Friday, April 22, 2016



This week's special edition (Friday special) will be a look at Japan!  About a month ago, we took a look at Ireland.  On these Friday Special Editions, I would like to take the time to do several types of subjects, either on certain photographers, certain subjects, or in this case, certain countries.  I believe, that it is the nature of all photographers, that we all like to travel.  There are so many things to see, and so many beautiful places in the world that needs to be viewed by many photographers.  Every photographer will see things differently when visiting countries. Some will see the culture of the people to be fascinating, others will be awe struck with the landscaping, others will be mesmerized by the differences in how we live.  Whatever the case may be, this time, I would like to take a photographic journey with all of you to the "Land of the Rising Sun":  Japan.

First of all, let's get acquainted with Japan:  Here is a brief description from WIKIPEDIA:

Japan (Japanese日本 Nippon [nip̚põ̞ɴ] or Nihon [nihõ̞ɴ]; formally 日本国 About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, "State of Japan") is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, theEast China SeaChinaNorth KoreaSouth Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest areHonshuHokkaidoKyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. The population of 126 million is the world's tenth largest.Japanese make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. Approximately 9.1 million people live in the core city of Tokyo,[10] the capital city of Japan, which is the sixth largest city proper in the OECD and the fourth leading global cityin the world.[11] The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the world's largest metropolitan area with over 35 million residents and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy.

Ok, now we know about Japan a bit.  As I read about the main city Tokyo, and the surrounding area, I would think that there is no room for anything else but, people.  There is a lot of people in a very small area.  But, when you go there, I would say you could call this organized chaos.  With their mass transit system that probably puts the rest of the world to shame, they are the most modern city in the world.  I want to take just a few moments to let you see what it is like in Tokyo, the largest city in Japan:

Tokyo at night time.  Do they need the sun?  I don't think so.  This big city is well lit by the many lights of the city.  It is a big city that has many fun things to do there.

A typical daytime scene in downtown Tokyo.  A crowd of people is just normal there.  Cars and traffic have their place in all of this too, but, the people are the dominant scene in Tokyo.

France has it's Eiffel Tower, United States has it's own Statue of Liberty and yes, Tokyo, Japan has it's own Tokyo Tower.  Sitting high above the big city, you can see the port of the city, along with seeing the whole Downtown area of Tokyo.  A beautiful place to get up and see the whole world of Tokyo.

In the heart of downtown Tokyo, is the famous Meiji Shrine.  A place that the Japanese can come to pray and tourists can come to see the beautiful temples and temple grounds of their religion.  Japan's main two religions are Buddhism and Shinto.  They get along fine with these two huge religions there in that country.  Many beautiful temples and shrines dot their country and have become famous landmarks throughout their country.   Almost every big city in Japan will have some form of temple or shrine where they can come and worship at their place of worship.  Beautiful buildings.


Japan is situated in a very destructive zone of the world.  If you have troubles in your country with certain weather conditions read this from Wikipedia:

Japan has 108 active volcanoes. During the twentieth century several new volcanoes emerged, including Shōwa-shinzan on Hokkaido and Myōjin-shō off the Bayonnaise Rocks in the Pacific. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century.[90] The 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people.[91] More recent major quakes are the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, a 9.0-magnitude[92] quake which hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and triggered a large tsunami.[63] Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes and tsunami, having the highest natural disaster risk in the developed world.[93]


About thirty typhoons form each year over the Northwest Pacific Ocean, of which typically about seven or eight pass over Okinawa Prefecture, and about three hit the Japanese main islands, especially Kyushu and Shikoku. But any region of Japan, including TokyoOsaka and Hokkaidocan be visited by typhoons.
Most typhoons hit Japan between May and October with August and September being the peak season. Typhoons later in the season tend to be stronger than typhoons earlier in the season. In Japan, typhoons are numbered rather than being given a personal name. For example, the twelfth typhoon of the year is known as "typhoon number 12".
A typhoon moves at a relatively slow pace (around 20 km/h), and its path can be predicted quite accurately. Japanese media provides detailed typhoon coverage, informing the public about the predicted path, weather warnings and impact on transportation.
Strong typhoons often bring the region's transportation system to a standstill, with airplanes andtrains being stopped and expressways being closed. Yet, transport and accommodation operators are usually cooperative in rescheduling or canceling typhoon affected reservations at no cost.
In the past, catastrophic typhoons have sometimes caused hundreds of casualties, such as the Isewan Typhoon in 1959, which cost the lives of more than 5000 people. In recent decades, however, the number of people killed by typhoons has been much lower. The biggest dangers posed by typhoons are landslides and the sudden rise of water levels.

I don't know how accurate this statement is, but, I have heard it say that the Japanese people have learned to live on only 10 percent of their land, and the rest is just beautiful scenery to enjoy.  So, if that is true, there must be some beautiful, gorgeous country to look at there.  Let's take a look at some of the photos posted of Japan:

Yes, Japan has lot's of snow too!  In fact, Japan was home of the winter Olympics
in 1972 and in 1998.  They have also been the host of the summer Olympic games as well.

The sacred Mt. Fuji.  An inactive volcano.

Japan is famous for their "Cherry Blossoms"  and have a celebration about it every year.
In fact, they donated some cherry blossom trees to the United States, and they are
located in the US Capital, and we can all celebrate at the same time.  These trees 
bloom beautifully every year, and they are quite a beautiful part of the Japanese culture.

One of the beautiful Japanese temples in the land.  These are dotted throughout their country.

Beautiful scenery for the taking.

What would you think if you came upon this in the forest?
Well, this is just part of their religious culture, and you would need to spend time
with their monks to find out about all of these statues.

Another beautiful temple nestled among the mountains.

Japan is always in the innovation of their vehicles and electronics.  

Their train system is unique among the world.  

I love this one because it shows another famous Japanese temple with Mount Fuji in 
the background.  

Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan?IPA: [ɸɯᵝꜜdʑisaɴ]), located onHonshu Island, is the highest mountain peak in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft).[1] An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08,[5][6] Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (60 mi) south-west ofTokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped several months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.

Here is two Japanese people playing the traditional Japanese instrument called the 
Shamisen, often called the 3 string lute.  It has become more famous lately with the Yoshida Brothers
turning the Shamisen into rock instruments. 

Yoshida Brothers


And finally, Japan is an island that is prone to the worst of disasters.  I think we have all heard recently that they just went through another series of bad earthquakes.  These are killer earthquakes.  This country is rocked by earthquakes all the time.  Some worse than others, obviously.  But, the ones that we all remember is when the earthquake is out in the ocean, and they have nothing to do with it.  And this beautiful island and beautiful people have to experience something that most people never do.  And that is a TSUNAMI.  That is a Japanese word, by the way.  So, if another country gets hit by a Tsunami, it's because Japan has had it so many times they know it should be a Japanese word, even all over the world.  

I am posting a video clip of one of the worst Tsunami's Japan has ever had.  Take a look at this and be grateful you don't have this kind of experience.   

So, from Japan:  
Hope you enjoyed this tribute to Japan.

Until next time !