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6 Amazing Views! The Winners Of MATCHA's Japan Photo Contest

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We introduce the six winners of the scenery photo contest we held in April-May 2020. Marvel at tea plantations with Mt. Fuji in the background, Hayama beach at sunset, and other beautiful views. All these photos remind us how wonderful it is to travel.

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The 6 Most Instagrammable Views in Japan

The joy of feeling the cool wind in the outdoors. The wonderful time spent with the loved ones on a trip. Good pictures remind us of the joys of traveling.

MATCHA held a photo contest in April-May 2020 within our project Ready For Japan. From the more than 200 photo entries we're received, we selected six beautiful works that make us dream of actually visiting those places ourselves.

1.Yuragawa Kyoryo Bridge in Kyoto, Picture by letterfromgon

Let us first introduce this picture taken by letterfromgon. It makes you feel the breeze over the bridge crossing the sea, as well as the joy and expectations of the traveler on the move.

Yuragawa Kyoryo is a bridge on the Kyoto Tango Railway that connects Toyooka, where the famous Kinosaki Onsen is located, to Amanohashidate. Take a Kyoto Tango train and you'll be able to enjoy amazing views of the sea, as well as special rides that include delicious local cuisine.

letterfromgon visited here in the fall of 2019. On their way to Tajima Ankokuji Temple, which is famous for its magnificent fall foliage, letterfromgon decided to ride a local train, something that they hadn't tried before.

letterfromgon is a photographer and travel enthusiast who has been to all the regions in Japan except Wakayama and Kagoshima. In 2019, they also traveled to Bolivia, Spain, Morocco, and Belgium. Right now, they focus on introducing beautiful quiet places that can be accessed by public transportation.

2. Hayama Park in Kanagawa, Picture by the_canvas_hayama_park

Hayama, close to Kamakura and Zushi, is a popular resort and beach area. One of the Imperial Villas that the Emperor and Empress Emeriti use for recreation after their retirement is also located here.

Hayama Park offers amazing views of Mt. Fuji and Enoshima Island. The beautiful sunset visible from this park is loved by both locals and the many visitors to the city. “When you see the faint pink hues of this sunset and its orange colors that look like the last sparks of burning life, you can't help but think yourself grateful for another beautiful day,” told us the_canvas_hayama_park.

the_canvas_hayama_park is the official account of The Canvas Hayama Park, located right near Hayama Park.

The Canvas Hayama Park is a rental villa that receives a maximum of three lodging groups per day. It opened in 2016 promoting the idea of “staying in Hayama as if you were living here.” The staff wants the guests to enjoy the slow tempo of the Hayama lifestyle along with the changing of the seasons. As you can guess from the comment above, the staff really loves Hayama.

In Hayama you'll find reasonable dining places loved by the locals, as well as stylish restaurants awarded with Michelin stars. It's the ideal area to stay for longer, either to enjoy your holiday at leisure or to concentrate on a project.

3. Azumino in Nagano, Picture by asamatamanoyu

Azumino is known for the Azumino Art Line, an area with no less than eighteen art museums standing amid idyllic scenery. It is located very close to Matsumoto, a popular travel hub in Nagano.

Azumino is surrounded by steep mountains so the winters here are very harsh and cold. Work in the fields starts here in the spring, after the snow melts. This picture was taken in May 2020 and it shows the beauty of the snowy mountains reflected in the water mirrors along with the breath of life that rejoices at the coming of spring.

asamatamanoyu is the official account of Hotel Tamanoyu in Matsumoto Asama Onsen。This hotel is a unique lodging facility known for holding the so-called Kurumaza Concerts. here guests and staff come together to hold song and live music performances.

Hotel Tamanoyu aims to be a lodging that is kind to people, where everyone can spend their days smiling. That is why they have barrier-free bathing facilities and lanes for wheelchairs throughout the facility. When visiting Matsumoto, how about staying at this lodging to feel the kindness of the locals?

4. Shingashi River in Saitama, Picture by lykishkeane

Kawagoe is often called “Little Edo” because of its streets with historical buildings that preserve an Edo-period atmosphere. The city is also famous for its exquisite food culture and delicious local snacks. The river called Shingashigawa flows from Kawagoe toward Tokyo.

The author of this beautiful picture of cherry blossoms is lykishkeane. The water mirror and the cherry blossoms above it combine to create an enchanting pink-colored world.

lykishkeane is a travel writer from the Philippines who loves potato treats and beautiful nature scenery. The Shingashi River happens to be the place where she and her husband have enjoyed viewing the cherry blossoms together for the first time. Lately, they travel there every year.

She told us that, in order to take this picture, she had to wait until after 17:00 when other visitors are starting to leave. “I was doubtful that I’ll get a good shot because of the minimal natural light, but I got lucky and I got this shot. A very nice way to end a day,” lykishkeane told us.

The Shingashi River flows past Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, the famous shrine to visit for those who are in love. In other words, it’s a great place to visit together with your significant other.

5. Obuchi Sasaba in Shizuoka, Picture by kam_kam_2020

Mt. Fuji, one of the most popular travel destinations in Japan. Did you know that Shizuoka, where Mt. Fuji is located, boasts the largest production of tea in Japan?

Obuchi Sasaba offers an excellent angle to shoot Mt. Fuji over the tea plantations. Many photographers visit this place. This picture by kam_kam_2020 was taken in May, the month when the green of the tea plantations is at its most vibrant.

The deep green of the forest behind the plantations, the clear blue of Mt. Fuji, and the white snow on its summit create a beautiful harmony of colors.

Kam_kam_2020 is a photographer who loves taking pictures of animals and landscapes. In order to take pictures of animals, kam_kam_2020 traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, and even Alaska. In Japan, kam_kam_2020 often drives with their beloved dog to places like Hokkaido, Tohoku, or Mt.Fuji to take photographs.

The scenery at Obuchi Sasaba is maintained through the efforts of the locals. When you visit, please take care not to enter the tea plantations without permission or disturb the locals. Enjoy your photoshoot!

6. Amanohashidate in Kyoto, Picture by pb_.jpg

We’ve kept Amanohashidate in Kyoto, one of the three most beautiful sceneries in Japan, for last. This beach with approx. 5,000 pine trees spreading along the 3.6-km coastline looks just like a bridge in the sky when viewed upside down.

This picture by pb_.jpg shows the vibrant pink flowers with Amanohashidate in the background. Its brilliant use of perspective reminds of the ukiyoe woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai.

Pb_.jpg took this photo in the summer of 2018 when she visited Amanohashidate for the first time. Besides taking photographs, she had a great time in Amanohashidate relaxing on the beach with her boyfriend, enjoying the scenery from Amanohashidate Viewland, and indulging in delicious seafood.

pb_.jpg is from Indiana, USA, and lives in Fukuchiyama, a city in Kyoto Prefecture, where she works as an English teacher. She told us that ever since her first visit to Amanohashidate, this place has become her favorite in Japan and she has visited it again several times.

Look Forward to Your Next Trip to Japan!

It might take a while until we can travel again internationally due to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

Nevertheless, try to imagine the wind and the sounds that these photos transmit. Your heart will be filled with your own travel memories and at the same time, your expectations and hopes for future trips will grow.

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Written by



Mitoyo, Kagawa, Japan

I worked in a PR agency for corporate IR/CSR and a publisher which publishes a magazine focused on international cooperation before joining MATCHA in October 2017. 
In April 2019, I moved to Mitoyo City in Kagawa Prefecture. I write articles for tourists visiting Japan, and also contribute to regional revitalization.
My main focus is on writing about internet services, rental cars, hotels, and tourist attractions in western Japan.
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