Japan’s Natural Light Shows Photographed by Takehito Miyatake
Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake’s photos of magical firefly trails, glowing squid and awe-inspiring volcanic eruptions has recently won him Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. Miyatake’s long-exposure photography, which can last anywhere from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, captures what he describes as the “light of Japan.”
However, as it turns out, Miyatake’s profound reverence for the power of nature is rooted not in photography but in waka, a classical form of Japanese poetry.
1. A flight of hime botaru fireflies light up the forest to create a dreamy, fairytale-like spectacle
2. A long-exposure shot of the Showa crater, the most active volcano in Sakurajima, underneath the stars
3.In spring, firefly squid (hotaru ika) rise 2000 feet to the surface of the water and offer a fleeting glimpse of their magical lights
4.Volcanic lightning during the eruption of the Sakurajima volcano
5.Genji botaru fireflies around a small bridge over the Shimanto River (Kochi Prefecture)
6.The Milky Way glittering above the woods with the green lights of fireflies dancing in the foreground.
7. Scores of fishing rafts floating in the Uchino-umi highlighted by the light from the full moon.
8. The moon lights up a waterfall against geometric rock formations
9. A close-up of the red-hot cinders erupting from the Showa crater on Sakurajima
10. Volcanic lightning over the Sakurajima eruption.
This 144-Year-Old Wisteria In Japan Looks Like A Pink Sky
These stunning photographs, which look like a glorious late evening sky with dashes of pink and purple, are actually pictures of Japan’s largest wisteria (or wistaria, depending on whom you ask) plant.
This plant, located in Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan, is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still comes in at an impressive 1,990 square meters (or half an acre) and dates back to around 1870 (the largest, at about 4,000 square meters, is the wisteria vine in Sierra Madre, California). Although wisterias can look like trees, they’re actually vines. Because its vines have the potential to get very heavy, this plant’s entire structure is held up on steel supports, allowing visitors to walk below its canopy and bask in the pink and purple light cast by its beautiful hanging blossoms.
Image credits: Takao Tsushima