My Special Moments

The most memorable events I've experienced in Japan

By Elena Lisina    - 4 min read

During my trips to Japan, I was fortunate enough to visit many interesting places and see wonderful views, buildings, gardens, and pieces of art. My Japanese friends like to joke that I’ve seen more of Japan than they have! Every day of my trips was full of excitement, and during the evenings I repeated the impressions I'd made by looking through the shots I’d taken that day and previous days. However, among all those impressions, some stand out as the most memorable…

I may be not special to say that blooming sakura impressed me a lot. Standing under sakura trees and looking up I saw a ‘waterfall’ of tender light pink blossoms on the background of a blue sky – that was amazing! Together with the fresh spring air, the mood of awakened life was really joyful and overwhelming! The grandest view of sakura I enjoyed was standing on a top of a hill in Azumino. The sakura trees looked like foam on a wave at the foot of the Hida Range Mountains. That grand space and the warm spring wind on a bright sunny day made me happy and full of life.

An exciting mountain view and spring mood in the air
An exciting mountain view and spring mood in the air

I've also experienced special feelings when facing grand statues of Kannon. Their scale and calm expressions made me feel a connection to something bigger than common, everyday life. The grand statue of Ushiku Daibutsu against the bright blue sky and sakura that bloomed at the end of October is one of my strongest memories from Japan.

Grand statue of Amida Buddha and sakura in late October
Grand statue of Amida Buddha and sakura in late October

My Japanese friend often tells me that I’m Japanese, too, because I share the same aesthetic taste and mentality – particularly, the appreciation of nature and natural beauty. At home, I’m always happy to see the first wildflowers after a long winter, and I was excited to find early spring flowers in Nagano. It was late March and snow was still covering some shadowy places; suddenly I came across a brook, or maybe it was a small river, and saw a miracle – many snow white flowers growing right in the brook! Those tender flowers are still among my most favorite.

Early spring flowers in a brook
Early spring flowers in a brook

Speaking of flowers, there is one more miracle – blooming fuji, or wisteria. It’s hard to describe its beauty as it must be seen with your own eyes! I found it particularly magical with the evening lighting - it felt like being inside a fairytale!

Magic fuji, or wisteria
Magic fuji, or wisteria

I’ve never had the opportunity to see blooming lotus flowers, often said to be the flower of Buddha. Of course, I’d seen them in photos, but never in real life. When I finally saw a pond full of blooming lotus in Ueno Park, it was a thrill. Those big and tender flowers hid under huge leaves with water drops adorning them. I got the feeling that lotus really are a sacred flower of the Gods.

Lotus are really amazing flowers!
Lotus are really amazing flowers!

Some more special moments I experienced included standing under huge sacred trees and feeling the protection of kami (Shinto gods), watching the power of a waterfall that made its way through the rocks, feasting my eyes on a sunrise along a deserted coast of the Pacific Ocean, and a sunset in Osaka with dark silhouettes of harbor cranes.

The sunset in Japan is the finest on the Earth!
The sunset in Japan is the finest on the Earth!

Some great moments of enlightenment I’ve experienced are connected with Fuji-san. After quite a long wait, the top of Fuji-san finally cleared from behind clouds and sparkled with snow in all its beauty – it was a really exciting moment shared with many people around! Climbing Fuji-san was even more exciting and I’d say it was surprising. Surprising to see many blooming flowers on a volcano ground, to hear absolute silence, and to stand higher than the clouds!

The moment of enlightenment...
The moment of enlightenment...

All of those moments have a special place in my memories and in my heart. I guess everyone has their own special moments, too!

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: https://gurushots.com/f10384/photos Matane!

Join the discussion

Lynda Hogan 4 weeks ago
Beautiful photos. I feel the same way about Fuji san. Just a glimpse of it on an average day brings a smile to my face, but watching sunrises and sunsets with its majesty in the scene is just breathtaking.
Elena Lisina Author 4 weeks ago
Thak you, Lynda! Here I can see Fuji-san only on my photos! ;)
Kim B a month ago
Lots of precious moments!