Howzit! I’m Simone, a writer, photographer, and professional generalist. I was born in New York; raised in Johannesburg, South Africa; spent four years in Miyazaki, Japan; and now live in Norwalk, Connecticut. Welcome to Lost in the Lens!

When I moved to Japan, I fell in love with my new home, Miyazaki. Located on the southernmost island of the archipelago, the prefecture is one of the lesser-explored areas of Japan but, as I discovered, also one of the most beautiful. The deeper I traveled, the more inspired I was to share all of its hidden gems with the world.

You can find information and photos about these places, and other off-the-beaten path destinations in Japan on this blog. Walking with wild horses in Cape Toi, canoeing down the sacred Takachiho Gorge and sneaking into the abandoned (now demolished) Nara Dreamland were just some of the highlights of my adventure.

Now that I live in America, I hope to explore all 50 states starting with Connecticut, and continue to travel internationally to whichever countries will have me. Keep up with my adventures by subscribing here, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see what I’m up to in-between blog posts.

I’d also love to hear from you personally, so if you have any comments or questions, or want to work together, feel free to contact me.

Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

Features and Mentions
Fascinating Images of Japan’s Abandoned Nara Dreamland Amusement Park – Lonely Planet
Why Is There No Information About Miyazaki in English? – Miyazaki Inbound
Celebrating the Phallus and Other Weird Japanese Festivals – IntoConnection
Takachiho Gorge: Where the Gods Landed – Mr Trippy
March 3 is Girl’s Day in Japan – What is it? And What Are Those Cute Dolls About? – XpatNation
The Absolutely Stunning Aqua-Art of Hidetomo Kimura: Goldfish Have Never Looked This Good – Grape
Takachiho Gorge: A Mystical Gem of Kyushu – Japan Info
World’s 10 Prettiest Book Towns and Villages – EBook Friendly
Inside America’s Most Haunted Prison, ESP, Philadelphia – InTravel Magazine

Freelance Work
Key Facts for International Students in Tokyo – Expat.com
Key Facts for International Students in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe – Expat.com
Key Facts for International Students in Johannesburg – Expat.com
Tomogashima: Japan’s Real Castle In The Sky – Metropolis Japan
K-Pop and Kimchi: Experience Osaka’s Little Korea – Metropolis Japan
Magical Miyako: Okinawa’s Beach Paradise – Metropolis Japan
Redeeming Ibaraki: Reasons To Visit Japan’s Most Overlooked Prefecture – Metropolis Japan
Nostalgic Nakazakicho: Osaka’s Hipster Heaven – Metropolis Japan
Trekking Taketa: Oita’s Castle Town – Metropolis Japan
Exploring Aya Town: The Unspoilt Gem of Kyushu – Metropolis Japan
Rabbits and Ruins: The Paradox of Okunoshima Island – Metropolis Japan
Art in the Open: Kagoshima’s Outdoor Gallery – Metropolis Japan
Ontayaki no Sato: Oita’s Unique Pottery Village – Metropolis Japan
The Wild Horses of Cape Toi: Meet One of Japan’s Rarest Breeds – Metropolis Japan
Takachiho Gorge: Discover Kyushu’s Best Kept Secret – Metropolis Japan

Syndicated Content
Sun Messe: The Maoi of the East – Stripes Japan
Huis Ten Bosch: Japan’s Dutch Theme Park – Stripes Japan
Nagasaki’s Glover Garden and Dejima Island – Stripes Okinawa
A Weekend in Yakushima: One of the Most Beautiful Places Imaginable – Stripes Japan
Exploring Wartime Remains on Japan’s Rabbit Island – Stripes Japan
Atop Kagoshima’s Mt Kaimondake – Stripes Japan
Historic Nagoya Castle: The Royal Treatment in Japan’s 4th Largest City – Stripes Japan
Busan Life – Stripes Korea
A Trip Down to Minamisatsuma – Stripes Japan
Tomogashima: Japan’s Real Castle in the Sky – Stripes Japan
K-Pop and Kimchi: Experience Osaka’s Little Korea – Stripes Korea
K-Pop and Kimchi: Experience Osaka’s Little Korea – Stripes Okinawa 
Magical Miyako – Stripes Okinawa
Trekking Taketa – Stripes Japan
Exploring Aya Town – Stripes Japan
Reasons To Visit Japan’s Most Overlooked Prefecture – Stripes Japan
Nostalgic Nakazakicho – Stripes Japan
The Wild Horses of Cape Toi – Stripes Japan
Takachiho Gorge – Stripes Japan

Travel Article Apps
The “Little Kyoto” of Kumamoto – GPSmyCity
A Quick Guide to Tokyo’s Book Town – GPSmyCity
Osaka’s Instant Ramen Museum – GPSmyCity
A Quick Guide to Osaka’s Hipster Town – GPSmyCity
Toshogu Shrine Nikko – GPSmyCity
Walking Tour of Obi Castle Town – GPSmyCity
Udo-jingū: A Most Unusual Shrine – GPSmyCity
A Quick Guide to Yufuin Onsen Town – GPSmyCity
Oita’s Old Merchant Town – GPSmyCity
Zenko-ji Temple Nagano – GPSmyCity
A Quick Guide to Osaka’s Korea Town – GPSmyCity


  • Reply fighter8 February 29, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Hi Simone how well you know Aokigahara Forest? Is realy to dangerous to explore? and the yurei is real?

    • Reply Simone March 18, 2016 at 10:59 AM

      Hi Fighter8! I’ve only been to Aokigahara once and it’s a huge, but the areas I did hike through were pretty safe. You have to be careful of where you walk because the ground is kind of uneven, but there are designated walking trails and popular caves that many tourists visit, so those parts of the forest aren’t scary at all. When it comes to yurei, I think your experience will be determined by what you believe. It’s a beautiful place. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Leave a Reply