I have been to Japan many times in the past, including a 3-month internship in Tokyo. Still, it is one of my favorite country to visit. I recently went back to Japan on a vacation with my family. We spent most of our time outside of the cities in the more rural part of the country. Here are some photos from the trip. Enjoy!
Togetsukyo Bridge, Arashiyama
A central landmark of Arashiyama, the tourist district to the west of Kyoto. The river has different names on either side of the bridge, Hozugawa to the west and Katsuragawa to the east.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk through this endless row of bamboo. The sunlight that filters through the leaves, casting soft shadows on the path, is a sight that cannot really be captured with a photograph.
Also known as romantic train, the Sagano Torokko runs along an old scenic railway along the Hozugawa river from Arashiyama to Kameoka. The train is outfitted with a diesel engine, open-top car, and old style wooden benches.
Nakabashi Red Bridge, Takayama
This red bridge is arguably the most recognizable landmark of Takayama City. It is exceptionally beautiful during the spring time with cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Takayama's Old Town
Sannomachi is lined with stores and houses that can be dated back to the Edo Period (1600 - 1860). Many of the shops provide a glimpse of the life of people in that time.
Located in the Shogawa river valley, this village is one of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is famous for the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses.
The farmhouse is characterized by its steeply slanted roof which resembles "two hands joined in prayer". People still occupied these farmhouses as indicated with the integration of modern technology such as the satellite dish.
Mt. Fuji from Kawaguchiko
Kawaguchigo is one of the five lakes around Mt. Fuji. It is well-known for the many hot spring resorts. The sky is very clear that early morning so we can clearly see the peak of the mountain.
There are about 800,000 of these "pink mosses" on this expansive field. They start blooming in mid-April until the end of May. The attendant told us that it was only 30% of peak bloom on that day.
Also called "Electric Town", Akihabara is well known for its electronic and hobby stores. Chuo Dori cuts across the heart of the district and is closed for pedestrian traffic on Sundays.