Tōhoku, Japan - In the Summertime (Part II)

Following on from my previous post, Tōhoku, Japan - In the Summertime (Part I), I'll be sharing the rest of my favourite images from the trip. There is also a possibility I've left the best images 'til last...

Oirase Stream - Aomori

On our last half day in Japan we made our way to Towada, in the Aomori prefecture, where we visited the Oirase Stream. I'll be honest, when I first looked at the itinerary for the Japan trip, THIS was the placed that had me sold!

The Oirase-gawa River flows from Lake Towada-ko, and the 14-kilometer stretch between Nenokuchi and Yakeyama is called the Oirase Mountain Stream (JNTO).

What I loved most about this particular 14km stretch of the Oirase Stream, was the abundance of "stop the car" moments along the way. I felt bad for our taxi driver as these moments happened several times per kilometre! One particularly famous section of this stream is the falls captured in the image to the right, Choshi-Otaki Falls. Whilst not the tallest of the falls along the stream, it certainly is the widest, and personally, my favourite!

Hirosaki Castle - Hirosaki, Aomori

Probably one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Tōhoku region, if not, all of Japan, is the Hirosaki Castle. The Hirosaki Castle was built in the early 17th century by the Tsugaru Clan. Unfortunately, due to damage caused by an earthquake many years ago, the castle had to be relocated approximately 80 metres from its original site as the the stone wall it once resided on was deemed unsafe. Once the stone wall has been repaired, they will begin the long process of moving the castle back to it's original foundation.

Whilst we couldn't capture the "classic" Hirosaki Castle shot, with the surrounding moat and red bridge, we still managed to get a shot or two of the surrounding moat, and the castle in it's new (temporary) location. Oh and did I mention that the castle was relocated by hand? Literally dragged across the ground! Pretty impressive, right?

Iwayama - Morioka, Iwate

There are really no words to describe how special this particular sunset was - but I'll try! As we approached the lookout point atop of Iwayama (a mountain in Morkioka), we could see the golden light filtering in through the trees around us. We eventually reached a clearing that gave us sight to the sky facing west. It isn't very often that an hour before sunset you can predict an amazing sunset, but this was was one of those times! As we worked on removing our jaws from the floor, we frantically set up our cameras before the sun dipped below a band of cloud on the horizon. There was literally seconds to spare to capture the last sunlight of the day. Thankfully, I managed to walk away with my favourite image from the trip (see right).

There was a good 20 minutes once the sun had disappeared behind the clouds to when the sky really started to have some fun! So, I decided to through on some filters and have a bit of fun myself (see below).

So, there you have it, guys! My week in Tōhoku, Japan! And what a week it was... I'm already looking forward to visiting Japan again one day soon. It really is such a beautiful country, not only scenically speaking, but the food, the people and the culture in general was so amazing! If you haven't been to Japan, I highly recommend making the effort to get over there. And it's only a 9 hour flight from Australia!

Don't forget to head over to the Japan National Tourism Organisation website to learn more about some of the amazing places you can visit in not only Tōhoku, but the rest of Japan, too!

Thanks as always for reading and please feel free to leave a comment or question about Japan below!