We LOVE Japan. So much, we had to plan another trip back after last year, this time with the ultimate goal of going koyo viewing, or autumn leave viewing. This time we ventured to Tokyo and made a short trip down Osaka and Kyoto. All photos were shot with our Nikon D600 and 14-24mm f/2.8. All images are available for print. Please contact us for more information.
Tokyo being as large as it is, it was hard deciding where to stay. The basic recommendation is simple, stay at a hotel near a train station (in Tokyo, especially a train station along the Yamanote Loop Line). We ended up finding Hotel Mets Shibuya which is actually in the New South Wing of Shibuya Station which worked well for our stay.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a huge park in the middle of Shinjuku and is definitely worth the visit. Such a beautiful park! This is a photo of the inside of the giant green house located in the park.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Entrance to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Definitely a bucket list photo!
The infamous Takeshita Street.
Ever since we saw Pentatonix's music video for their cover of "Rather Be" Ameya Yokocho was on my list of places to visit in Tokyo. It was awesome!
While we were walking around the area near Ueno Station, we came across this interesting area with an elevated walkway in Chuo Dori.
Shrine in the middle of modern city buildings. On our way to Senso-Ji Temple from Ueno Station.
Senso-Ji Temple. Got here just in time for blue hour!
Photo of our next destination, Tokyo Tower.
View from Tokyo Tower!
Bucket list photo: Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji... Check! For us, it was totally worth the 3 hours worth of train rides to get to Fujiyoshida from Tokyo.
Slight panic attack when we got back to the Fujiyoshida train station. There was no attendant and it looked closed! Luckily the train was indeed still running.
Another set of bucket list photos were to get photos of the Shibuya Crossing. The bird's eye view was courtesy of the 25th floor of a hotel I think we weren't supposed to be in, but I will always be grateful that we got these shots!
Danielle walking through drunkard's alley, not drunk hahaha.
Outside of Tsukiji Market.
Took the bullet train down to Osaka and stayed a few nights at the Remm Shin-Osaka in Shin-Osaka Station. This is where we stayed last year and loved it.
A few photos from Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Now that I've been to both, if I had to choose between Tokyo and Osaka, I'd fly to Osaka so I could go to Kyoto.
Now this is what we came for! Koyo viewing, especially night illuminations at the temples. Eikando Temple was AMAZING.
Turns out we got extremely lucky with Kiyomizu-dera. Apparently they're going to begin renovations on the roof of the building this year, so not only is this the last time this roof will be there, but it will also not be ready for a few years. Night illumination koyo viewing here ended up being one of the most exciting parts of our trip. I'll let the photos explain.
Kyoto Station. By far our favorite train station thus far, and this time they were getting ready for Christmas!