Japan 2.0: Us, as seen by Japan locals

Us in Kamakura by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

We have a rather unusual approach today to a travel post, we are going to share pictures of us taken by Japanese locals during our trip to Japan this last autumn. But the twist is, that none of the pictures shared in here were actually requested by us, but quite the contrary, were offered by the kind people whom we stumbled upon.

I think Japan is the only place in the world we have visited where people have asked us directly if they could take a picture of us, neither with their camera nor with them, but with our own camera as a gift to us to keep that travel momentum. It just shows how thoughtful they are.

I should mention also that the framing of each shot was also completely up to the impromptu photographer, as we never requested anything, it just made more sense to not direct and have really unexpected photos.

Us in Disneysea by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

At Disneysea. Much better to have on focus what is really important here: The tower of terror! hahaha! :)

Us in Disneysea by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

Mermaid Lagoon at Disneysea, swoon! I really like having this picture.

Us in Disneysea by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

And although it was going to be a complete color madness, of course! we would love to have a picture inside the mermaid lagoon on this balcony :)

Us in Kamakura by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

This was in Kamakura, and it must count double, as the picture was taken by the third member of the Japanese group. They thought we would like to have a picture with them to remember. Well, they were actually right, we love to have it! Oh! and the first picture in this post, was also taken in Kamakura by a Japanese student, she made such a perfect portrait picture, right? It is my favorite.

Us in Hakone by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

At Hakone a Japanese girl told us why we were not taking a picture with both of us in a more typical fashion and offered, we couldn’t say no!

The thing is, we are profoundly grateful but every time we’ve felt sorry for them too, because our camera is not that easy to use when you are not familiar with it. Partially, because a dslr is not as straightforward as a smartphone camera, and also because we changed the focus button to another one different from the shutter, so extra steps to learn and to explain with our poor-to-nothing Japanese.

At the second picture we had a system, that worked quite good, and it was something like configuring quickly & telling “1 here, 2 here” and that worked!… well, most of the times at least. We also changed to the smartphone, but sometimes we could sense that they found it strange or we feared that they thought we lacked trust.

Us in Hakone by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

Back on the hotel, the consierge found us walking around and proposed to take a picture for us to keep the memory of the hotel forever. Thanks Takuminoyado!

Us in Osaka by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

This has to be the weirdest proposal, a Japanese elderly was also waiting for his takoyaki at this stand when he suddendly thought we should have a picture taken here. We knew the faces were going to be completely black, but what would be the point of not taking it, ha!

Us in Kyoto by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

On our hotel in Kyoto we were warmly greeted by the staff because they remembered us from our honeymoon (they are the cutest!) and after offering sodas & refreshment they also proposed this picture. I love it so much! I call it honeymoon part 2 ;)

Us in Kyoto by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

This picture has a funny story behind. We were taking pictures around this area, and started looking at this married couple taking their wedding pictures when the official photographer & the father of the bride asked us if we would mind taking a couple of pictures with the couple for their album, what a honor! When we finished, the father of the bride himself, offered to take a picture with our phone to also have a memory of them.

Us in Midori sushi by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

Our counter neighbor, at Midori Sushi in Tokyo, thought we should always remember this amazing sushi, so true!

Us in Hattifnat by a Japanese local - The cat, you and us

Two foreign adults that excited to enter into a café? Of course they had to take a picture of us :)

Us in And people by Kitsune-kun - The cat, you and us

And finally, this is not taken by a Japanese local, but a darling American living in Japan. Having Kitsune-kun taking a picture of us was definitely the sweetest.

Not the best pictures of the trip? no matter at all because we have ended having very fun, carefree shots… and amazing memories, thanks Japan!

Do you also happen to have almost 0 pictures of yourself or with your travelling partner? I would love to hear your photo experiences when travelling! I am super shy and never thought about proposing to take pictures to visitors in Barcelona, but definitely I’m now thinking twice.

17 Comments / 5 

  1. Angela Tolsma - 26th April 2017

    Oh I love these! That’s so kind of them to take the pictures and capture these moments. Love your stories to go with.

    • We reply...

      Thanks Angela, you’re very sweet, I’m happy you liked our quite unusual travel post :)

  2. Kate - 26th April 2017

    How fantastic. What a great series! I often want to offer to take people’s photos for them but never do. Maybe I will now :)

    • We reply...

      I know, I’m also too shy! Sometimes I think about it, but then always think again and can’t approach them :) So much to learn from strangers, isn’t it?

  3. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's - 26th April 2017

    What omg this is so cute! You came across the loveliest and most thoughtful people! When I travel, I almost never pictures of myself. I might get pictures of myself if I’m traveling with people, but only if it’s a group photo :P -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • We reply...

      I’m sure your travel partners are super happy to have you on board taking pictures! :) Big hug, thanks for your sweet comment!

  4. daria - 26th April 2017

    Ah, how wonderful to gather all these photos together! We’ve also had people offering to take pictures of us in Tokyo, but just once or twice. You have so many! P.S. I also met with Kathryn when I was there, small world! :D

    • We reply...

      What a small world indeed! So happy to know that there is this blog connection now :) I think we only had 1 picture taken actually in Tokyo, it was more usual in Kyoto or while visiting hotspots and rural areas. Hugs!

  5. Nieves - 27th April 2017

    Las fotos de parejita me encantan, estáis muy guapos y los locales son una maravilla, pero me ha robado el corazón la foto en blanco y negro qué estáis en la entrada de un templo, en una especie de lago.

  6. Fiona - 28th April 2017

    awwwww such a sweet post and I’m definitely going to remember the 1-2 for whenever I (hopefully!) have the offer made – back button focusing is great and difficult to explain! Also I think this post not only speaks about how wonderful Japanese people are and how everyone has a different photographic eye but also that you guys are so lovely and approachable that people want to help you – isn’t that a nice thought :) I’m also now inspired to make sure that if I’m half thinking of offering to take someone’s photos that I just take it for them without over thinking :P

    • We reply...

      Aw, thank you my dearest Fee! Hahahaha I get what you are saying, I’m also only half thinking because I’ll always be too shy & will over think everything, maybe Dani will take the lead, ha! :)

  7. Lorna - 1st May 2017

    Oh my gosh, what incredible memories to have from the trip. Collecting them together tells such a unique story, and I love that the locals were so excited for you to capture moments big and small. :)

    (Also, super impressed that the staff at your Kyoto hotel remembered you guys from your honeymoon!)

    • We reply...

      Thanks Lorna!! Every place leaves that special memory to keep and with Japan this one will definitely be on top of our list for sure. Oh, agree! the Kyoto hotel staff was so so cute, for our honeymoon they even bought as a book as wedding gift. It was very emotional to be back.

  8. Jennifer - 3rd May 2017

    This is so sweet! It makes me think of two things.

    1) One winter my husband and I went outside to shovel snow, and I took a photo of him. Another couple that was outside saw and offered to take a photo of the two of us together. Then we took a photo of them. I wouldn’t of thought to take a photo of the both of us otherwise

    2) One bit of advice that I got from a parenting podcast was that if you have a friend or family who just had a baby, when you visit take of a photo of them all together. The parents will most likely only get a photo all together only if they pay a professional photographer. I thought this was a very sweet idea.

    • We reply...

      Thanks for sharing your bit! Such a good advice number 2, and how this type of spontaneous things like in number 1 make sometimes such a vivid memory. Big hug Jennifer!

  9. Jane - 3rd May 2017

    Oh I love these! :) there are hardly any pictures of me because for some reason over the years i became super camera shy (I wasn’t always like this.. so odd) — but i don’t normally like to ask people to take “our picture” (but i did when Piri was with us especially during his last months as I wanted pictures of the three of us before it was too late) and would just either do selfies or individual shots. :)

    • We reply...

      Oh! I can understand about the need of having pictures of the three of you. We miss Piri a lot, Jane! Big hug to the three of you (and all the doggie guests too! how cute they are!)

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