Chidorigafuchi (Chidori-ga-fuchi) is part of the moat that surrounds the former Edo Castle and is one of the most famous places in Tokyo to see cherry blossoms. If you like, you can rent a row boat or a paddle boat. To be honest, there isn’t too much to say about this place that I cannot convey with my photos–besides where it is I guess… Kundashita or Hanzomon Stations on the subway are both within walking distance–so take a look and enjoy!
In Tokyo there is plenty of public transportation by way of train but if you want to go to Asakusa you can take a boat ride to/from Asakusa called the Sumida River Cruise. You do not need a reservation, and while sometimes in the summer it can get pretty crowded, there are usually a couple of boats per hour. There are different course you can take running from a short 5 minutes to 35-40 minutes. The Sumida River Cruise is a nice way to see some of Tokyo and a lot of interesting bridges. As you can see from the photos below there are a couple differnet kinds of boats you can choose from and they go on different routes.
The cooler looking one, that kind of looks like a spaceship, only runs a few times a day and takes you to Odaiba. The building with the golden building and the smaller building with the thing on it is the Asahi Beer Building. See more photos and read the rest of this entry »
The Hozu River Boat Tour is a one-way, two hour boat ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama, which is about 40 minutes to an hour from Kyoto. While it is a little expensive (3900 yen or $35 for adults) the 16 km boat ride down Hozugawa does offer some wonderful views of mountains, cliffs, gorges, rocks and the occasional wildlife such as birds and I even saw a monkey! That being said, as a photographer, it may not be worth it just because it is a little expensive and of course since it is a moving boat you can’t really take your time with your shots and people often get in the way. Now, with that being said, as a tourist, I really enjoyed the boat ride! For the most part the boat ride is fairly calm and relaxing; however, there are a few parts with some small rapids. Even with the rapids (really it is very few), I would say that the boat ride is safe for children even though nobody wears a life vest (seriously, it doesn’t appear to be dangerous at all). Here is a short video I took to give you an idea what it is usually like and how it sometimes gets a little fast.
Finding the dock in Kameoka can be a little tricky as there are no signs (in English anyway), but if you ask anyone about Hozugawa (gawa means river) they should be able to point you in the right direction. It is about a 8 minute walk from the station. Basically, after leaving the station turn left (you should be walking in the direction the train just came from). You will go strait and follow the road as it curves to your left. Crossover the railroad tracks and keep walking strait. You will then see a bridge on the right, pass the bridge (do not take it) and you will see a small road with a huge parking lot (which is kind of underneath the bridge if I remember correctly, but I could be wrong).
To get to Kameoka, you can take the regular JR line which I did, but if you have time I recommend taking the Sagano Romantic Train Ride which runs slower and less frequently but offers great views (especially of the river) and if the weather is nice has open windows. Below you can see a photo of this train hidden behind the Japanese Maple trees.
Geibikei (猊鼻渓), along with Genbikei (厳美渓), are two famous gorges in Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku Region of Japan, with Geibikei being the more famous of the two. Geibikei is about 30 minutes by bus from Ichinoseki Station and 30 minutes by train on the Ofunato Line also from Ichinoseki Station. Geibikei’s main appeal is that you take a boat ride down a shallow river that runs between cliffs as tall as 100 meters (about 328 feet).
Round trip the boat ride takes about 90 minutes and at the half way point you can get off the boat and walk around some before coming back. The boats run from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm in the spring and summer, until 4:00 pm in November and from December to March run from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Bringing food and drinks is allowed but be warned there are little to no trash cans, so you will be holding your trash.
The boat ride and scenery is very beautiful and relaxing, though as you might imagine, the 100 meter cliffs can make for some difficult lighting situations if you are trying to take photographs. That being said, you should still l be able to get some good shots. I went during the fall which was beautiful, but if you can bear the cold, I imagine after a fresh snow this place is really nice as well. See more photos and read the rest of this entry »
Matsuhima is considered to be one of the 3 most scenic places of Japan. Matsushima is a bay with hundreds of islands, that have been carved away by the ocean, that are covered with pine trees. Matsushima is an amazing place but for a photographer the weather will drastically make or break your photos.
Of course this could be true for any place and seems like common sense, but Matsushima is a place that it’s true beauty can only be appreciated with good weather (and the right time of the day). During the day you can take a boat ride/tour throughout the bay. Also you can walk through some of the larger islands which can be nice.
Matsushima is close to Sendai and can be reached by train. For more detailed access information please see the Japan-guide.com.