Japan is full of some of the most amazing culture and fascinating history.  With a civilization many centuries old, Japan has had a lot of time to evolve.  However, they staunchly retain the rich past that defines their architecture, shrines, attitudes, and traditions.  They respect each other and have an incredible work ethic.  They impress the world every year with their technology, yet they loyally maintain structures that have been in existence for over 1300 years.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

One of my favorite parts of our visit (and my resulting photography) was witnessing the harmony of classic and modern: traditional ryokan next to shining skyscrapers, solar-powered Maneki-neko, kanji and romaji, elegant kimono and smartphones.  It is a beautiful sight, indeed, to see history and traditions grow and evolve with the people, without losing their depth and spirit.

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