This is a photo post full of pictures of Japan. These 10 pictures of Japan tell a story of the country, as it is seen by the typical tourist of Japan on their visit to Japan.

Geisha & Maiko

Unique to Japan with their white faces, extravagant hair and expensive kimono, the tradition of Geisha and Maiko survives to this day. Most famously they are shown in paintings from Japan dating back hundreds of years.

Geisha debut picture Japan
The face of traditional Japan is still alive today.

Photo credit: Michael Chandler via Flickr.

Samurai picture from Tokyo, Japan

Katana (sword) wielding samurai are one of the most famous icons of Japan. With such a rich and long history, samurai have been depicted in art, television, anime (cartoons), manga (comics) and movies including a few Hollywood blockbusters.

This is the horseback samurai warrior Kusunoki Masashige in the Tokyo Imperial Palace gardens. This photo is from my first visit to Tokyo in Japan’s spring of 2009.

Statue of samurai warrior Kusunoki Masashige
State of the samurai warrior Kusunoki Masashige in the East Garden outside Tokyo’s Imperial Palace.

I took this photo during a holiday to Tokyo. The photo has been published in the Japan Times Online.

Temples and shrines in Japan

Temples and shrines go hand in hand in Japan. Rarely will you find a temple which does not have a shrine, conversely there are many small shrines littered around the country.

Picture of Toidaji Temple in Nara, Japan.
Todaiji Temple in Nara, Kansai, Japan (near Osaka).

This picture was taken during a trip to Nara, just near Osaka. Todaiji temple is famous for roaming deer and the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Temples are always an impressive scene and there are many different types.


Part of Japan’s history comprises eras of fierce battle between rulers of various areas. As a result, almost every region, town or city of Japan has a local castle. Some are poised atop mountains, others surrounded by moats and large walls. A visit to any castle is a must during a visit to Japan.

Picture of Okayama castle, Japan.
Okayama castle, painted in black, it is known as the Crow Castle.

This picture was taken in Okayama, Japan. Unique with black paint, Okayama castle is usually lit at night and can be seen from various places around the city.

The Big City

Japan has the 10th largest population of any country in the world, with about 128 million people. Tokyo alone has more people in one city than Australia does in its whole country.

HDR picture of Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
Tokyo, truly a city that never sleeps.

This picture of Shibuya, Tokyo is from Dan Chui via Flickr. An amazing HDR photo, Shibuya’s famous and massive pedestrian crossing can be seen in the right bottom corner.

Mt Fuji

Perpetually capped with snow, on a fine day Mt Fuji can be seen from Tokyo Tower. Shown in perhaps the most famous piece of art to come out of Japan The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Mt Fuji is reveared by the Japanese people.

Typically in Japanese, mountains are named ‘Mountain Name’ yama, for example Sanage yama (in Aichi, near where I live). However Mt Fuji is called Fuji san in Japanese, san is appended to peoples names, which shows the close relationship people have with Mt Fuji.

Picture of Mt Fuji at night in Japan.
Mt Fuji at night.

This brilliant photo of Mt Fuji at night is provided with thanks to (c) Tomo Yun

Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)

Arguably the most famous flower or plant of Japan, and known all over the world is the cherry blossom (sakura in Japanese). Blooming for only a few weeks everywhere, just about every Japanese person will annually attend a cherry blossom festival or spend a day picnicking and viewing cherry blossoms (ohanami in Japanese).

Picture of sakura, the Japanese cherry blossom.
A glimpse of the cherry blossom flower in spring.

This picture of cherry blossoms in Japan was taken during my visit to Okayama castle. Take a look at the articles in the Cherry Blossoms category for more pictures and info.

Bullet Trains (Shinkansen)

There are two photos for this one, for a few reasons: I think shinkansen are awesome; Japan is the pioneer and leader in high-speed trains, the latest bullet train (the E5 Hayabusa) travels at over 300km/h; the E6 (which is red so must be slightly faster!) has already been built and will be in operation in a few years; approval from the Japanese government has been given to JR (Japan Railway) to build a Maglev train between Tokyo and Osaka, it will travel at over 500km/h in an almost straight line!

Picture of the newest bullet train in Japan, the green E5 Hayabusa shinkansen.
A wallpaper of the E5 Hayabusa shinkasen from JR East.
An advertising poster for the new bullet train in Japan, the E5 Hayabusa.
An advertising poster for the new bullet train.

Both images are from JR East.

Go to Why go to Japan? Reason #2: Technology to see HD video of the new bullet train.

Japanese People

And last, but of course not least, is the Japanese people themselves. There are many stereotypes of Japanese people; the cosplay style, crazily dressed teen-to-twenty-something in Harajuku; the salary man squashed and asleep on the train; the old man and woman with hunched backs pulling their shopping trolley; ninjas… When you visit Japan you quickly realise that the Japanese hold onto a virtue, and that is general courtesy towards everyone.

Picture of people in Tokyo, Japan.
Waiting for a train to pass in Tokyo.

This photos was taken by Lee Chapman at Tokyo Times. Personally I am a big fan of the way he captures Japanese people in his pictures.