Japan 2020 - Before the World Shut Down

In early (very early) 2020 I took off to the Land of the Rising Sun with a group of photographers led by the highly acclaimed Tom Bol Photo Workshops team. Equipped with a copious amount of hand sanitizer - as the world was just learning of COVID-19 at the time - we set off on an epic adventure that included planes, trains, automobiles and boats and covered everything from the big city scenes and cat cafes of Tokyo to more rural destinations full of Red Crowned Cranes and Japanese Macaques.

Giant Gundam
Colorful Ferris Wheel in Palette Town, Odaiba
Taxi in Tokyo
Neon in Tokyo
Tokyo 2020, planning for the Olympics, which would be postponed.

Red Crowned Japanese Cranes in Kushiro

The most intense Crane of the bunch, waiting for lunch.
Feeding the cranes
A Chorus of Cranes
Casual evening dining in Tokyo

Some sights from the Kushiro Washo Fish Market. There were plenty of fresh seafood options available for customers to enjoy!


I think my favorite stop was the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture. These monkeys were so expressive and would get within inches of the people there to observe them. Oh, and when they say the monkeys like to steal stuff, they are not kidding! 

Water bottles left unattended now belong to the monkeys!
Baby monkey sitting in the tree singing.
Kimono model in the bamboo forest.
Fountain at the shrine
2020, year of the rat
Sake Barrels at the Shrine
Fashionable footwear found in Kyoto

All in all, a very fun and memorable trip. Now, I am ready for the next adventure!

Created By
Melissa Stanton


Melissa Stanton