The season of autumn foliage has begun again this year in many parts of Japan. Autumn foliage viewing is a staple of autumn tourism throughout Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to Kagoshima Prefecture in the south.
Recently, not only temples and shrines, but also railroads and autumn leaves have become popular combinations. Especially this season, the Hakone Tozan Railway in Kanagawa attracts about 20,000 tourists a day to see the autumn leaves.
In this issue of the magazine, we bring you the best shots of “trains and autumn leaves” taken from 300 meters above the ground.
Koumi Line, Nagano Prefecture
In recent years, drones have become the mainstream method of aerial photography, but these were taken by photographer Yoichi Yoshinaga from a small aircraft.
These were taken by photographer Yoichi Yoshinaga from a small plane. “I open the window of the Cessna and shoot from the back seat. When I want to shoot from a vertical angle, I tilt the Cessna and aim for the best timing. It’s like I’m really a bird flying in the sky.
It is possible to shoot a wide area from a higher position than with a drone. Sometimes he flies with the doors off to take pictures.
“When I look down at the combination of railroads and autumn leaves from a bird’s eye view, I can see how we are living in the midst of nature. The autumn leaves seen from the train windows are beautiful, but the beautiful scenery seen from the sky is exceptional.
Fukushima, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Nagano, Shizuoka: …… Enjoy the autumn scenery, which is different from what you can see at tourist spots.
Tadami Line, Fukushima Prefecture
A train bound for Aizuwakamatsu crossing the Third Tadami River Bridge over the Tadami River. You can enjoy red beech trees and mountain maple trees. The best time to see them is from late October to early November every year.
Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
A view of Shinjuku Station and the skyscrapers at the west exit from Shinjuku Gyoen. You can enjoy the typical western garden of the Meiji era with the admission fee of 500 yen.
The railroad in Oigawa, Shizuoka
The railroad system of the early Showa era is still in operation with the same interior. The best time to visit is from mid-November to mid-December, about two weeks later than other years, near the Oi River on the left.
Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone Tozan Railway
The winding tracks of the train wind through the mountains. From Odawara, the starting point, to Gora, the ending point, you can enjoy the autumn colors from the train window for 50 minutes.
Born in Tokyo, graduated from the Photography Department of Osaka University of Arts.
Mainly an aerial photographer.
His life’s work is aerial photography of trains. Under the name of “Kutetsu,” he has published a number of solo exhibitions and books.
In addition to aerial photography, he also covers railroad scenes, ruins, travel, and railroads.
He is a regular member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society and the Japan Railway Photographers Society.
From “FRIDAY” November 26, 2021 issue
Photo by： Yoichi Yoshinaga