In wedding photographer Zac Wolf’s world, no detail goes unnoticed. As one of the more sought-after photographers in his field, Wolf’s work has taken him all around the Northeast, across the country, and even as far as Tokyo.
We caught up with Zac to hear all about his recent 3-week honeymoon through Japan and why he chose Journy to make it picture-perfect.
I had been to Japan in 2012 to shoot a wedding, but I went alone and I kind of didn’t think to do any research. I was 21 and thought I could figure it out, but when I got there, I discovered that free wifi doesn’t really exist there. I couldn’t afford to pay for roaming at that point of my life so I’d go to my hotel room, write down directions and try to follow them. I was hesitant to stray too far from the train station though, because I have a terrible sense of direction.
That said, I fell in love with the city and was dying to go back. My wife had never been to Asia and we both love food and big cities with lots to do. We don’t want to just sit on a beach and do nothing. She got a month off after being at her company for 5 years, so really, this trip has been in the works for 2 years.
It’s basically our delayed honeymoon. Instead of a traditional registry, we had a “travel” registry where people gave money toward certain activities. We had a list of the different things we wanted to do, but no idea where everything would fit into our trip.
How Did You Hear About Journy?
From a friend on Facebook. I posted about my trip and a friend messaged me and told me about Journy. I’d already been working on a huge spreadsheet of things I wanted to see and do so I basically handed this over to Journy and asked them to figure out where all of it should fit in.
Before Journy, we couldn’t figure out how to make reservations at places and didn’t know what neighborhoods to go to.
What Was One Misconception People Might Have About Tokyo?
The language barrier. I didn’t find the language barrier to be that big of a deal. In 3 weeks, there were only 2 times where we couldn’t figure things out. One was with a taxi driver and the other was at a ramen vending machine restaurant. We walked in and the advice we got was to pick the item in the top left hand corner. Well, it was sold out so we chose two at random.
What Was The Highlight Of Your Trip?
I really like Japanese wrestling and a bunch of the wrestlers I follow on Instagram go to Japan all the time. Normally, you’d need to go to a convenient store in Tokyo and order them from a kiosk. You can’t order them online. Our Journy concierge was able to get us tickets and had them waiting for us when we checked into our hotel.
And, of course, the food!
Did Any Experience Blow You Away?
I’m not really a sports fan, but baseball there is such a thing. We live in Boston and have been to Fenway and it really doesn’t even compare. Being at the Tokyo dome was so cool. The food was great, the fans are so into it, and everyone is so attentive. They have chants for every player.
What Surprised You About Japan?
We had a rainy day in Osaka so we went to the movies because we didn’t want to be out in the rain. It was really cool to see how different the movie theatre is run there. It was so interesting to see that they are way more polite and they give you a tray for your food. They even mix your popcorn - caramel with regular.
Anything You’d Skip For Next Time?
The owl cafe was funny but kind of sad. It’s like a cat cafe, but with owls. There were lots of owls, but owls aren’t indoor animals so I wanted them to be free.
The cat cafes are great though. Our concierge found us two really great ones and I re-visited the rabbit cafe I went to on my first trip.
Wake up early for the fish market. We showed up around 10am and it was too late for our liking.
If you think you can do Tokyo in a few days, you’re wrong. Not everyone can take a three week trip, but Tokyo needs a week on its own. Seeing Osaka and Kyoto are really great add-ons.
Oh, and get good shoes! There’s so much walking.
Coolest thing to photograph.
The signage is so cool. There are signs everywhere. In New York, everything is always on the first floor and you don’t ever go up a flight of stairs. In Tokyo, there are 12 stories of stuff. The best restaurant of your life could be on the third floor of a (random) building.