Tanabata, according to wikipedia, is a Japanese star festival, derived from Obon traditions and the Chinese star festival, Qi Xi. The festival is usually held on July 7, and celebrates the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year. This special day is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar; however, in Sendai, Tanabata is celebrated from August 6th-8th and has fireworks on the 5th.
Back in August I had a photo show at the Apple Store in Sendai. Basically, it is a slide show of some of my favorite photos of Japan accompanied by shamisen artists Rika Ooba and Yuya Takahashi. If you are unable to use the sound on your computer I strongly suggest waiting until you have access or are able to use the sound, as their music is beautiful. Enjoy!
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.
The Tōhoku region (東北地方, Tōhoku-chihō) which means “northeast,” is most northern region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures: Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata Prefectures.
Tōhoku retains a reputation as a remote region, offering breathtaking scenery but a harsh climate. Tōhoku, like most of Japan, is hilly or mountainous, with the Ou Mountains forming running north-south. Also public transportation is not as abundant as other regions but more so than Hokkaido. In Japan, Tohoku receives the fewest foreign visitors a year, but that does not mean it is not worth traveling to. Actually this area is really beautiful , especially in the Fall. Also if you like nature or want to escape the city, but can’t or don’t want to make the trip to Hokkaido, Tohoku is a very nice place to visit/photograph. Be prepared though, a lot of the good places are spread out. If you like hot springs, Tohoku has many famous ones and in the winter there are many good places to ski/snowboard. Here are a few places that are worth considering going to as a photographer/traveler: