I just returned home to Idaho from a 10 day tour through Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Although I was there on assignment shooting some interviews with company business leaders, I tried to take time to experience each location and make some photographs.
My first stop was in Tokyo. I learned the hard way that American debit or credit cards will not work at most places in Japan. They use their own chip system and even American cards with chips don’t tend to work. Be sure to bring adequate cash and exchange it at the airport upon arrival. Public transport is incredibly convenient in Japan. I took a train to Tokyo station from the airport and then found a transfer line to the station nearest my hotel. This may not be the easiest thing to figure out how to do if it’s your first time in the area. I was grateful to have a local office staff member pick me up and guide me through the mass transit system.
That evening we explored some of the various districts near Tokyo station including the Honda headquarters and a few other famous streets.
For part of my time in Japan we traveled by bullet train up to a resort in the mountains called Sun Valley hot springs. I had my DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter kit with me and grabbed some aerial images and video.
The next stop was Seoul, South Korea. I happened to arrive just as they were announcing the MERS outbreak. I watched the news closely and took persuasions such as wearing a mask on public transit and washing hands frequently, but I never felt like there was any real risk. During a short break in my schedule, I made the trip to the Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, which was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395. I arrived at the palace just in time to see one of the hourly guard changing ceremonies.
This christian chapel was visible from my hotel room in Seoul.
I was able to make a quick visit to one my friends who works at the Seoul International School. I had a good time demonstrating the Phantom 2 for him and taking some aerial pictures of the school property.
This odd office building in Taipei, Taiwan looks like something out of Star Wars.
I had just one night in Taipei, Taiwan but after shooting the assignment I took a taxi to the Elephant Mountain trail head on the edge of the city and hiked the dozens of steep stairs to an overlook area to grab this shot of the city. The tallest building in Taiwan is called the Taiwan 101 and it lights up with different colors for each night of the week.
I had been to Manila once before last year so I didn’t push myself to get out and take many pictures this trip as I was already exhausted.