“Mt Fuji”

Japan. October 2018 – February 2019. (20 photos)

This is part 16 (and the final part) of my Japan 2018-19 photo series.

Having spent just over 3 weeks in Japan in October-November 2018 and then almost 2 weeks again in February 2019, it’s a safe bet to assume I took a lot of photographs, but we’ll end this photographic series for now.

If life is like a box of chocolates, then the analogy can be extended to say that Japan is like a photographic bento box, plenty of variety for everyone. Here are a few more photos from my time in Japan.

The photo above of Mt Fuji and the swans might suggest that Fuji-san is an easy photographic subject. However that is far from the truth for it seems to have its own microclimate and whilst it might be sunny everywhere else around it, Fuji-san itself may be enshrouded in cloud.

“On the streets of Fujiyoshida”

This photo was taken about 50 minutes before the lead photo in this post.

“Low clouds”

Well, when Fuji-san is completely encased in cloud, you might as well photograph the clouds. This photo was taken one day before the lead photo in this post.

“Speeding by”

The bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto offers great views of Mt Fuji on a clear day. Just be ready when it comes into view.

“Shiraito Falls”


Nara Park, a public park and garden, where wild deer roam freely. The deer are considered messengers of the gods in the traditional Shinto religion.

“Deer, oh deer”

Up close and personal.

“Above Yoshino”

The beautiful small town/village of Yoshino, shrouded in low cloud. It’s claim to fame is the show that Nature puts on in Autumn and Cherry Blossom season.

“Yoshino dreaming”

“Brotherly love”

Okunoin is the site of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered persons in the religious history of Japan. Instead of having died, Kobo Daishi is believed to rest in eternal meditation as he awaits Miroku Nyorai (Maihreya), the Buddha of the Future, and provides relief to those who ask for salvation in the meantime. Okunoin is one of the most sacred places in Japan and a popular pilgrimage spot.

“Enjoy Coca Cola”

Winter in Japan is cold, and vending machines are everywhere.

“Snow Monkey”

Gratuitous reposting of a photo of a snow monkey in a hot spring during winter.

“Yudanaka Train Station”

I missed the bus to take me back to Nagano from Snow Monkey Park. Instead of waiting another 90 minutes for the next bus, I was told to take the local bus shuttle to this train station, then take the local train to Nagano. I’m glad I listened. It was an incredibly scenic slow train ride through rural Japan.

“Selfie Time”

At Fushimi Inari in Kyoto.

“Down below”

I was standing at the window on the 45th floor and I saw people filing out of the building. I was about to scream and run for the emergency heliport exit but then I guessed it was probably just a fire, or earthquake, drill. Luckily, I guessed correctly.

“Fast Food”

A noodle stand at the Nagano Shinkansen Station, between platforms 13 and 14. Pay at the vending machine and give the ticket to the owner. Find a place to stand and you are served within a minute. Whilst I ate I watched several people order, eat and finish their meal a few seconds before their train arrived.

“Strolling the Yanaka Ginza”

“Kyoto twilight”

Dusk at the temple of Kiyomizu-dera.

“Dotonbori nights”

In Osaka.

“8:22pm. Kyoto. Still awake”

This ends my photographic series about Japan, but as is always the case I might return to it later. A new country next week, but the destination is no secret if you saw my post about Auckland a couple of weeks ago.

This is part 16 (and the final part) of my Japan 2018-19 photo series.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Japan: The photographic bento box


94 thoughts on “Japan: The photographic bento box

  1. When I go to a Japanese restaurant, I love bento boxes for lunch. They have everything that I like. This photographic bento box is like that. Thank you for all these beautiful images! The one of the man with the two deer is out of this world. πŸ™‚

    • Exactly. A bento box is almost a perfect lunch and the variety in Japan is amazing!
      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed this tour around Japan. That man with the deer must be a regular in order to have the deer so comfortable with him. It was quite a sight.

  2. I have so enjoyed sampling from your Bento Box in this series. I dined on a few old favorites (places I visited while traveling Japan) but was treated to so many tasty new delicacies (your travels were further afield). And Thank you so much for your gratuitous repost of the snow monkey. Every one of your snow monkey images is Nat Geo quality!

  3. Heide says:

    What a beautiful way to bid farewell to Japan β€” you’ve really captured so many aspects of both the scenery and the culture! As always, thank you for making my world bigger (and infinitely more interesting) through your wonderful posts.

    • Thank you so much, H. The culture, people, food and scenery make Japan a great destination. In turn, you’ve given me some great inspiration and tips. My thanks to you.

  4. I love the cloud shot almost more than Fuji πŸ™‚ And Yoshino Dreaming is a study in bliss! I guess you could say the same for Brotherly Love, which did make me smile, but not as much as that chap with the deer πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • I stared at the deer guy for a while in shock before I quickly lifted the camera. They sell bags of deer food to tourists and the deer can get a bit aggressive when hungry – quite out of character for Bambi. πŸ™‚
      Japan is an endless photographic opportunity. I loved it there.

  5. I was trying to store in my mind the images I wanted to comment on and then that last sign made me laugh and distracted me. πŸ™‚ This has been such an enjoyable and beautiful series (not that any of yours aren’t, but…). I don’t think I’d want deer quite that close. Reminds me of the “wild” burros in Custer State Park in South Dakota. They come up to people, whether the people are in or out of cars, because so many people feed them. Nice photo catch on the train and the brotherly love photos is a smile-maker, too. Looking forward to your next series.

    I went forest bathing in my small park last week, which was such a wonderful experience. The several hours I spent there were so refreshing.

    Have a lovely week!


    • Thank you very much, Janet. At Nara they sell bags of food to feed the deer. Most deer will walk over to someone with a bag a food but I did see a couple of people have the bag snatched out of their hands completely by deer and I saw one person get head butted in the rump by a deer trying to get food. Yes, I thought that sign was great and shows a bit of the humour and quirkiness of the country.

      Next week, photos from my trip to New Zealand. It’s no secret, I was there just before Easter. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you. I had mixed weather when photographing Mt Fuji, but an hour of clear skies o ver Mt Fuji does wonders for the soul and camera. πŸ™‚
      NZ – No bears, just scenery. πŸ™‚

  6. Very cleverly written along with vivid shots once again. That snow monkey looks adorable. So efficient, having quick meals just before the train. It sounds rushed, but I guess in Japan it’s a normal part of life. Safe travels.

    • Thank you. Trains run practically to the minute unless there is an accident or emergency. If I were a local, I’d have no problem ordering noodles 5 minutes before my train, then slurp away and get on the train on time. Also, there is a cart service on the long distance trains. The bento boxes they offer on the train are filling and great value, too.
      Seeing the snow monkeys at Jigokudani was a fabulous experience. They’re wild monkeys and they freely walk amongst the humans. I definitely recommend going there if you visit Japan in winter.

      • Trains seem run to the second over there. You might have heard in the news: a train in Japan departed a few seconds early and there was an apology for that. Unheard of in Australia πŸ˜€

        I will look for snow monkeys when I visit Japan πŸ™‚

  7. I’m soon to ask permission to post a beautiful poem on my blog and I’d like to include photos that complement the verses. Would you allow me to use β€œShiraito Falls”, and possibly the swan photo.. with the usual credit and link back. Please let me know LD, thanks!

  8. All too often one hears “Japan” and thinks Tokyo, crowds, neon, and inscrutable politeness. Thanks for the photographic evidence that there’s much more.

    • My pleasure. I guess that’s the trap when you have such a vibrant and encompassing capital city. If you spent 2 weeks in Tokyo and didn’t venture out of the city, you’d have a great time and wouldn’t necessarily know you were missing out on anything.

    • Thanks, Julie. Vending machines are everywhere in Japan, even right outside shops and they sell hot and cold items. You should get there to see it for yourself one day.

  9. Oh yes, those low clouds… a beautiful scene could very quickly change… love the swan picture, beautiful! I’ve seen the Fushimi Inari in a lot of photos recently.. always looks so intriguing and colourful. Is it very long?

    Those deer are really very keen on people… they like their cuddles!! πŸ˜„

    Those vending machines certainly get everywhere! I’ve been fascinated with the vending machines of Japan for a while… mainly from videos in You Tube. Japanese people seem to eat so healthily, and yet the vending machines are the opposite of healthy eating. I love the way they all stay so slim and yet love their noodles… doesn’t have that effect on me. Noodles are very addictive… I can totally understand the draw to noodles in as many meals as possible!

    I love the museum sign… I’m open when awake… when I’ve had enough, I’m not… I’d be the same, I’m sure!πŸ˜…

    • I believe the torii gates form a trail of about 4km length across the mountain side. Most don’t walk the whole length but it is possible and probably a peaceful experience.

      I didn’t appreciate how prevalent vending machines were until I arrived. They are everywhere, from main streets to small alleys, from outside shops to outside people’s homes. Hot and cold drinks (even soups), ice cream, batteries, everything for sale. I even like how ramen shops have vending machines outside. You pay for your order on the vending machine and give the ticket to the cook. Then sit and wait for your meal to be ready. Yep, I love noodles in Japan.

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