The idea of traveling to Japan started as a spontaneous adventure that we booked several months before departing, however by the time the trip came around in November 2015, we really needed to use it as a recharge and refresh for ourselves. After photographing 4 huge weddings in 2 short weeks before we left, we were running a bit low on motivation and inspiration.
We used our time in Japan to explore different environments that aren’t at the top of the tourist list. We adventured to lots of forests, while renting a car to go at our own pace. The change in scenery very quickly gave us a sense of rejuvenation, and spending time among the autumn leaves and misty mountains lit a fire inside of us to really discover what Japan is all about.
When meeting up with two friends from Brisbane who happened to be over there at the same time, we decided to join forces for a few days to explore a part of Japan that we probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. It was like the blind leading the blind – all we had with us were little printed out parts of Google maps of areas that we intended to head towards, little to no idea of what places were actually called and (thankfully) an English speaking GPS (but no idea on what we should enter in it to reach our destinations).
One morning we decided to travel to Kamikochi, a beautiful little national park situated in a gorgeous mountain range, and fumbled around to put some things into the GPS that we were sure would lead us there.
We then unquestionably followed the navigation for 4 hours until we reached our “destination” which was a tiny little train station in a small rural village. Needless to say, we had travelled in the complete opposite direction and wasted about half a day. However we were committed to making the best of our situation, where we just changed course and found new places to explore.
Two days later we finally arrived in Kamikochi on a very rainy day. We didn’t stay for long, as after 15 minutes of walking around we were drenched and freezing, with the miserable weather dampening our excitement. So we left, feeling a bit disappointed that we didn’t create all these incredible memories in this place like we had anticipated.
But those previous days of letting the unexpected happen and going with the flow were pure bliss. Too often we think about where we need to be or what we need to be doing, but the excitement in the unknown is what we remember about the trip, not knowing what was around the corner, but taking it head on anyway.
As we leave you here to look through the photos from our experience, we are continuing through 2016 with a very similar mindset: looking forward to embracing the unknown that is still to come.