Joe often dreamt about going to Japan since he was young. A few years ago that dream became a reality. In his own words he takes us through his trip through some amazing photography, wandering the largest island of Japan.
Like most twenty-year-olds, I had become fascinated with the idea of travelling after I had finished university, although I didn’t want to follow the ‘classic’ places that everyone else seemed to be choosing.
For many years, I had grown an obsession with Japan, its history, culture, and most importantly food, which had made me eager to spend some time here.
We based our trip in four different cities, which would be the focus of our trip. Firstly we spent some time in the nation’s capital Tokyo, and more specifically in Shinjuku.
This was the best way to jump straight into the culture of this amazing country – endless amounts of classic neon lights lit up the streets.
We then spent time in the former capital of Japan, Kyoto. This was definitely the most historical spot on our trip, being home to the famous Fushimi-Inari Gates, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Kyoto really was one of the highlights of the trip for me, as it allowed us to become immersed in what was truly special about this country’s history and culture; something that is so important to them.
We then moved on to Osaka, a city with a much more current sense of history to it, unlike what we had just experienced in Kyoto.
Here, we made sure that we visited the very popular Osaka Castle, a spot that I had been keen to visit for some time. It was amazing to sit here and watch the sunset over the castle.
Whilst in Osaka, we spent a day in Hiroshima, as well as Nara. In Hiroshima, we felt that it was only right that we visit the atomic bomb museum to pay our respects to all of those innocent people that lost their lives, not only on the day the bomb was dropped, but also after due to the effects it left behind. A moving and upsetting experience, and one that I definitely won’t forget.
Nara was one of the quieter places that we visited, but was such a breath of fresh air from the busy city lifestyle we had been used to. The main attraction here is the friendly deer that come down from the hills each day to be fed, a magical experience that I can never truly explain to someone until they go and see it for themselves.
Finally, we made a one night stop off in Fujikawa, a little village that sits underneath Mount Fuji. This had been the part of the trip that I was looking most forward to – a place I had seen pictures of since a young age, and now I was finally going to see it.
Luck must have been on our side for sure, as we got a beautiful sunset on the first day at the Chureito Pagoda, an idyllic temple situated with Fuji placed in the backdrop. Stoked on the amazing conditions we had got, it seemed too good to be true that we were in for another clear sunrise the next morning, which spurred us on to get up early and bike over to the shores of Lake Kawaguchi.
This was no doubt the best sunrise I’d ever seen, with the morning light catching the top of Fuji, before finally rising and lighting up the whole mountain with some soft golden light. One of the best experiences of my life.
This trip was definitely the best thing that I have ever done, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to travel 6,000 miles to the other side of the world. I was blown away by everything this country had to offer, leaving me with so many different impressions that I had not expected to make prior to this trip. Since coming home, I find myself actively encouraging people to visit this beautiful country if they show the slightest interest in wanting to go, as it is somewhere that you will never regret going, that is for sure.
Sign up today for stories from our community, adventure ideas and inspiration for your weekend.