Nijo Castle and also sad rant

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This is Nijo Castle. Day 2 of my Japan trip, and I was in absolutely in awe with this place. It’s just breathtaking. Honestly, it’s quite hard to explain how I felt when I saw the castle. The glistening of the gold and the snow (so lucky) just added to the total experience. You don’t really need to know much about the castle to appreciate the grandeur. While at the Castle, I was lucky enough to make 2 new friends! One of them being from Singapore (how coincidental), while the other from Australia. Both traveling alone in Japan. I would love to experience that one day… Thinking about it, it would be nice to just run away and live in solitude for awhile. Seeking solace in the inanimate things around you or the new people you meet. Which reminds me of a funny story! While in Japan, I told every Japanese person I met (mostly dudes that tried to hit on me. Don’t take it wrongly though I spoke to many girls as well) that I was a lawyer and spoke 5 languages. I don’t know why I chose to be a lawyer and supreme linguist… but I enjoyed the looks of flabbergast. 🙂 Due to the language barrier, they didn’t really second guessed me. Conversely, it could have been due to the language barrier that made them unable to rebut my claims. Haha, it was so fun being a different person, escaping whatever pre-determined notions of yourself. Well.. but I’m back in Singapore writing this right now, thinking about the shit I have to do and the shit that cascade down upon me. This weight. The unbearable weight of reality. You know what I say to that? Fuck you. I don’t want realism, I want magic. Traveling and meeting new people is the ultimate escape.

Dear Diary (This is for Dan)

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I don’t know if any of y’all still read this, but I’ll try my best to write everything I’ve experienced in Japan. Similar to last year, I spent 10 days in Japan- 5 days in kyoto and 5 days in Osaka. The first 5 days were spent in Kyoto, and I was so glad to be back. I love kyoto, like honest to god. It’s really a walking history book. It’s so rich, filled with shrines, temples and everything related to Japanese culture. On the contrary, the town goes to sleep at 8pm. So the night life isn’t very “happening”. The pictures were taken just an alley away from my house. To me, that’s amazing knowing you can be so close to such heritage. A personal tip is make friends with the locals. They told me all about where to eat, sight see and er.. club. Hahah. FYI, I’m trying to avoid writing “haha” in my blog post, seems rather stupid. Yes or no? I’ve so many pictures to upload here and I’m so excited to blog about it! I actually tried to vlog about my experience but my gopro died (so it’ll be pretty short.)

Japan captured in Film

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Nothing much to say here besides the fact that I love capturing memories on film. I’m using Fujifilm Natura on Kodak Gold film, sometimes I switch between a canon SLR but only on rare occasions- since it’s so bulky and manual focus on that camera is way too hard. Friends ask me why I prefer documenting my travels and everyday experiences on film, well my standard reply is it looks so much more awesome. People just say that I’m trying to be hipster or at least I assume them to be. Whatever the case, film is way too underrated. Film provides so much more character- with the grainy resolution and wondrous light leaks, every picture captured is a hallmark of your camera’s creative ability. Furthermore not knowing how your pictures turn out just feeds the excitement of finally holding it in your hands. The tangible aspect makes all the more worth while. I’m no expert in film photography but it’s really fun when u have an automatic camera and various types of film to play around with. My favorite photography blog would be NIC OJAE, most of his pictures are captured in film and I draw tons of inspiration from him. His work is just….. too good. Hopefully I helped combat the digital revolution by defending film, and inspired some of you to pick up a film camera and document your everyday activities! 🙂

My Final Days in Japan

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My final days in Japan… were spent shopping and walking aimlessly around town. I really regretted not planning my days out better so that I would have been able to grasp japanese culture even better. I missed out on trying authentic cuisine while in Tokyo as most places were very westernized. Not saying that the commercial food in Japan isn’t amazing and one of a kind. The flavors were extraordinary as japanese and western cuisine were fused so seamlessly. I just wished I had the opportunity to walk around in the suburbs and actually witness day to day operations of local and actually being one with Japanese culture. I was too focused on shopping… a common mistake by many. But how could I not be? Tokyo is a mecca of fashion and I really couldn’t help myself. Men’s fashion in Tokyo is way superior compared to women’s wear, and I couldn’t bare to look away from the pristine tailoring and distraught denim. I was also in sneaker heaven. Everyone takes so much initiative to look good and I could easily just ogle at the well dressed Japanese.

I had actually planned to visit some local parks and museums while in Tokyo… but missed the opportunity. Don’t worry though! I’ll be back for more in due time

Japan Day 5,6&7

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THE WEEKEND WHERE I WENT TO KYOTO! Kyoto being the formal capital of Japan and is rich with traditions and culture. It’s like a walking museum! World heritage sites are located everywhere around the city. Pity i only got to visit one monument 😦 Unlike Tokyo where most eateries and shops are westernized, Kyoto holds true to it’s Japanese roots! The journey to Kyoto took 2-3hours on the Shinkasen (bullet train) which was a smooth and pleasant ride. However, the train station is really fucking congested…. no elevators or escalators to be found anywhere…. which is why i advice to travel light and DO NOT BRING A BULKY LUGGAGE! Which was what my mum and I did… poor us. Being us, by the time we arrived we rushed to the hotel to recuperate and did our nails later in the evening. (HAHA)

The following day was spent at Fushimi Inari shrine, where most of the day was spent hiking the Inari mountain. It was a sublime experience, being so close to nature. What’s more was that everything seemed to be trapped in time except for the fact that the signal was still awesome. It’s tradition to wash ur hands with water in the picture above before entering the array of shrines located inside. Amidst the hike to the top, we stopped for lunch at a tea house-ish eatery! We had to remove our shoes and sit on the bamboo floors while overlooking the dense forest littered with bright orange shrines. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I wasnt able to see the main shrine located right at the top since my mum wanted to go back… 😦 The train ride back was early in the morning so i was denied the experience to explore kyoto further. I really wish I had more time in Kyoto, i really loved it there. I’m already having plans to return later in the year with my friends!