Capture Japan: Itsukushima Shrine

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Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima

I would contest that Itsukushima Shrine is one of the most breath-taking and beautiful shrines I’ve visited in Japan till this day. Erected in honor of the three daughters of Susanoo no Mikoto (the god of storm and sea), the shrine sits upon the Hiroshima Bay. At high tide, it creates the illusion that the shrine is floating on water. Luckily, we were able to visit during high-tide, so I could snap this picture! The shrine is also considered so pure that no births or deaths on the island where it was built (Miyajima) are permitted, and those who were close to labor or where death was imminent would be sent away. In any case, it’s definitely a gorgeous place to check out if you get the chance!

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Capture Japan: Lake Ashi

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Torii Gates at Lake Ashi, Hakone

I recently visited Hakone over Obon break with my friend who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Hakone is generally known as a resort area and it’s the perfect summer getaway, especially since it’s located in the mountains making the area much cooler and bearable than Tokyo. My friend and I ended up staying overnight at a cute ryokan or traditional Japanese inn we found last minute. Next to our ryokan there was an onsen theme park with wine onsen, green tea onsen, sake onsen, coffee onsen, etc. My favorite was the sake onsen. I honestly thought going to the onsen in the summer was the worst idea ever but the cool Hakone weather made me change my mind, since the hot spring water felt so amazing in comparison. We spent a few hours at the park before lounging around at the inn watching the Olympics. Next time hopefully I can stay for a few extra nights, haha!