Whether you need to find breathtaking visuals for a website or pamphlet, or just want to lose yourself in the natural beauty of Japan, this is the place to do it.
There’s a bit of irony to Photo METI, a website recently started by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. The goal of the project is to create a collection of images covered by a creative commons agreement, so that they can easily be used by individuals and organizations in promoting how beautiful and alluring Japan is, with the eventual hope of boosting the number of overseas visitors to the country.
But on the other hand, some of the photos available on the site are so jaw-droppingly gorgeous that you might not be able to tear yourself away from your monitor long enough to get on the plane.
▼ Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture
▼ Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, Tokyo
▼ Shinkaisansha Shrine, Nagano Prefecture
As with any photo tour of Japan, you’ll see towering castles, majestic Mt. Fuji, and humble rice fields on Photo METI.
▼ Himeji Castle, Hyogo Prefecture
▼ Hogashi Ushirobata, Yamaguchi Prefecture
▼ Kumamoto Prefecture
▼ Suruga Bay, Shizuoka
But there are some surprises waiting inside the image collection as well, with stunning views from locations that don’t always show up on foreign tourists’ itineraries.
▼ Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, Ehime Prefecture
▼ Amaharashi Beach, Toyama Prefecture
▼ Yugawara Plum Grove, Kanagawa Prefecture
▼ Kotohira Shrine, Kagawa
▼ Shuzenji, Shizuoka Prefecture
Photo METI even presents generally unseen sides of some of Japan’s most heavily traveled regions. Who know, for example, that Kyoto had this kind of rugged scenery within its borders?
▼ Tateiwa, Kyoto
▼ Kumihama Bay, Kyoto
The site is still in the process of growing, and is also seeking contributions from photographers willing to share their images. If you’re interested in seeing more or contributing shots of your own, the Photo METI website can be found here.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking it’s about time he packed his suitcase and started visiting some of the places shown in these photos that he hasn’t been to yet.