Thursday, December 14, 2006


Japan is an amazing country, probably the best place I have ever visited. I started off in Osaka, which was very diffent from what my guide book had indicated. Clean, organised, easy to navigate and most importantly the people are amazingly friendly and helpful. I arrived in peak holiday season and discoved that all the hotels were fully booked. Hotels in Japan are expensive so I looked around for alternative accomodations. I was lucky to find a cheap capsual hotel; only 3700 yen.
I started off in Osaka, I would like to live in this city one day. Above is a view of the city from a big wheel. To be honest the big wheel was a little boring by myself, it would have been nice to go with someone, however I got to see the view and get my bearings of the city.
I took millions of photos, so I decided to group them together. These are pictures of circular things. maybe a little silly but I kind of enjoyed the task. I think photography is about seeing things differently, these photos aren't good but they helped me to see things from a different point of view.

I spent a day at Osaka Castle

View of Kyoto and Kyoto Tower. It's not much of a tower and not an easy landmark to find.

I would definately describe meeting this geisha as the highlight of my trip. I was wondering around in Gion on my way to a famous temple when I saw this geisha in a photoshoot. I took a few photos and carried on up the hill. Then I discoved I had brought the wrong memory stick and only had space for 3 more pictures. On the way back I passed the place the geisha had been. I turned around to go back to my ryokan and there she was by herself. I asked her for a picture and she accepted. I was suprised when she wanted to see the picture.

smiles. I think their politeness comes from the heart. I got lost a few times and people were always willing to help me find my way, in fact, they often went out of their way to assist me.

I don't have many photos of myself. Mostly I travel alone or the people I'm with can't take photos so I'm forced to find reflections of myself. Here are a few self portraits taken in circular mirrors. I kind of like these pictures. It's hard to find these mirrors in attractive areas. The one below, taken in Nara, is my favorite self portrait. I'm hidden away between the Kanji.

Nara is the original capital of Japan. It is an ancient city and you can see this in the ancient wooden temples, it is a trip back in time. I spent a day there, I should have stayed longer. The picture below is a very typical scene: Hello kitty stalls in front of a 2000 year old temple.

Nara is scattered with parks, temples, hills and forested areas. Deer roam free all over the place. This is a big tourist attraction, for 100 yen you can buy bicutes and feed the deer. Personally I feel they are a bit of a pest, you should never feed wild animals. They remind me a bit of the baboons in Cape Town.
The Japanese are known for being polite but the friendliest people I met on this trip was a Taiwanese couple on their honeymoon. We exchanged emails and I have a dinner invitation with them when I next go to Taipei. I was walking along taking pictures and they offered to help me with a self portrait. We bumped into each other a couple of times and eventually discovered we all speak Chinese.