All About Japan

A Visual Love Letter to Japan

| World Heritage , Video

There are Japan videos, and then there are things like this. Set to Yuzo Koshiro's sweeping "Cerulean Woodlands" from 3DS dungeon-crawler Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, this 10-minute piece of art is truly a love letter to Japan.

We follow a couple on their travels from Tokyo's streets to Lake Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi, then to Nara, Hiroshima and the UNESCO-registered island of Yakushima before turning back up to Kyoto and finally back to Tokyo once more.They take us through Shinjuku and Harajuku (including a hypnotic sojourn in Meiji Shrine), reveal Mount Fuji wreathed in cloud, introduce the ubiquitous deer in Nara, and take us to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the island of Miyajima. Waterfalls emerge among the verdant trails of Yakushima, while nocturnal illumination sets Kyoto's November leaves ablaze.

Between the serene strains of music and the smoothly edited images, this feels less like a travelogue than a Ghibli movie come to life—a sensation only emphasized by the intermittent appearance of tantalizing dishes of Japanese food. The love affair appropriately ends with a visit to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, and what would seem to be the purchase of a Totoro plushie.