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Blog  |   Japan Trip 2010

Recently I was fortunate enough to return to Japan to do a bit of relaxing, research, catch up with old friends, and reacquaint myself with all the things I miss. Although I spent 18 months living in Japan and there’s still many places in the world I’m wanting to visit, Japan is a place that keeps drawing me back due to amazing food, beautiful landscapes, impeccable hospitality, and it’s friendly and always accommodating people.

As a designer I’ve found Japan the greatest inspiration to my work, due to the incredible attention of detail in everything creative from food to interior design. The Japanese take whatever they do very seriously and do it well, which results in a lot of artwork, design, and products that you don’t get anywhere else. The large, concentrated population also allows for a multitude of subcultures and special interest groups, meaning whatever you’re in to you can probably find (including the downright strange and perverted).

Accompanying me on this trip (other than my partner Kim) was my new Canon 5D camera which was fresh out of the box, so I was eager to test it out. In addition to taking photos, I decided to try taking several time lapse photos/videos. Fortunately after many hours invested in shooting them most turned out better than expected. The sheer volume of people moving through the cities made for an almost clichéd but interesting subject, and shoots in Dotombori in Osaka and Shibuya in Tokyo were the obvious locations.

The most surprising location was Mt Aso in Kyushu, with it’s harsh and otherworldly volcanic landscape. The top of the mountain features a crater filled with volcanic water which slowly releases steam, and capturing this over time revealed the movement of the steam and affect the changing light had on the crater rock. Fortunately the late afternoon lighting and cloud movement continually altered the landscape.

The last bit of the trip was to Yakushima island which is off the south coast of Kyushu. The ancient forests are among some of the best landscapes I have seen, and the generous rainfall shades the plants in a heavily saturated green. Whilst the subject wasn’t overly suitable for time lapses, I was continuously taking my camera out whilst hiking as every corner revealed an amazing natural site, not to mention plenty of wild deer and monkeys.

I’ve posted a time lapse compilation below, as well as a selection of photos from the trip. I hope you enjoy!

The photos are best viewed as a slideshow on