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Thread: Japan - Kansai Region

  1. #1

    Default Japan - Kansai Region

    Hi! I will be leaving for Japan, going to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe. Can someone tell me which are the places I must really take note in terms of photography opportunities? What type of films should I bring along as I am using the normal SLR.

    Any photo galleries with photos from this area of Japan?

    Thanks all in advance.

    Appreciate any tips.

    Cheerios,
    Bee

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by _BEE_
    Hi! I will be leaving for Japan, going to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe. Can someone tell me which are the places I must really take note in terms of photography opportunities? What type of films should I bring along as I am using the normal SLR.

    Any photo galleries with photos from this area of Japan?

    Thanks all in advance.

    Appreciate any tips.

    Cheerios,
    Bee
    I went the the places u mentioned (except Nara... no time) in Dec 2003... If you are interested, I got photos of these places on my humble website...

    Most of these were taken using Kodak Supra 400 film on my EOS 30... others were taken with my little Ricoh digital cam...

    Hope these help... And most of all, enjoy the beautiful country...
    Jia Wang... "A photo is only as beautiful as the photographer's eyes can see."
    My Eyes ;)

  4. #4
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    There are plenty of beautiful temples all over Kyoto i seen some pics.... simply beathtaking

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by _BEE_
    Hi! I will be leaving for Japan, going to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe. Can someone tell me which are the places I must really take note in terms of photography opportunities? What type of films should I bring along as I am using the normal SLR.

    Any photo galleries with photos from this area of Japan?

    Thanks all in advance.

    Appreciate any tips.

    Cheerios,
    Bee
    I hope you will be going there not with guided tour. I have been to Japan 4 times (yes, my family love the place)for holiday with my family of 5 during Dec school holidays from Hokkaido down to Kyushu. The first 2 trips were guide tours. Well, guided tours are not too bad for first trip and with a young family but its a no no if serious photography is your main objective. Once we got used to the transport system, we backpack to Hokkaido, Osaka, Nara, Tokyo and Kyushu at different year of course (need 2 years to recoup what). The moment you step into Kansai Inter Airport you should be amazed by the structure and start snapping away. All the places you mentioned are perfect for photography. Actually anywhere in Japan is perfect. You must try the natural Onsen. There is an Osaka office in Singapore but not sure where it is. You can get all the info there and maybe at JTB. If you intend to travel on your own JR Rail Pass is a must (must be purchased before you leave). Well thats all the time I have. I am no Pro just a happy snapper (thanks to digital). Enjoy your trip. PM me if you need more info.

    Note: 10 days in Kyushu and took 800 Raw + Jpg shots with my E1.

  6. #6
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    Well, I was touring the Kinki Region 近畿 back in July last year. It's a pretty interesting region. As for photography ops, it pretty much depends on what you are interested in.(This post require Japanese fonts )

    In Osaka:
    If you are into street photography, can try the Umeda 梅田, Namba 難波 , Shinsaibashi 心斎橋 -Dotonbori 道頓堀 areas. At Umeda, you can see the red ferris wheel which is situated on top of the HEP 5 shopping mall (You can't miss it). At Shinsaibashi, there's the American Village アメリカ村 which is a showcases for American street fashion and hip-hop wear. At the nearby Dotonbori, across from the Dotonbori canal, you can see the famous Glico Man. The Shinsekai 新世界 district is pretty interesting too, the Osaka tower is also there, amidst the myriad shophouses there. The park around Osaka castle is good for those contrasting photos of old and modern.
    There are also notable temples in Osaka, but since you are going to Kyoto and Nara, I think you would probably visit like 20-30 temples by the end of your trip.

    In Kobe:
    I'm not sure of what to look out for in Kobe, but the Bay Area provides a clear view of the Kobe skyline. There's also the Nankin-machi 南京街  Chinatown nearby. At the Bay area, there are usually lotsa activity during the weekends, like a flea market and some buskers. You can also visit the Harbourland shopping mall there. The architecture of the malls are quite interesting. Notable landmarks of Kobe are the Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Kakyo Kaiyou Hakubutsu-kan 神戸海洋歴史博物館 . There's a red colour bridge in the harbour which I can't remember what it's called. And talking about bridges, I suggest travelling a bit further west to Awaji Island 淡路 to see the Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge 明石海峡大橋 which is the longest suspension bridge in the world. I tell you, the scale of that thing will blow you away.

    In Kyoto:
    The must-see landmarks of Kyoto are of course Kiyomizu Temple 清水寺 , Kinkakuji Shrine 金閣寺 , Ryoanji 竜安寺 and the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Take note that to visit the interior of the Palace, you need to make an advance booking at least one day before. This is the website for the Imperial Household Agency.
    Other temples which you might like to visit are the Heian Shrine 平安寺 , Fushimi-Inari Shrine 伏見稲荷大社 which is famous for the red torii gateways, Toji 東寺 for the pagoda and the Yasaka-Jinja Shrine 八坂神社.

    If you are looking for geishas, look along Hanami-koji 花見小路  in Gion. You will most likely see them either in the morning (7-9am) or late afternoon. These days, you are more likely to see them because they are busy practising their crafts for the Gion-Matsuri Festival in July. Be nice and ask if you can take their pictures, unless they are in a hurry, they will oblige most of the time. The Kamogawa River 鴨川 is good for some street pictures, just follow along the river. There's also the Path of Philosophy 哲学の道 which is good for sakura watching, but it's a bit late for that now. My recommendation is to just wander off into the alleys if you want to experience the real Kyoto, especially in the Higashi-yama 東山 district. There are many little-known places that are still relatively untouched by tourism.

    And now, finally Nara:
    Half of the town is actually occupied by Nara Park. In the parks, there are many deers roaming around. They are quite domesticated already, so you can go pretty up close to take pictures. Just watch out for the landmines that are all over the place! At the north end of the park is the Kasuga Taisha Shrine 春日大社 which is famous for the many stone lanterns along the path leading to the temple. From there go northeast to see the Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do Halls 二月堂、三月堂 which overlook Todaiji and has a lot of nice passageways to take pictures of. Todaiji 東大寺 houses a large wooden Buddha inside and the parks outside the temple are quite good for taking pictures too. If you've got an extra day in Nara, I would recommend taking a hike along the Yamanobe no michi 山の辺の道 which has a lot of scenic sites and a lot of ancient buildings. I haven't been to the west and south side of Nara before yet, but that's where all the historical and archaelogical sites are.
    Notable sights are burial mounds in Asuka 明日香.

    Phew... finally finish everything. The key is to plan where you want to go before hand, or else you will never see everything that you wanted to see.
    Last edited by Prismatic; 4th May 2004 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prismatic
    In Kobe:
    I'm not sure of what to look out for in Kobe, but the Bay Area provides a clear view of the Kobe skyline. There's also the Nankin-machi 南京街  Chinatown nearby. At the Bay area, there are usually lotsa activity during the weekends, like a flea market and some buskers. You can also visit the Harbourland shopping mall there. The architecture of the malls are quite interesting. Notable landmarks of Kobe are the Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Kakyo Kaiyou Hakubutsu-kan 神戸海洋歴史博物館 . There's a red colour bridge in the harbour which I can't remember what it's called. And talking about bridges, I suggest travelling a bit further west to Awaji Island 淡路 to see the Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge 明石海峡大橋 which is the longest suspension bridge in the world. I tell you, the scale of that thing will blow you away.
    Just to add on...

    When I first arrived in Kobe from Kyoto, nothing much really struck me as it's a very modern city, and it doesn't has as much character as Kyoto at first glance...

    That's where I was wrong. If you are really interested in finding out more about Kobe, I strongly recommend you to visit the "Disaster Reduction & Human Renovation Institution". It's located somewhere East of the harbour area.

    What's there to see here? If you remember, Kobe was struck by The Great Hanshin Earthquake on 17th Jan 1995, 5.46 am. It measure 7.3 on the richter scale. Almost the entire city was wrecked by the earthquake... THis museum was built to eduacate the Japanese about disaster prevention and all the lessons learnt from the recovery process.

    I watched a documentary about the earthquake and I cried because images of the disaster simply were too vivid. What's most moving and impressive was how strong the Japanese people were in recovering from this massive disaster. How volunteers all around the country came to Kobe to rebuild the city. How families members were lost and how they coped from these emotional trauma...

    Hence, the modern Kobe we see now is a completely rebuilt city and after my visit to this museum, my impression of Kobe changed completely. I now see an ultra resiliant and cohesive city that rose from the ashes...
    Jia Wang... "A photo is only as beautiful as the photographer's eyes can see."
    My Eyes ;)

  8. #8

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    Thanks to all for the wonderful brief of the kansai Region.

    Appreciate,
    Bee

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