Seasonal sightseeing in Japan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 6:48 PM
It is worldwide known the short period of holidays that most Japanese people enjoy, but even though the wide spreading of this cliché, the truth is that Japan also represents one important source of tourists, easily identifiable wherever they go. Domestic tourism, because of its low cost and because it doesn't require long periods of time, is a popular practice in Japan, and touristic spots are always full of national tourists, who still surpass in a large number those from foreign countries.

Within the holiday periods, probably spring and autumn stand out because of two of the major natural events in Japan, the cherry tree bloom (桜) and the red leaves (紅葉). Those acts of appreciation of nature are very important (at least more than in most of western cultures) and are tied to Japan's national essence, culture and tradition. By admiring these annual phenomenons the Japanese somehow, consciously or not, pay tribute to their shinto roots, based on the worshipping of nature, and also to the buddhist heritage that gives a special value to the fleetingness and imperfection of all things: like the falling petals or leaves, everything will perish in this life, and this condition holds a sense of beauty developed in Japanese culture and arts during centuries, giving birth to well known literary concepts as mono no aware or wabi sabi.

Crowds nearby Kiyomizu-dera

Today, despite of all the distractions and amusement forms that modern world offers, all kinds of people still feel atracted by the sights of the four seasons, that are also related with different foods and activities. With that, families, couples, groups of friends and bunches of photographers (both amateur and professional) don't miss the chance of capturing this moment one year more using either cellphone cameras or expensive zoom lenses. No one wants to miss the show that rich Japanese nature offers year after year.

Bunches of pushy tourists taking pictures with their cameras and cellphones

Not only amateurs enjoy the seasonal events
(Picture borrowed from Kirainet)

1 Responses to Seasonal sightseeing in Japan

  1. Yes, Japan does put on a nice show, as does its people. Thus there is always something interesting to photograph. Heaven for visual anthropologists?

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