Pictures of Japan

Izu, Nikko, Matsushima
Hans Olof Johansson's Ukiyo-E woodcut gallery

Me and Shintaro in Izu

A few years ago in Izu

Izu peninsula is located some 60 km west of Tokyo, south of Mt. Fuji. Shimoda, near its southern tip, is where Admiral Perry first landed to open Japan to the outside world. The village of Anjiro where much of Clavell's "Shogun" is set lies in eastern Izu.

This picture of Shintaro and me was taken in Iwachi Onsen, a fishing village on the Matsuzaki coast in southwestern Izu, my favourite part of the peninsula. It's a very quiet part of Izu, offers some stunning scenery and breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific in the west and good views of Mt. Fuji in the north.

The bath towel I'm wearing here bears the inscription "One square metre of Bavaria" and was a gift from one of my uncles when I got married.

View of Matsuzaki coast in Izu
View of Matsuzaki coast in Izu.

Abandoned rice terraces

In areas where there was little flat land farmers used to contruct terraces using dry stone walls. Many of these have now become abandoned and often were absorbed by forests or planted with trees.


Nikko lies along the 'Japanese Romantic Route' near Utsunomiya. It is where the Tokugawa shoguns, starting with Ieyasu himself (the Toranaga of James Clavell's "Shogun"), are enshrined.


The Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867, imposing isolation from the rest of the world for most of that period. There was limited contact with Europe only via Dutch traders.


The building where portable shrines are kept.


Moss covered rock walls and Japanese stone lanterns. The
lanterns here are in the classical "taima" style of Nara.

Lake Chuzenjiko

A view of lake Chuzenjiko near Nikko.


Matsushima, near Sendai, is considered one of the most scenic spots in Japan. It still is, but only off the trodden paths.


Here is a rice field just after harvest, near one
of the little fishing villages along the bay.


This little shrine is on an island in Matsushima bay
that's accessible via a footbridge.

(Return to Joe Wein's Japan page)