myself capturing many street portraits. I also found that each major city had a different take on housing which kept my interest up as I travelled around the country.
As for street portraits, Tokyo proved to be a wonderful location and I met many people on the street. Approaching somebody on the street is always a tough experience and there are many ways to approach it. Most importantly, it is important to be respectful, make eye contact with your subject, lower your body language (almost as if you were bowing, a sign of respect) slowly bring your camera up and gesture it toward them. Most of the people I approached were more than happy to have their portrait taken however if you do not get the nod, be respectful of that person and move on.