Tokyo - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Familiarity and strangeness. Technology and traditions. Misunderstanding and wonder. Japan is a country of contrasts. A mad, extraordinary, annoying, amazing country. I spent six months, from November 2014 to April 2015. At the time, during my trip, I had a little trouble adjusting to the strange feeling that accompanied me constantly. The strange impression of walking on a wire. This mixture of familiarity and difference attracted me and pushed me away. The blend of American-European culture and Japanese ancestral traditions, absolute kindness and coldness, beauty and ugliness was destabilizing. But that’s what made the trip so interesting. And I have only one desire: to return to immerse myself body and soul.

Petite bambouseraie du Temple Kodaiji - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

At the entrance to a temple - Kyoto - © Claire Blumenfeld

Petites ruelles du centre de Kyoto - Quartier Pontocho - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Cherry blossom - Imperial Palace Gardens – Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Ema - Temple Toshô-gû - Quartier Ueno - Tokyo - © Claire Blumenfeld

Hiwasa area - Minami - © Claire Blumenfeld

Yufuin and lake - © Claire Blumenfeld

Ema (palettes votives) au sanctuaire Heian - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Ruelle Shinbashi-dori - Quartier Gion - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Takayama Matsuri - Takayama - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Takayama Matsuri - Takayama - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Woofing Goka farm - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld -

Woofing Goka farm - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld -

Woofing Goka farm - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld -

One of my dinners - Inn - Iya valley - © Claire Blumenfeld

The old lady of the inn poses in front of me the breakfast dishes: rice, fried fish, seaweed, miso soup, meat in small pieces soaked in a sauce, pumpkin wedges, slices of lotus flowers, some fruit quarters and matcha (Japanese green tea). It is 7am. A thought crosses my mind: but where are the bread and Nutella?

It took me a while to enjoy the typical Japanese meals. Generally presented in traditional inns and restaurants, they are marvels of aesthetics and nutritional benefits. The French taste buds have a little trouble accepting the very subtle or very strong taste of certain foods. But once accustomed, it’s a delight.

Koya-san - Wakayama - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Hanging in front of a temple - Kyoto - © Claire Blumenfeld

Two ladies cleaning the lawn inside the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) - Kyoto - © Claire Blumenfeld

Man doing publicity for a restaurant - Yufuin - © Claire Blumenfeld

Baby octopus - Kyoto - © Claire Blumenfeld

Orange juice - Kyoto - © Claire Blumenfeld

Takayama Matsuri - Takayama - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Cerisiers du jardin du Temple Ryoan-ji - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Détails - Temple Kiyomizu-dera - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Chemin fait de milliers Torii - Sanctuaire Fushimi Inari Taisha - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Wedding and Cherry blossom - Imperial Palace Gardens – Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Spectacle de danses devant le sanctuaire Heian - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

What struck and impressed me the most in Japan is the beauty of the aestheticism of the traditions: the kimonos and costumes, the lanterns in the streets, the cherry blossom season, the architecture and scenery of the temples, the presentation of street stands, the festivals … It is, for me, where lies the ancestral soul of Japan. In the details, in the use of colors, in the search of aesthetics.

Kyoto - Japan - © Claire Blumenfeld

Kyoto - Japon - © Claire Blumenfeld

Maisons traditionnelles - Ruelle Shinbashi-dori - Quartier Gion - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Ruelle Shinbashi-dori - Quartier Gion - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Omikuji - Sanctuaire Shimogamo jinja - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

Maisons traditionnelles - Ruelle Shinbashi-dori - Quartier Gion - Kyoto – © Claire Blumenfeld

The Old Man of Storr - Skye - Scotland - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, located in northwestern Scotland, is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago. The end of my trip to Scotland being close, I could only enjoy four days on the island to discover its rugged coastline and its mountain scenery.

West coast of South Uist - Hiking the Hebridean Way - Scotland - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – The Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides are an archipelago of islands east of Scotland. For two and a half weeks, I crossed on foot following the Hebridean Way, the different islands constituting the archipelago, from Barra in the south to Lewis in the North.

Beinn Dorain - Hiking the West Highland Way - Scotland - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – The Scottish Highlands

Eight days of hiking on the West Highland Way in Scotland. Many variations of green and gray with touches of colors. A selection of my best photos on my 156km across the Scottish Highlands.

Chamonix - France - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – Winter rebirth around the Mont-Blanc

A selection of my best pictures taken towards the end of winter in Chamonix. The season was difficult for me and I did not manage to enjoy my stay as much as I would have liked. But after several months of reflection I found again a bit of creativity.

Portfolio - Chamonix - France - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – An Autumn in Chamonix

After three years abroad, I missed the mountain landscapes of the French Alps. This is one of the things that I felt I was missing the most. When I decided in early August 2018, to return to France for a few months before continuing my trip, coming to Chamonix Mont-Blanc was an obvious decision.

Mount Buller - Victoria - Australia - © Claire Blumenfeld

Photos – In the clouds at Mt Buller

Mount Buller is a small mountain of 1,805 meters. For Australia, it’s high mountain. It is also part of the great chain of mountains spreading from Melbourne to Canberra and considered as the Australian Alps.