Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Japan adventure over

"Visitors pass through Hozomon, the main gate at the Sensoji Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Japan on Jan.1, 2008."

Over 13,000 miles traveled by air. About 35 hours walked. Approximately 20 hours rode in a train or right hand drive car. Dozens of assorted sushi devoured. At least 16 cups of ocha, or green tea, drank. More white rice consumed than I air probably breathed. Stayed up for 24 hours twice. Made a bunch of new friends. Had one incredible experience: Japan.

My nine day solo adventure in Japan was what I always dreamed of and glad I made the decision to go.

Tokyo is vibrant city littered with color and movement. Everything is fast, too.

People: eat fast, walk fast, drive fast and speak fast (for an amateur Japanese speaker).

Its home to insane crisscrossing intersections with so many people, that it makes Times Square during Christmas look like campus on a Friday during summer.

Speaking of people, they: overfilled elevators, crowded trains and crammed the sidewalks. But again, this is Tokyo, the most populated metropolis in the world.

Although it may be jam-packed and hotel rooms are likewise crowded with you in them alone, Japan is host to some of the kindest people on earth. Not only are the people generous, but it’s the safest country in the world. The folk in Japan make an American, like myself; see how rude we truly are.

I took over 10,000 images, many snapshots of places I walked by or visited. I know I missed many of my favorites when posting previously this week, but those posted stood out.

Americans don't have "enough time" for anyone except themselves and always put off a negative attitude. Japanese people are passionate in everything they do. From helping a foreigner with directions, sweeping a sidewalk or inventing some of the newest technologies.

Equipped with a Nikon D300 with a wide angle lens, a map, compass and a strong urge to learn more about the country I made my way through most of Tokyo, and it was unbelievable.

My journey through and around Tokyo was something I'll never forget. My time was peaceful, stressful, rewarding, captivating and motivating. I was in my own world, understanding very little Japanese, only hearing my inner thoughts as I navigated down the sidewalks and roads.

I got lost, time and time again. I witnessed new things, people and places I've only read about in books and on the Internet and was fascinated by them all.

I took pictures that meant something to me and hopefully to others.

I met many people who I can call a friend and whom I hope to contact when visiting Japan again.

Japan was an awesome learning experience. I cannot wait to go back.

If I can instill one thing, I strongly urge anyone, is to take a trip out of the country alone. You will not only learn about the country you travel, but about yourself and what is really important. Break away from your everyday habits and schedule and accustom yourself in a culture completely foreign.

As I work on my thousands of images, you can find them updated daily HERE. (Note:colors may appear subdued, not my fault.)

Now only if I could go to bed. I need to kick this 14 hour time difference I grew accustom to.


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