Posts Tagged 'Japan'



A photo a day – 15.05.2009

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I was concentrating on keeping my camera as perpendicular to the ground as possible… so much so that I didn’t notice the shouting little boy rushing toward my seat, trying to catch what I think was a plastic bag flying around. I was very close to having a heart attack when this little one (the boy, not the bag) got out from under my seat and resume his running in the opposite direction.

Conclusion : when you hear some shouting, come back to reality, or you may not know what’s under your seat until it’s too late.

It was pretty much that kind of day.

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A photo a day – 14.05.2009

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Beautiful sky, light breeze. The river bank is changing by the minute.

New colors, new textures, new smells.

I love feeling the season changing.

(I’m not a big fan of the summer though…but hey,officially it’s still spring :))

My head is spinning with far too many thoughts.

I wish I could let go of some of them in the beautiful flow of the river.

Reflecting upon creativity

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To achieve one more “a photo a day”, I went outside, to a nearby shrine, and shot at random. Well almost at random. My goal for today was to take pictures of whatever made my eye linger for more than a few seconds. I obviously took more than one photo 🙂

This whole project -the Everyday in May project- has me thinking about the creative process. Thinking about it a lot. What creation consists of, how to bring the creative process on and make it a living experience, how to express creativity (in any kind of artistic form) on a daily basis, and so on. I don’t have any real answers (yet?), but I have a feeling that this “take a photo a day” endeavor, as small as it may be, may well bring a few hints.

The truth is, I can’t imagine living a creativity-free life. I somehow need it. Like air. I would not call myself an artist. But I crave anything artistic, anything creative. It is one of the way I express myself. It sometimes offers solace or release. It also is about serenity and joy.

As you can see, my thoughts are all over the place ! I think it’s because the matter is so important to me I can’t process all my thoughts at the same time. I’ll come back to it though !

But what about you ? I’d be very happy to know what place creativity has in your life and how you make space for it, don’t be shy, leave a few words !

(Better views of the photos above here)

 

Everyday in May !

May is already here, can you believe it ? I, for one, am looking at the calendar in great disbelief.

May in Japan brings what is called the Golden Week, a succession of holidays that Japanese (and others !) often use to travel around. This year those holidays were just after a weekend, making for almost a full week of rest for the working people. The Golden week itself didn’t change much of my habits, but I was lucky to have family (from France) visiting during that period. So I guess it was another kind of Golden week for me, I was a bit excited I have to say !

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My cousin and her art-loving husband first spent two weeks discovering Big Tokyo and a few other places, and then came to spend their last week here, in Kyoto. I went to pick them up at the station and we did some intense walking around and photographying the few days they were there. I picked a few places that I knew wouldn’t be too crowded by the holidays visitors, so that they could also taste a bit of Quiet Kyoto.

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It feels so strange to actually have family here, in Japan, even for a while : meet with them, do things together, talk about things, telling family stories … all in my usual japanese environment. So nice !

They eventually had to go back to Tokyo to catch their returning flight, but I think they really made the most of their trip and truly enjoyed it, so I’m a happy girl !

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The pictures in this post I took during one of our long walks, in Arashiyama (west part of Kyoto). We were blessed with a beautiful weather, not too hot but not cold, what a beautiful day it was !!

I decided to take part in the Everyday in May project, which basically consists in doing something creative everyday in May. Have a look at the original post, here. Or at the Flickr group, here

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So I’ll take a picture a day in May, and post them here, everyday. I started a bit late, but I happen to have pictures for some of the days I missed, so I’ll post these together in a “catching up” post, probably today but maybe tomorrow. 

I wonder if the commitment to take a picture a day will change the way I take pictures. I’m quite excited about that !

Not quite spring yet, but…

I am trying to get out of my hibernation state.

The beginning of the year has been a very busy time : interesting, fulfilling, invigorating, motivating… and I still wish I could find more words ! I do love teaching, and the international environment adds to the incredible experience it is. It was tough but oh so rewarding !

Following this swirl of activity, I got back home to a desperately empty schedule.  And this sudden (relative) emptiness has not been easy to re adapt to.

Anyway.

I’m here.

Trying to get back on track !

So, to fill in part of the blank, some pictures taken through the beginning of 2009 !

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Have a great day !

Kyoto buddhist temples : the lesser known paths

Kyoto is very well known for its traditional side and its countless shrines and temples. Among the last are amazingly beautiful structures registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Far less known are the many small temples scattered around town, some of them so tiny one have to really look to find them in between the modern buildings and the effervescence of the shopping streets.

I have a thing for those small temples.

Their very existence breaks the rhythm of the otherwise modern side of Kyoto. Like a reminder of things past. Still so much alive.

And although they are often overlooked by visitors, it is easy to see they still hold an important place within the local community.

One of those small temples is the Chugenji (仲源寺), still standing in Gion district.

It is literally stuck in between souvenirs shops and restaurants, but once you enter the small compound, you find yourself in a whole other world.

Just a few steps are needed to see everything in there, and yet the atmosphere is amazing.

The short time I spent there, I saw half a dozen persons of various age come in and engage in quiet prayer.

Not the quick and formal prayer often seen in bigger shrines or temples. But a more dignified, deeply involved kind of contemplation.

This was a very moving experience for me. So much that I didn’t have the heart to take the pictures I came for and disturb the atmosphere of the place, until there was no one left praying.

This was such a nice place to be for a while, just to let this peaceful atmosphere sink in.

I’ll definitely go back !

Fun billboards and signs in Dotombori, Osaka

I spent yesterday in Osaka, wandering around in the animated streets.

When the night came, I headed to Dotombori, an entertainment district (actually a single street) especially busy at night when people start to look for a place to eat or have a drink. It was really fun ! The atmosphere was very relaxed yet vibrant, making for a colorful walk !

I couldn’t help but take a few pictures of the billboards and signs there, have a look ! (Click on them to enlarge )


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