0:00 Hello Osaka / Sumo
1:00 Katsuō-ji “Temple of Winner’s Luck”
2:01 Nara “City of Deer”
3:05 Naoshima / Teshima “Art Islands”
4:12 Hiroshima “Peace Memorial”
5:38 Miyajima “Shrine Island”
6:43 Osaka “Kuidore (eat till you drop)”
7:46 Thanks for watching
Meltycanon – suncream 
Yamasuki Singers – Yama Yama 
Yamasuki Singers – Yamasuki 
Ono Syunsuke – Disco Is 
Fishmans – LONG SEASON (Part 5) 
Yaeji – feelings change 
Alvan – Amazone 
Hiko Momoji – Late Nights 
We shot this new trip to the Kansai region of Japan in the time before COVID. International travel will not be the same for awhile but I was motivated to finally finish this edit by the 2M plays you guys gave my first Japan video 🙏 ( We enjoy traveling the world, even if we have to do it virtually for now. Tourism to Japan has been decimated by COVID just like it has on so many aspects of our lives. For now enjoy the video and we can start planning new trips as soon as we’ve passed this hurdle all together! ✌️
With our base of operations in Osaka we experienced and ate our way through the Kansai region for 2 weeks. We took day trips from Osaka to Nara and Katsuō-ji Temple then made our way south by shinkansen from Naoshima “Art Island” in the Seto sea, Hiroshima, and finally Miyajima.
Stop 1: Osaka
Ohayō gozaimasu from Japan! Osaka is our home city for this trip. We explored the coolest little shrine in the middle of the city, Nambayasaka, the lion-head shrine. We caught it at a great time when the sakura blossoms were starting to fall on a windy day. We saw a sumo tourney for Jen’s birthday before starting our day trips!
Stop 2: Nara
We took a day trip to the old capital Nara who’s grounds contain 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites. We checked out Tōdai-ji “Eastern Great Temple” which is the largest wooden building in the world and contains the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha but spent much time there just feeding the cute deer. More than 1,200 tame sika deer roam the grounds as sacred and protected animals. Snack vendors sell sika senbei or “deer crackers” for visitors and through the years many deer have learned to bow to request senbei from visitors.
Stop 3: Katsuō-ji Temple
On a rainy morning we took a day trip to Katsuō-ji in the mountains north of Osaka. It’s known as the Temple of Winner’s Luck and has grounds covered in Winning Daruma “tumbling dolls” which have been left behind by visitors. People buy daruma dolls hoping to obtain “winner’s luck”. If the wish is fulfilled the daruma is often returned and left somewhere on the grounds. With the moody rain, empty vibrant grounds, droning monk chants, and cute little egg-shaped dolls in every nook and cranny it’s certainly worth the visit.
Stop 4: Naoshima Art Islands
We spent 2 days biking and exploring Naoshima and Teshima “art islands” in the Seto Inland Sea. From Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin sculpture, the awe-inspiring Teshima Art Museum structures built directly into hillsides, to the Chichu and Benesse House Museum it was quite a memorable and exhausting leg of our journey!
Stop 5: Hiroshima
Hiroshima is known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon and it’s peace memorial park is a somber trip-worthy experience. It’s also a bustling beautiful city with a unique food scene. We visited during peak sakura bloom and discovered Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki which is a standout meal from out trip!
Stop 6: Miyajima / Itsukushima
We took a ferry from Hiroshima to the ancient “shrine island” of Miyajima. Known for it’s giant floating Torii gate, 12th century Buddhist temple, and fresh oysters, it’s also a place to get mugged by wild deer. One of our favorite sites are the “Ojizosama” stone statues around temples like Daisho-in. They’re usually covered in colorful hand-knitted caps, clothing, and beads. The Japanese believe that all living and non-living things have a life and soul. That’s why they often dress up ojizosama to protect them from cold weather.
Stop 7: Back to Osaka
From the famous Dotonbori strip we eat our way through Osaka. From Shinsekai to Orange Street, Umeda to the hip little neighborhood of Nakazakicho we walk anywhere from 6-10 miles a day so this time it’s my hairy toes in the tub at the end of the video!
Music discovery is a big passion of mine and much of the inspiration to make these videos comes from tracks in the playlists I curate on Spotify:
Panasonic GH5 camera –
Panasonic 8-18mm, 100-300mm
Sigma Art 18-35mm w/ Metabones Speed Booster Ultra 0.71x
Genustech 77mm ND Filter
Zhiyun Crane V2 Gimbal
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