So much of what we love about Japan captured in one beautiful image. 

In Japan, like many other countries, one’s school years are often romanticised, signifying a time when you were young and carefree and able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like walking with a friend in the sunshine after school.

As time passes, these school-time memories can tug hard at the heartstrings, especially for those who move away from family and friends in rural hometowns to live and work in big cities.

This sense of nostalgia for a simpler time in life is one that a lot of people can relate to, and the beauty of growing up in the countryside has now become a topic of conversation again, thanks to an exceptional photo taken by talented photographer Shinnosuke Uchida.

The photo captures the charm of everyday life in countryside Japan, with smiling schoolgirls outside a tempura restaurant, a country road beneath a maze of overhead electrical wires, and the majestic backdrop of nature — in this case, the snowy slopes of Mt Fuji — creating an image that’s not only beautiful but emotional, as it evokes a sense of joy, nostalgia, and wanderlust in the viewer.

The stunning location for the photo is just as eye-catching as the smiling subjects in the foreground, engaging the viewer as it allows the eye to flit back and forth between the students and the awesome scenery that surrounds them.

According to Uchida, this location, known as the “Miho Kaido” (“Miho Highway”), is a popular spot with photographers as it offers a spectacular view of Mt Fuji at the end of the road on clear days.

▼ Miho Kaido, located in Miho in Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, lies opposite Mt Fuji, on the other side of Suruga Bay.

This photo of schoolgirls in Miho is part of Uchida’s “Summer Colour Photography” series, which began in 2015 and revolves around the theme of “summer countryside scenery and high school girls”.

Not all the images are strictly limited to summer photos, however, as the Miho image is entitled “Spring, Graduation“. This works to evoke even more of an emotional response from the viewer, as graduation ceremonies are a time of heightened emotion, when people leave their childhoods behind and set out on a new path, or as this image suggests, a new road, filled with uncertainty, excitement and adventure.

▼ Uchida’s photo, shared with the caption “Miho’s high school girls living the best everyday lives in Japan”, has earned over 197,000 likes online.

People around the country have fallen in love with the image, saying

“With that backdrop, Miho’s high school girls really do have the best everyday lives in Japan.”
“Genius composition!”
“Such a beautiful photo! Reminds me of my childhood.”
“When I was a high school girl, I wasn’t in Miho, but I rode my bicycle toward Mt Fuji every morning.”
“Ah, the springtime of youth. Brings a tear to my eye.”

If you’d like to see more images capturing the beauty of life in countryside Japan, be sure to give Uchida a follow on Twitter and Instagram, and you can also check out his website for more details and information on upcoming exhibitions.

And if you’d like to find out more about why Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the best places in the country to view Mt Fuji, this stunning photo from Satta Pass is a great place to start the journey.

Source: Twitter/@SinPictures via Otakomu
Images: Twitter/@SinPictures
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