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Fireflies in Japan

Funnily enough, after many, many visits, I had never seen or photographed fireflies in Japan. This year, shortly after arriving, we spotted some articles in the newspaper saying they were out and about, so I made a couple of trips to nearby Koori to see for myself. The first visit basically coincided with a full...Read More

Omoi no taki

Omoi no taki is another great waterfall in Fukushima, Japan. It is located not far from the onsen (hot spring) town of Tsuchi-yu, meaning after a morning photographing waterfalls it was lunch and a visit to an “ashi-yu” – or hot spring for your feet. The walk is very pleasant (as long as you don’t...Read More

Yoshinodaira fudou taki (falls) in Fukushima, Japan

I have spent most of the last month in Japan, where monstrous flooding rain in the west and a nationwide heatwave dominated the news almost everyday of our stay. We were based in the north, in Fukushima (which of course has had its own fair share of trouble in the recent past) but this year...Read More

The Japanese Umbrella Pine “Kouyamaki”

The Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata – click here for Wiki description) is a very rare and unique tree, endemic to Japan. I had heard there was a stand growing in Fukushima, which is the northern limit of its range. It can be found in other parts of Japan such as the Japanese Alps and...Read More


Adatarayama (Mt Adatara) is a 1700 metre high volcano west of Fukushima in Nihonmatsu. There is a lovely onsen (hot spring) town called Dake nearby. The mountain is popular for skiing in winter and hiking in the summer. We picked a hot and sunny day (maximum temperature of 35 degrees!) to make the climb. It...Read More

Oze National Park: Buna Daira

We visited the Oze National Park recently, and visited many parts of the park including Mt Taishaku which I have already posted about. The subject of todays post is the lush green forests in the area known as “Buna daira”. “Buna” is the Japanese beech tree (Fagus crenata), and a daira is a flatland. The...Read More

Waterfalls of Fukushima: Renge Falls

Renge Falls is found at the end of a very narrow and windy road in the mountains around Moniwa in northern Fukushima. There is a somewhat overgrown parking area and a rickety old temple, and the walk to the waterfalls is a short 10 minutes or so on a fairly flat track. As with almost...Read More

Iizaka Onsen Night Scenes

I took a walk around Iizaka Onsen last night to shoot some of the landmarks at night. Starting at the train station, I shot the Totsuna Bridge. Ryokans line the river here, and the Iizaka Tourist Association has an office right across from the station, with maps and pamphlets in English. Atago Shrine – Iizaka...Read More

Mt Taishaku, Oze National Park

Mt Taishaku is a 2060 metre high peak in the Oze National Park in south western Fukushima. The drive to the trailhead is along a very arrow and windy unsealed road which leaves the mountain town of Hinoemata which is famous for its soba noodles and kabuki stage. The road passes many beautiful streams and...Read More

Akagawa Falls Iizaka Onsen

The Akagawa Falls are located just out of the hot spring town of Iizaka Onsen in northern Fukushima. After following a very narrow and windy road, we found the small shrine from which a short trail leads down to the waterfall. As with many waterfalls, it is not just the falls themselves but the location...Read More

Images of Kyoto: Yasaka Shrine at Night

These photos of Yasaka shrine at night were taken during our recent visit to Japan and make up part 2 of my photos of Japan for 2014. We spent one night in Kyoto and a very tasty “Sukiyaki” dinner on the banks of the Kamo River and this night shoot at Yasaka Shrine were the...Read More