The author was deeply moved by Japan’s food, history, people and scenery. Take a look at his photos of Japan.

My wife’s family was the main reason I traveled to Japan. It was a mistake to think that it would only be a single visit. I was captivated by the people, the food, the scenery and history. Since my first trip I have visited places such as Sapporo and Nara in Japan, Kyoto, Kanazawa in Kanazawa, Hiroshima in Kobe, Kanazawa Kanazawa, Kanazawa Kanazawa, Kobe, many small towns, and Tokyo. My wife’s aunts and cousins showed us the Land of the Rising Sun like few Americans have. I am so lucky to have been able to visit so many amazing places and share my photos. We will visit both well-known and lesser-known locations, stopping occasionally for lunch or dinner. I hope you have fun on this intimate photo tour.

Note that all photos were taken by the author.

Narita is not just an airport

We have landed in Narita Airport too many times without ever visiting the nearby town with the same name. We had so much fun on a self-guided trip in Narita City that we repeated it during our next visit. You can easily take a bus to the Narita station and then walk from there to the temple, stopping to visit the restaurants and shops.

The Narita Temple and other temples throughout Japan are decorated with stunning figurines and paintings.

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Early morning sun and shadows on the sculptures and steps.

Narita-san Temple is a beautiful sight at dawn. I’ve walked around the temple grounds two times and enjoy how peaceful it is.

Ikebana, or flower arrangement, is a form of art. Every time I visit Japan, these flowers are always there.

Narita Cuisine in My Photo Tour of Japan

Filet crew at Kawatoya Honten near Narita Temple.

Unagi, a local specialty made of eel, is a delicacy. The eel is grilled and dressed with a sweet, slightly sour soy sauce. It’s served over rice. This is my favorite local food.

The lovely lady who married the Frenchman moved to Narita where she has a patisserie/chocolate shop. In 2016, Coer du Chocolatet was still relatively unknown. I hope you have the chance to try their products.

My wife and her mother had stopped at this street vendor to try the dango. Although dango is not my favorite food in Japan, I will eat a little bit of it on every trip.

Atami stands for Onsen

Atami was a small town on the coast that I enjoyed visiting. We went to the hot springs, but I also loved the history, ocean views and seafood.

Atami is the starting point for a fishing boat. Atami has several small restaurants that specialize in local seafood.

The public can enjoy this free hot-springs foot soaking bath outside the Atami Train Station. The bath was a great way to relax my tired feet.

Atami from the castle on top of the hill. The castle in this picture is a replica but it’s still fun to see.

Both humans and seagulls enjoy the waterfront park at Atami. On a sunny afternoon, I stroll through the town to the ocean and enjoy the park and sea air. I walk to this park in about 30 minutes from the train station.

At the oceanfront park, you can find the famous statues of Omiya & Kan’ichi. The story is explained in English by an interpretive display.

On the first few mornings of my Japan trip, I wake up before dawn. My sleep clock has been messed up and I have to wait until dawn before getting out to take photos like this one from our hotel of Atami.

Atami’s Ichiban Ramen is a great place to enjoy a tasty lunch. Ramen is located just 10 minutes downhill from the station.

Arima and Gero: Two other Onsen towns on my photo tour of Japan

This hotel is located in Arima, a historic town with onsen. You can also test out the hot springs on the river walk if you dare.

This small shrine was hidden in an alcove just five minutes away from our Arima Hotel. I feel very safe in Japan, and have discovered some really cool places like this one on my own.


The dining area at Yunoshimakan Onsen Resort looked out on a steep mountainside covered in dense forest.

The nearby trail at Yunoshimaka onsen was marked with a warning sign about bears. I walked the trail alone and then with my wife. This trail led into what appeared to be virgin forest. We were the only people on it. No bears were sighted.

Yunoshimakan’s dining was vibrant and delicious. We enjoyed good food, drank fine wine and enjoyed the hot springs in our rooms.

Kyoto is a magical city

Kyoto has so many temples, gardens, shrines and restaurants, that it would require a full year to visit them all. I owe Mrs. Tanni, the late great woman who loved to show off her town, a huge debt of gratitude.

Yoshimedera Temple in Kyoto is my favorite. We would not have found Yoshimedera Temple in Kyoto if it weren’t for Mrs. Tanni. She was our guide and friend. If I had the time, I would have spent three to four hours at Yoshimedera on a sunny afternoon. It is hard to believe that the 600-year-old tree at Yoshimedera has been trained in such a horizontal manner.

The Japanese are in love with cherry blossom and fall. We go either during the fall or cherry blossom season. The maple trees in Kyoto are spectacular during the fall.

The maples were not the only ones who were awed by their autumn colors. In 2016 and 2018, we saw many Chinese tourists at the popular tourist sites in Japan. I didn’t know the difference but my father in law spoke to one of our taxi drivers and he said that the Chinese were more than the Japanese at Kyoto on this particular visit.

As I waited for my wife in Kyoto to pick up her red bean panna cotta at a street vendor, I took this picture. I didn’t stay long enough to check if they made it to the rock without getting soaked.

Eikondo Temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto. We hired a driver to take us on a 2-hour tour in order to see something different.

The taxi driver took me to the pond at Eikondo Temple for a great shot.

Lunchtime in Kyoto

The Sakura Terrace, located at the Gallery Hotel in Kyoto near the train station, was a wonderful place to dine. This delicious salad was a big hit for me because I love Japanese food, but it can be hard to find vegetables in restaurants.

This colorful fall special was on the menu of one of the Kyoto hotels that we visited with family friends. The food was as beautiful as it was tasty.

Juntei, a restaurant located on the outskirts Kyoto in a bamboo forest. I have been twice, and it is one of the best restaurants in Japan. You can ask the Kyoto Train Station Information Office how to get there and enjoy a delicious meal. The 11-course meal and all the private dining rooms make this a fantastic experience.

Kyoto’s Amazing Gardens – a Stunning Place for Pictures on My Photo Tour of Japan

On a day in autumn, we found Shosei-en Garden. This bridge, bathed in morning light and begging for a photo to be taken, was a beautiful sight. This garden is easily accessible from Kyoto Train Station. Ask at the information desk at the train station and allow yourself at least 30 minutes to walk around and to the garden.

A tranquil pond makes for a great photo subject. Shosei En Garden was a beautiful sunny day.

Kanazawa & Kusatsu

These towns are not on the tourist trail. In these towns, I rarely see another Caucasian. You’ll enjoy both towns if you include them in your itinerary.

I’ve eaten chef Tobi Tobi’s delicious sushi twice. I’ve eaten chef Tobi’s sushi twice, once at the hotel where he worked and later at his restaurant. The sushi and sashimi was the best I’ve ever eaten.

Kanazawa Station really is a piece of art. Take the time to visit the food and craft market located at the station.

Kanazawa Train Station Market has local crafts like lacquerware and gold foil work. They also have other high-quality, handmade goods. In a local store, we took a class on gold foil and coated chopsticks in yellow metal foil as handmade souvenirs.

Kusatsu, An Onsen Town

Hayashi Razan is a Japanese poet and philosopher who believes that Kusatsu, one of three legendary onsens, is the best. Kusatsu is my favorite of the three onsens I’ve visited.

Kusatsu Yubatake is illuminated by the yellow-orange glow from local shops at dusk.

Kane Midori Hotel’s restaurant offers a variety of dishes. The ryokan’s quiet location, onsen baths and delicious food make it worth the price.

Kusatsu street food vendor.

Bullet Train to Hakodate

Seikan Tunnel, 54+ km long. The world’s largest underwater tunnel is said to exist. After the bullet train, we took a local train to Hakodate. The trip was fun and memorable to this snowy region of Japan, where seafood is delicious and fresh.

The ride from Hakodate to the airport was a memorable experience.

Hakodate Morning Market Square’s seafood vendor offered live crabs, squids, and scallops, with an indoor eating area. The live crabs were my favorite.

Rarely does one get to see a tank full of live king crabs. We were tempted by the vendor to cook one for us on site, but we chose the fresh scallops.

This grilled scallop was purchased at Hakodate Market Square. I ate it as a breakfast snack. This market has vendors who cook seafood and other delicacies on site.

Goryokaku was an interesting attraction in Hakodate. The view from the top of the tower was spectacular.