It seems like a coincidence and a repetitive action, but as a vacation photographer I got yet another opportunity to photograph another Italian in downtown Tokyo. As you probably remember, first Italian I had “shot” was Marco Ferri, an amazing artist.
Her name is Camilla, and she is an Italian woman who has lived abroad for almost 15 years between London, Barcelona and now Tokyo since 2017th. Camilla was supposed to stay here 1 year but apparently, she enjoys her life in Japan so much that she has not left and is not planning to do so in the near future.
She loves traveling, getting to know new cultures and languages. As you probably have guessed already, Japanese culture is very addictive and people fall in love with it. After all, there is no other country where people are so so very polite that even the most polite westerner by comparison will look like he’s missed a few years in school, at least not another country that I know of.
After getting in contact with Camilla and find out what she wanted from her photoshoot with me as a private vacation photographer, we decided to start the session at Hie Shrine, and take a few shots with the very well known iconically Red Torii Gates that typically marks the entrance.
The truth is people visit Japan for this kind of unique places and of course capture forever such amazing memories.
The torii gates tunnel are starting at the bottom of the stairs and go up the hill where the beautiful and famous Hie Shrine is situated.
The “competition” of these torii gates are those that are found in Kyoto at Fushimi Inari Shrine (for which I’ll have to visit Kyoto for the second time), but that means an over 2 hour ride with Shinkansen thus a notable extra expense. This makes for a very compelling place to go without having to go outside the metropolis.
Going back to the photoshoot, I started taking photos of Camila from the bottom of the stairs and made our way up, taking turns with the myriad of visitors that day who were “selfieing” unlimited shots. 🙂 A good tip here is to get to Hie Shrine as early as possible if you intend of taking lots of photos that will not look crowded with tourists. Once we got up on top of the hill, there were a couple of photoshoots for weddings happening so we had to wait “our turn” for the good spots.
Now, there is a certain etiquette for worshiping at temples throughout Japan (for which I personally don’t excel in applying especially if I’m there to work as a personal travel and vacation photographer) and consists of a 3 main steps if I don’t count that one has to throw money as well- this can be as little as ¥1.
First of all, one needs to bow twice, followed by a second step consisting of a soft clap of the hands- also done twice. The 3rd step is the closing one making slowly a deep bow. Doing these steps may seem meaningless for westerners, but think of it like going to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (Vatican City) and make a cross, something very natural; in any case, experimenting these simple 3 steps will actually give you a nice feeling.
Another custom step is to wash your hands before visiting the main shrine (as seen bellow) which has the meaning of cleaning both the body and mind and a great opportunity for me to make yet another great photo to document you trip.
After taking the shots needed around His Shrine, we decided to walk instead of taking a subway to Zojoji Temple and Shiba Park which are near by the Radio Tower. (The bad news is in Shiba Park, as well as in other parks, I’m not allowed to use lights unless I have a special permit to do so.)
The way from one place to another lasted for a little longer than 20 minutes, but a coffee to go might have intervened to rise up the blood sugar and caffeine intake. 🙂
Shiba Park is perfect place to get very good portraits with a special background, The Tokyo Tower. The place has an amazing vibe, filled up with people enjoying the great weather and/or having a picnic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth going to visit The Tower, after all, it’s one of the most known sites to visit in this big metropolis, but from up close it won’t fit in one photo as the background in your shot, nor it will look professional, trust me on this.
Since I got your attention, it would make me very happy if you hit the contact button down bellow and book me as your vacation photographer in Tokyo or beyond, throughout Japan.