That’s what you call this in Japan. It’s an experience that looks way better shared on social media than in real life. But I gotta say, Japan is genius at it.
But even though they did a pretty decent job of selling orange as the new amber, this team gets a certain number of #instabae demerit points because every half hour, when the lights switch from “Snow & Blue” to ten minutes of “Candle & Amber,” everybody collects eagerly at the photo spot with phones set to “Video,” hoping to catch the transition, but all that happens is that they turn off the blue ones, leave it dark for a few seconds, then turn on the orange ones. Hashtag #disappointment, trending.
(Here’s how everyone wishes it happened)
Other places are far more experienced at instabae. In fact, they were totally designed to be instabae, even back when all people could do was inflict their holiday photos on their friends face to face. Take Ashikaga Flower Park, for example. The actual experience is less like strolling through a garden than elbowing your way through a crowded plant theme park – it’s a small area utterly crammed with as many plantings (and people) as it can hold. It is, however totally designed for amazing photos.
I’ve got to admit, even though I know these places are pure uploading honey traps, I still go. Because Japan is really really really good at making the schlep worthwhile. And how did they get to be so good? By being snag-that-moment-and-save-it fanatics since the days before there were photos, of course. Back when you had to pen a haiku to capture a shareable travel moment.
How wild the sea is,
and over Sado Island,
the River of Heaven
Didn’t even need to master the “starry night” setting on his camera for that one, did he?
If you’re in Tokyo and you’d like to capture your own instabae moments, here are the best places to see autumn leaves, the most fab holiday illuminations, and amazing flower extravaganzas in every season.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!