Staycation or Japan from North to South

2020 has been a strange year and so far it looks like it will continue so until the end… I definitely do not need to explain you what that means. I guess there is no place on Earth that would not have been impacted by covid-19, to what extent is a separate question.

Like probably all of you, I have been restricted to the country I currently live in, that is Japan. In my five plus years here, it has been the longest gap without going back to Europe, or without going anywhere abroad for that matter. Not that I cannot leave the country, I could, though coming back may be an issue. Up until September, Japan did not allow foreign residents to come back if and once they left the country. Now it is possible, but with a list of requirements and conditions that still make it really complicated.

Tokyo from the plane

We have not had a strict lock down in Japan, so travelling within the country has been possible since late June-July when the state of emergency has been lifted. I have been using that opportunity and while it does not replace the trips I was planning originally, it still can be quite fun.

Hokkaido flower fields
The Blue Pond, Hokkaido
Lavender season was almost over, here a field of scarlet sage

Rarely anyone can correctly estimate the size of Japan, just looking at the map it does not seem so big. Going from the North-east of Hokkaido (the northern island) to Ishigaki (island close to Taiwan, the farthest point in South-west one can fly to) is approx. 3000km. I am not even mentioning Ogasawara islands located about 1000km South of Tokyo that can be reached only by ferry. The point I am trying to make that Japan is a big country and has very diverse nature and climate conditions depending on which part of the country you are in.

Okinawa islands from the plane
Yubu island, Yaeyama islands, Okinawa
Our “transport” is having siesta…
Mangrove forest in Iriomote island, Okinawa
Mangrove forest, Iriomote, Okinawa
Okinawa style, Taketomi island

Someone once said that Japan is grey and lacks nature. It could be the first impression when arriving to Tokyo and not having enough time to explore the country. Anyone who knows Japan a bit better will agree that there is a variety of nature, from mountains to seas, from winter wonderlands to tropical islands, you name it. Over the last few months I happened to visit quite a few places, always taking a window seat as the dreamers do (read more here), so this post is to share some photos and show how diverse and beautiful Japan is.

“Inside everyone,
the infinite traveller
longs to be set free.”
(William C. Hannan)

Tottori sand dunes
Space and freedom in Tottori sand dunes

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