In 2012 I spent a month in Japan and loved every minute of it.
The people were so friendly and polite, the food from anywhere (even from their 7/11 equivalents) was delicious, and their railway system is world-class—even in the rickety-older parts of town. I was so used to bowing to everyone that for about a week after landing back in Sydney, I kept bowing and kept having to stop myself mid-way.
What I love most about Japan is the greenery. For a civilisation that’s so advanced with technology, it’s so lovely to see an abundance of leaves and trees amongst the sky-high buildings. Many of the population, both young and old, ride around on bicycles too. None were the hipster fixie bikes, but just plain old push bikes. So cool. Japan just has this feel to it that makes me feel so at peace.
All I wanted to make was some sort of montage of the trip with a backing track—that’s it. The only part I planned was the beginning where you’ll see my feet walking in different shots. Everything else more along the lines of shoot-anything-interesting-for-5-seconds, and hope it’ll be useful in the edit later. This had to be balanced with ‘seeing’ Japan with my own eyes too, as I didn’t want most of my trip with a camera in my face. So, what we usually did was just experience the place first, then re-walk the space and record things of interest.
The reason the video is called ‘Pocket’ Japan is because everything was shot with the available camera in my pocket: an iPhone 4S. A friend of mine was carrying a pro dSLR (with stabiliser) too, so there was no way my shitty phone footage could match that. So I went with the more humble, pocket-sized take on the trip.