Images by Cassandra | Documentary Travel photographer » documentary travel photographer based in Tokyo, Japan inspired by life.

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Nagano | Japan snow monkeys | Jigokudani

High up on the travel itinerary list for anyone coming to or living in Japan is to see the Japanese Snow Monkeys. It took us a while to get there but finally we did. I have to say though that we went when the snow was already gone and that was unfortunate because I think the experience would have been better if there had been snow and it was cold. I was both thrilled by the experience and disappointed. It is amazing to see the monkeys and they are so used to people that you are literally just walking among them and they run around you as though you don’t even exist, to see them soaking in the hot spring is very cool and I bet it would be fantastic in the snow. The walk to the park is also nice and not in anyway difficult (even with 2 smallish kids). Once you get to the area it is however not quite as pretty, there are a lot of pipes everywhere and looks unnatural, I am sure that if it were covered in snow it may look better. For this reason I highly recommend that if you travel to see the monkeys try to do it when its cold and with a beautiful flutter of snow.

We also got to see some beautiful shrines in Nagano while we were there. All of them worth visiting. Togakushi Shrine, which is made up of 3 separate shrine complexes was amazing, especially the giant tree lined path to Okusha, the shrine at the top. You will also see a few photos of food snuck in the slideshow, I am a huge fan of Japanese food and its one of my favourite things about travelling in Japan. Delicious!

Here is a short 15 second video of the snow monkeys that I made for Instagram. They were also used in the longer video on Japan in the vimeo account.

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a morning in Meji

I have been to Meji Jingu many times now and I am never going to tire of it. I am a little addicted to the place. I think I may put a book together just for Meji as I have a pretty large collection of photographs from there now and it would be a really good excuse to go back far too many times more.

Morning in Meji:

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Wisteria

Spring is a photographers dream in Japan, not only do you get the cherry blossoms which are spectacular but you get Wisteria blossoming everywhere too.

There are quite a few places you can travel to to see the Wisteria I chose to go to Ashikaga Flower park and Kameido Tenjin Shrine. Ashikaga was by far the most crowded, I have never seen so many people in a flower park before but the Wisteria there is impressive especially the 150+ year old trees, they are so well looked after.

Kameido Tenjin Shrine also has very impressive Wisteria but not the colour variety that you will find in Ashikaga. It is however much easier to get to and it is in a nice location with the sky tree behind it and it has 2 red bridges within the garden which are very photogenic.

If you just want to see Wisteria I would recommend the Ashikaga flower park because of the amount and variety that it has, but if you don’t have a lot of time and are not able to travel that far you cannot go wrong with Kameido. I cannot choose between the two and definitely think its worth seeing both if you can.

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Its a very green season

I have been in Japan for a few years now but I never remember noticing the green summer as much as I have this year. I am a Instagram addict and when I look over my gallery the different seasons are so apparent by the colours in my feed, winter looked so blue and spring looked so pink and now the summer is so so green! This country is gorgeous and it is not the concrete jungle that you would expect it to be, there is nature everywhere!

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