Forget cherry blossoms, autumn may be the best time for photographers to visit Japan, and it’s time you knew why!
Today I’m going to reveal to you the five reasons why every photographer should visit and shoot Japan in autumn, but first, let’s get practical for a second.
Most of us know about Sakura, Japan’s sacred annual celebration of the cherry blossoms in spring. However, many people (and photographers) don’t appreciate the blossoms only reach their peak for about a week. While Koyo (the celebration of Japan’s autumn transformation) lasts for weeks. This immediately opens up more opportunity for photographers to get the shots we desire, but that’s just the beginning…
Here’s why you must shoot Japan in the fall:
1) THE COLOURS
Blazing reds, vibrant orange, and flamboyant yellow. The autumnal colours of Japan are a magnificent sight to behold and have inspired artists and poets for centuries.
As photographers, colour is one of the most important elements in our image and composition, and you’ll go a long way before you find such striking colours in your subject. Whether you’re a photographer still learning their craft, or you simply want to take your photographs to the next level, you won’t find an opportunity like this. The colours of Japan in autumn are both inspiring and empowering.
2) THE CONTRASTS
Another powerful element we use as photographers is contrast, and at this time of year, Japan offers an abundance of literal and conceptual contrasts.
You’ll always find the burst of vivid warm autumn hues (the bright red maple leaves and burnt orange foliage) set against irresistibly cool contrasting backgrounds (think clear blue skies, lingering green parklands and countryside, silver cities and calming temples).
And conceptually, you’ll find remarkable contrasts of ancient traditions merged with modern life at its most extreme, stunning natural wonders next to cloud-piercing urban skyscrapers, and more.
3) A CHANCE TO CAPTURE THE ICONIC & UNIQUE
Let’s be honest, if you’re going to go to Japan, there are places you have to photograph. Such as the Golden Pavilion, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and the Chureito Pagoda with Mount Fuji towering in the background. You’ll get all these shots in autumn. But, you’ll also find some really unique and inspirational locations where you can’t help but get creative.
For example, if you journey to Hokkaido (typically known for the red-crowned crane and its winter wonders), you’ll discover startlingly beautiful landscapes, wildlife, villages and more. All painted with the tinge of autumn’s copper brush.
4) FUN AND FESTIVALS
Photography is a way of seeing, exploring and enjoying the world.
So if you’re travelling to Japan, it needs to be fun, and personally, I think Japan is so much fun in fall. Not only do they have some of the most amazing autumn-themed festivals in the world, but the food and flavours are incredible at this time of year.
If that isn’t tempting enough, it’s also Sumo season!
5) THE WEATHER
Weather matters, a lot. The weather in autumn is almost universally awesome at this time of year. Minimal rainfall means crisp blue skies. There’s none of the sticky summer humidity. And while it naturally gets chilly when you head to the north of the country, it’s relatively easier to manage, and you don’t need to carry as many jackets in your luggage. So more room for your equipment!
Japan in autumn is an incredible destination, and as a photographer, you must put it on your hit list.
If you are considering a trip to Japan in the fall, I’ve just launched a new tour in November 2020. Where you’ll not only experience all of above, but I’ll be there to help you every step of the journey with expert tips, tricks and professional photography advice. Ensuring you get the photos you dream of taking.
To learn more and view the photography tour brochure CLICK HERE.