Justin Béchard's profile

Japan x Google Pixel

This year I decided to travel to Japan during my vacation and experiment photography with the Google Pixel. Japan is a graphically beautiful country with all its lights and signs throughout the streets. I took photos around various cities that you will discover later. I edited my pictures on the Pixel too with the Google Snapseed application. It was an amazing trip and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did with the images below. Let's start with the famous capital, Tokyo. Irasshaimase!
Tokyo is an enormous city with an evolved system of transportation; high speed trains, huge subway lines network, local railways and buses all around. There are so many people over there, about 9,273 millions of individuals breathing in the metropole everyday! Lots of Karaoke Bars, Pachinko and slots, arcades and boutiques, it's just massive and incredible! Therefore, my trip wasn't centered on these attractions but more on the cultural and pratimonial aspect of the city. First place I headed was the Golden Gai and the Meiji-Jingu sanctuary.
The Golden Gai is a district containing several narrow streets filled with micro bars. There are about 200 of them and they all have their own sign. At the time I was visiting that place, there were no establishment open so I couldn't experience the thing! I hope you try it if you ever go to Japan!

Meiji-Jingu is a huge sanctuary in Shibuya. You can go on a stroll for an hour or two in there. It is really peaceful! When you arrive at the center, you can wash your hands and mouth to purify yourself before entering the temple. I love to initiate myself to another culture's rituals! It's transforming. I took the picture above during my walk on the path to the temple. These are old barrels of Sake, each decorated differently and containing a unique brew.
There are a lot of sanctuary in Tokyo, but this one is really worth it! Senso-ji is a really big place and the path that leads to the principal temple is filled with small shops and bakeries with authentic Japanese goods. There you will find golden ornaments, beautiful statues and even your future! Actually there are installations that allow you to draw your fortune. If you get good fortune, you keep the paper that was given to you. If it is bad fortune, you tie it to a string of steel and leave it there forever so the darkness doesn't follow you home.
Probably the biggest fish market in the world. Tsukiji is filled with all kinds of sea food. It is really amazing to see and taste. there are things you wouldn't find anywhere else! I decided to take pictures around there using the lens blur functionality in the camera application. This one delivers really great results. It feels like I used a 50 mm lens on a reflex, I was really impressed by the render.
The Zozo-Ji is a gigantic Buddhist temple garding the military cemetery and the Shogun graves next to the Tokyo Tower. You can watch for free buddhist ceremonies inside; the music is shivering, it's insane! The site is beautiful with lots of small statues believed to be the guardians of children. People make them offering so they can preserve good fortune and health for the youth of Tokyo!
I decided to experiment with double exposure in Shinjuku Garden. The Google Snapseed app allows you to mix two pictures or more together and select a layer style to match with the lighting. The garden is really huge, some people use it as a place to empty their mind or as a circuit to break their running record. The sunlight was just right to make a contre-jour with my silhouette and there were beautiful flowers around, so I mixed these two elements and voilà. Here are three compositions I made with this technique.
Kyoto, the acient capital of japan, has more temples than any other city. A rich cultural inheritage that you have to see absolutely. Fountain of youth, monkey mountain, Arashiyama and many more; Kyoto's attractions are really breathtaking.
If you want to live a mystical experience, the Kyomizu-dera is the right place for you! You gotta walk a long way to reach the temple but trust me, you won't regret it. On the site, there are various things to see like the rocks of love which grant you a wish if you successfuly manage to walk blinded from one rock to the other. My favorite is the fountain of youth, probably the freshest water I ever drank in my life!
Monkey Mountain which is outside Kyoto near Arashiyama is a must if you go to Japan! You gotta walk 30 minutes before reaching the top. The view and the the animals are quite astounding! The monkeys are the inhabitants of the mountain. You enter their home when you go there so you gotta remain calm and if you want to feed them, you are the one who's going to be in a cage! Respect the apes!
Finally a shot taken during the night! When it comes to low exposure photography, the Google Pixel does an excellent job. I edited this picture with Google Snapseed and Kalos Filter, you really can create amazing renders with just a few applications. Gyon Matsuri is a happening during the month of July in Kyoto. It's a festival running since 869 for good harvest and to fight pestilence and other natural catastrophies. People walk around the city with moving shrines while singing and dancing, it's really beautiful.
Nara is another place inhabited by animals but this one is an entire city where deers are ruling! I loved this place so much! You walk around and always find a furry friend next to you. You can feed and pet the quadrupeds; they are really kind and docile. Just don't be stressed and too excited; animals are really sensitive to human's energy.
Osaka is probably one of the most impressive city I saw during my trip. Probably because of it's massive signs all around downtown and the channel going through the landscape. The nightlife is insane, so many people, so many shops and bars; you can easily get lost in the crowd.
Dotombori is a huge shopping district. There are stores on about 2 kilometers long, it's massive. Going there after dusk is the perfect moment, especially if you want to take pictures! The lights are so bright and colorful. If you are looking for a place to dine, a restaurant next to the channel is a good choice. Below you can see all the lights and signs reflecting in the water, it's so trippy!
Umeda feels like future, mostly because of its architecture. Glass, metal, bricks, geometry; those elements are really present in the surroundings. The famous attraction of the place is the Umeda Sky Building. It's a strange structure that looks like a "n" and there is an observatory at the top. You can see what the building looks like from below with the central picture.
My trip ended in Osaka. Japanese culture really puts me out of my comfort zone! People over there really work hard. Men are all dressed the same, white shirt and black pants, it's peculiar. They seem tired too, probably a big part of them are workaholic I guess! I enjoyed my trip even though there were some places where I couldn't enter because of my tattoos. Yes, Japanese people are somewhat conservative.
I am quite happy to bring powerful souvenirs at home thanks to the Google Pixel! Immortalized moments are worth way more than objects, remember that! I'm leaving you with a few pictures I took during my last day in Osaka! Enjoy!

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Japan x Google Pixel


Japan x Google Pixel

Discover my Google Pixel experiment throughout Japan.


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