Gabriele Colzi (@gabdetails) typically uses his camera to showcase his home country of Italy. But on a recent trip to the other side of the world, Gabriele turned his attention to Japan. His dreamy photos capture a magical quality not usually associated with the island nation.

HIROSHIMA CASTLE

Notice: The exterior of the castle, which is made from wood instead of stone, and the embellishments along the rooftop.

Why you should go: There is more to Hiroshima than the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park.

What Gabriele says: “Hiroshima is a city full of peace, strength, and history. For me, the castle embodies these three ideals that represent the city itself.”

 

THE BAMBOO FOREST OF THE ARASHIYAMA DISTRICT, KYOTO

Notice: The sheer height of the bamboo stalks compared to the person walking through them.

Why you should go: To hear the sound created by the wind as it blows through the bamboo, which has been voted one of the “100 must-be-preserved sounds of Japan” by the Japanese government.

What Gabriele says: “I was trying to capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove — the whole thing has a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest I’ve ever visited. Standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world.”

THE FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, KYOTO

Notice: The fox statues that flank the doors to the shrine, which are considered Inari’s messengers.

Why you should go: Fushimi Inari is one of the most well-known and impressive shines in all of Kyoto.

What Gabriele says: “I tried to capture the majesty of this colossal work created by faithful people. The red tunnel reminded me of a big snake, moving silently through the mountains of Kyoto.”

 

KOTOKUIN TEMPLE, KAMAKURA

Notice: That in this statue, Buddha is seated in Lotus position with his hands forming the Dhyani Mudra, the gesture of meditation.

Why you should go: At just over 13 meters (43 feet) tall, standing next to this huge bronze Buddha statue will put everything into perspective.

What Gabriele says: “With a serene expression and a beautiful backdrop of wooded hills, the Daibutsu is a truly spectacular sight. I especially wanted to capture the atmosphere of prayer and meditation.”

 

KANAZAWA CASTLE

Notice: The multi-leveled nature of the castle itself, which, when it was built in the 1500s, was split into nine areas as a defensive strategy.

Why you should go: The interior is just as stunning as the exterior.

What Gabriele says: “At sunset, the colors of the sky blend with that of the walls, roofs, and flowers. Everything looks like a painting.”

 

 

TOKYO (As seen from the top of Park Hotel Tokyo)

Notice: The contrast between the red Tokyo Tower and the gray skyscrapers.

Why you should go: On the brightest of days, it’s possible to see Mount Fuji in the distance.

What Gabriele says: “This is one of the most breathtaking views in Tokyo, and I wanted to capture the moment when the sun went down behind the skyscrapers.”

See more of Gabriele’s photos on Instagram.
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