Traveling From Home: We Recreated Famous Japanese Landscapes in Miniature
1. The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
The seemingly endless vermillion gates of this Shinto Shrine are one of the many must-see destinations in Japan. This path is an actual hiking trail that leads to the top of the sacred Mount Inari. I thought it would be fun to try and recreate not only the structure, but also the atmosphere of this place.
The materials I used for this picture are simple. To recreate the torii gates I chose to paint some toothpicks. Ground pepper proved great as the gravel at the foot of the gates. For the central path, I simply printed a light stony pattern on a piece of paper and drew some lines on it with a pencil.
First I needed to give the toothpicks a makeover.
Gluing and placing the gates was definitely the longest part. When they were finally in place I added some miniature people for a final touch...
Here it is! Miniature toothpick torii gates! Do they look endless?
I had fun using different miniatures. So many tourists!
|■More info about the Fushimi Inari Shrine on DiGJAPAN!
◇Let's Go! A Walk-Through Guide to the Fushimi Inari Shrine
◇Where to Go on Your First Day in Kyoto
InformationFushimi Inari Taisha Shrine | 伏見稲荷大社
Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto (MAP)
Access: just outside of Inari Station (JR Nara Line)
2. The Wedded Rocks of Ise
For the next miniature view I chose a sunrise over the Meoto Iwa (wedded rocks) of Ise. These sacred rocks stand in the ocean near the Futami-Okitama Shrine in Ise City. The rocks are bound by a ceremonial rope called shimenawa.
This landscape definitely has more elements than the first one and I thought it would be fun to figure out what kind of things I could use!
The shot ended up having a coffee theme: I used coffee jelly for the ocean and instant coffee for the mountains in the background. For the two rocks I found white rock sugar to be just perfect. Basting thread was a good candidate for the rope and I printed an orange-to-purple background for the sunrise sky. I also wanted to make a version with some shore and people in it, using brown sugar.
First I chose the best sugar pieces for the rocks and set them in place. Tying the tiny rope took some trial and error, but I got something close enough in the end.
The coffee jelly worked great. It was compact enough to stay where I placed it and gave me a really nice ocean wave effect.
And here's my tiny sunrise over the wedded sugars!
I also tried a shot with a group of photographers on the shore, intent in capturing the scene.
InformationMeoto Iwa | 夫婦岩
Address: 575 Futamichoe, Ise-shi, Mie (MAP)
Access: 15 min. walk from JR Futaminoura Station
Website (Japanese-only): https://futamiokitamajinja.org/
3. A View of Mt. Fuji From Lake Kawaguchi
For the last shot I felt like I couldn't leave out Japan's favorite volcano. So after poring over many beautiful views of Mt. Fuji I settled for one of lake Kawaguchi during the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival. This particular one also has boats with people in the water.
This time I decided to take a different approach to the water. It's very still with a grey hue to it, so I opted for some crumpled baking paper. Pea pods looked perfect for the boats in which I put my tiny people. For Mt. Fuji, after 45 minutes of scouting my local supermarket, I settled on a triangular fluffy bread. The plan was to cover it in anko (sweet red bean paste) and sift some confectioner's sugar on the top for the snow. I also used the anko for the shore, adding some crushed almonds for the buildings. Finally, for the autumn leaves I decided to try using parsley.
After painting the parsley in red and yellow I had to find the perfect position.
The miniature boats came out very cute. I added some cotton for the clouds around Mt. Fuji.
Here's the finished result! This one was tricky but I like how it turned out. And I got to eat Mt. Fuji after the shot.
I tried a variation with just the mountain.
|■More info about Lake Kawaguchi on DiGJAPAN!
◇Iconic Views of Mount Fuji: Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival
InformationMomiji Tunnel | もみじトンネル
Address: Oishi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi (MAP)
Access: take the Kawaguchiko line Retro Bus to the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center stop (bus stop no. 22)
This was a very fun project! Having to recreate a location made me pay attention to little details that would normally go unnoticed. Aside from being fun, taking these pictures made me appreciate the beauty of these locations even more. I hope I get to recreate other ones in the future!
*The above article is based on information from April 2020.
About the Author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 05 13,2020 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team