• LeOutdoorphotographer

Those weeks in Japan

A while ago Maaiki and myself traveled to japan. Do I have to introduce this sovereign island nation in East Asia, located in the Pacific Ocean. I guess not ūüėČ. You know what they say about this country. Jumping and pumping all night long... Let's say that would be the definition of Tokyo. Crazy, funny, sometimes not-understandable for westerners like me... In a nutshell, it is an experience. It surrounds you. Every moment of every day is filled with new discoveries and cultural difference and utter delights. I can‚Äôt describe it beyond that, but everyone who has been in Japan knows exactly what I‚Äôm talking about. Japan, "Land of the Rising Sun ūüáĮūüáĶ ". The main goal of our travel was to work on the project "Jacuzzi Monkeys". The photographic project is on the website. There is also a visual story about those epicurean Japanese Macaque.

Besides Nagano where the monkeys live, we also visited Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. It's difficult to describe Japan in one blogpost... There are so much incentives that bloggers can write about. So, here some non-mainstream, personal images and thoughts that we wanted to share...


Osaka is Japan's second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa was once Japan's capital city, the first one ever known. Apart from te fact that this city is a megalopolis, you can experience a line-up of old traditional temples, new urban areas, parks, and very important, the huge amount of choice in local Japanese yummy food-dishes... Recommendations:

  • Minami (Namba): Southern downtown of Osaka.

  • Osaka Castle: The entire Osaka Castle Park covers about two square kilometers with lots of green space, sport facilities, a multi-purpose arena (Osakajo Hall) and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The park is one of Osaka's most popular hanami spot during the cherry blossom season, which usually takes place in early April.

  • Shitennoji Temple: One of the oldest temples in Japan.

  • Shinsekai: Nostalgia evoking district.

  • Kita (Umeda): Northern downtown of Osaka.

  • Osaka Station City: Attractive complex around Osaka Station.

  • Umeda Sky Building:

Skyscraper with observation deck.

  • Tenma:

District known for its shrine and shopping arcade.

  • Tennoji:

District around one of Osaka's busiest stations.

  • Grand Front Osaka:

Shopping complex north of Osaka Station.

A Japanese couple that just got married. © BrianDecrop
Japanese little girl posing. ©BrianDecrop
Osaka Castle - © BrianDecrop
Dog-life in Japan - © BrianDecrop
Japanese weirdo -  © BrianDecrop
It is all theatre, not abnormal for Japanese standards -  © BrianDecrop
Time for a selfy - © BrianDecrop
Walking the dog -  © Maaike Van Den Meerschaut
Umeda Sky Building - © BrianDecrop
A deadly fish, ready to serve... Fugu -  © BrianDecrop
Weird guy but not abnormal for Japanese standards -  © BrianDecrop
Osaka by night -  © BrianDecrop


Kyoto served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is now the country's seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people and a modern face. Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its exceptional historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today. Recommendations:

  • Fushimi Inari Shrine:

The ultimate torii gate experience.

  • Arashiyama:

Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.

  • Tenryuji Temple:

Zen Temple in the Arashiyama district.

  • Yoshiminedera:

Temple on Kyoto's western mountains.

  • Kibune:

Town with shrine in the northern mountains.

  • Daigoji Temple:

Famous temple southeast of Kyoto.

  • Nishiki Market:

Fresh food market street in central Kyoto.

  • Sleep in a traditional ryokan!

Wannabe Samurai-warriors before they sleep (in a ryokan) - ©BrianDecrop
Traditional Japanese at the Fushimi Inari Shrine - ©Maaike Van den Meersschaut
Non-traditional Japanese at the Fushimi Inari Shrine - ©Maaike Van den Meersschaut
Japanese tourist at the Fushimi Inari Shrine - ©BrianDecrop
Traditional Japanese scenery - ©BrianDecrop
Traditional Japanese couple in front of their home - ©Brian decrop
Monkey on a roof above Kyoto- ©BrianDecrop
Monkey viewpoint- ©BrianDecrop
Flare-monkeys - ©BrianDecrop
Arashiyama Bamboo forrest - ©BrianDecrop
Arashiyama Bamboo forrest - ©Maaike Van den Meersschaut


Tokyo is Japan's capital and the world's most populous metropolis. Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors. The city's history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa, and in many excellent museums, historic temples and gardens. Contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers a number of attractive green spaces and temples in the city center, this within relatively short train rides at its outskirts. My personal opinion, Tokyo is kind of amazing crazy. It is a kind of postmodern science-fiction story with chapters in every street. Recommendations:

  • Akihabara:

District for electronic and otaku goods.

  • Asakusa:

District with an atmosphere of old Tokyo.

  • Sensoji Temple:

Large temple in the Asakusa district.

  • Tokyo Skytree:

634 meter tall tower with observation decks.

  • Shibuya:

Popular district among younger generations.

  • Shinjuku:

District around Japan's busiest station.

  • Meiji Shrine:

Dedicated to the deity of Emperor Meiji.

  • Yoyogi Park:

Spacious city park in Shibuya.

  • Tokyo Tower:

333 meter tall symbol of Tokyo.

  • Go visit maid-bars, Japanese sex-shops, cat-bars and al the other crazy things you cannot imagine it exists...

Wishing Notes Sensoji Temple - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut
A photographer in Tokyo - ©BrianDecrop
A photographer in Tokyo - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut
The Hachiko Statue in Shibuya Tokyo celebrates the life of Japan’s most famous dog, Hachiko, and his legendary loyalty to his owner. This Hachiko Statue is located next to the famous Shibuya Crossing and the very busy Shibuya Station. Indeed the Shibuya Station exit closest to the statue has been named after this famous dog. For more than fifty years this monument to Hachiko has retained its popularity as a tourist attraction and meeting place in this busy location.  - ©BrianDecrop
Shibuya Crossing, rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing, is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all directions with every pulsing light change. Perhaps nowhere else says ‚ÄėWelcome to Tokyo‚Äô better than this. Hundreds of people ‚Äď and at peak times said to be over 1000 people ‚Äď cross at a time, coming from all directions at once yet still managing to dodge each other with a practised, nonchalant agility. - ¬©BrianDecrop
A crazy Japanese doing headrolls on the Shibuya crossing...  - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut
Two Japanese woman waiting to cross Shibuya - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut
Cars in Tokyo - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut
Sensoji Temple by night - ©Maaike Van Den Meersschaut

#Japan #kyoto #Osaka #Tokyo

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