Travelers know that it’s people who define the places we visit and that it’s often the people that we remember the most.
I have spent the last three weeks in Japan, traveling across much of the country and enjoying all of its magnificent scenery. Still, it’s the Japanese that I have fallen for, in a way that I never expected to.
Before now, I knew many Japanese people at home and abroad and I saw them traveling everywhere in the world in their very Japanese way — somewhat sequestered, separate, and silent. But when you meet the Japanese in Japan, it’s a very different experience. The Japanese in Japan are open, friendly, warm, communal and very natural. I think that’s been my biggest revelation from this journey.
I met thousands of Japanese, I spoke with hundreds and I made fast friends with so many of them. These images (shot on my iPhone) represent just a few of the friendly faces that I will remember as I depart a country that I have grown to love.
- Nat Geo Expeditions