It's a cliche to say that Japan is full of contradictions. After all, the same could be said for almost any other place in the world. And yet, like everywhere else, the contradictions exist if you want to see them.
Some say that the nation's legendary train system is a reflection of its people while others believe the opposite. Similarly, if Japan is imagined as a mammoth megalopolis, then what does the peephole view of coastal Chiba Prefecture suggest?
The capital Tokyo is famous for the rapid turnover of its proprietors, a stylish restaurant opens, only to be replaced with another idea a few years later; far off Hiroshima knows too well that things don't last forever.
The ancient capital Nara welcomes its guests with animal hosts, whilst in southern Saitama, local festivities draw upon their own sense of hospitality.
Whether Japan is a land of contradictions or not, it is certainly a land that lets you keep looking.
Take the train somewhere, take out your camera, and look around.