This is a photo of the stone garden of Ryoan-Ji (or at least that’s what the internet tells me. I can’t remember if you need to include the Ji or not. It’s been a while since my trip, guess I’ll have to go back :) ). Hopefully i’ll get to describe more about this after the jump so if you’d like to hear more let’s get to it!

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This is a picture of a mini shrine mixed with several other smaller shrines around one larger shrine in the middle of a shopping district of Kyoto. It was really cool and i’ll  give more information about that market in a later post. What i will share now is just that these little shrines, and that might not be the most accurate word to describe them, were everywhere, and usually not many employees or guards around them. People just came and made offerings and prayed at them whenever they wanted.  After the Jump I’ll continue my story of my first night in Japan, out on my own.

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Hey! It’s Tammy! One of my guides and i believe was responsible for most of the planning on my trip. I could have that wrong but either way she did an excellent job. This is her showing us how to people traditionally cleanse themselves before entering the shrines/temples. You take that wooden tool and scoop some water into it and wash your left hand, then again with your right hand, and then once more and clean your mouth (as is pictured) and then on final time and drip the water down the handle to wash itself off.

After the jump I’ll continue the story from when i arrived at the ryokan sakura house. That’s right i put a link in! Check it out and I highly recommend them. Hit the Jump for the review.

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This is a photo is taken just before the staircase leading up to Ryoan-Ji. This is Tammy, our guide on our first day of the tour and at the first stop on our tour. Many people asked me what my favorite part of the trip was and i really can’t answer because everything was so amazing. I’ll be posting another image of Tammy soon so i will take this opportunity to just post a photo i like and continue on to my story from the airport to how i spent my first night in japan after the jump.

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Well this is a first. I have 4 images to upload and i’m just waiting on type to post. I am ahead of my game! So hopefully you all will get a great week of content. This here is a photo of a lotus flower. If my memory servers me correctly they only are bloomed for about a week and then die. Apparently we missed most of them but there were 2 in bloom where we visited. This one was outside Ryoan-ji.

Read on for my adventures on arriving in Japan, stepping off a plane where you don’t speak the language for the first time is pretty exciting.

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So the images that will be going up on this blog are a little out of order in terms of the actual trip. This shot is from our second day waiting for the train back to Kyoto Station. The sun was setting crowds were waiting. There was something very comforting about riding the train at this time and seeing everyone around. But perhaps it was because I had just enjoyed an amazing day in Osaka.

A little more information after the jump

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Train Back / Red

Woo, 3 posts in less then 7 days! This might actually happen. This is an image of a staircase, which if i remember correctly was blocked off at Kinkaku-Ji. I was trying to match some color corrections an artists used for his illustrations, once i find some of his images online and his name i’ll be sure to add the link here. I guess it kind of just looks like glorified instagram right now, but i kind of like it. Click the image for a high res or hit the jump for an alt with some graphics overlaid and some more japan stories.

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Sweet image from the backside of Kinkaku-Ji

For everyone who doesn’t read text, This is the Kinkaku-Ji or Golden Pavilion. Check out it’s magnificence! Of course if you don’t read then you won’t see this and shame on you for skipping over! But i can’t blame you, i skim blogs at the speed of scroll these days. So i guess depending on how fast you scroll it might not be too impressive but i have the finger dexterity of a internet champion!

Hit the jump to get more details and stories about my photo.

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Here is an epic photo, boy i hope you can see it.

Whoa, I’m back for all my readers…you are out there right? *Chirp Chirp* Awwwwww.

Long story short i took a trip to Japan with a new camera. I’ve been using it as means to explore photography, from in camera shooting to photo editing in photoshop. Long story long to come in a later post. Hopefully over the course of the next several hundred photos there will be some improvement. (click to see a higher res version)

Japan Photos

Challenge:

Throughout my time in Los Angeles and outside of school in general I’ve noticed that there were somethings i wish i took more advantage of. What seems like only a year ago but was probably much longer i decided to try and learn a language. Even though i have a special place in my heart for Pollo Hombre, i always felt like spanish was pushed on me more then me wanting to learn it. I narrowed down the languages i wanted to learn to 3 and choose to attempt Japanese for several reasons but most importantly i knew one day i would want to visit it and also i had a friend who i could practice with.  Fastforward to year of the challenges. This week’s challenge was to do something in a foriegn language for an hour every day. That could be watching a movie in another language, listening to music in another language or what have you. The bonus challenge was to make that hour, or at least that hour learning a language.

The week:

I’m not sure if it’s surprising but there wasn’t much eventful this week. But some interesting developments did occur. I had a friend join me with my challenge. I’ve also had other friends wish to take up more challenges with me for certain weeks. I wasn’t originally planning on a group exercise but it makes it a little more enjoyable.

I managed to also finish the first level of Janapese which lead me to signing up for the next level. The new level is a new system and online which allows for interactions with other students around the world. There was one difficult aspect to this challenge. I had a good friend stay with me the weekend and we endedup staying up late on saturday. When i rolled around to loading up rosetta stone it was about 1am and i was exhausted. I managed to run activities in the program for an hour but i couldn’t help but feel that i wasn’t learning anything and that was greatly due to the fact that i was just trying to get through the hour. I realized this, acknowledge this, and pushed through. Probably not the best thing but i did get above 90% of the lesson correct and the next day i did redo some of the activities to make sure i knew it. It was good to push through and i think it would be good for me to make do rosetta stone each night for maybe 30 mins or so instead of 40. I also need to do more learning outside of it. Some strict memorizing to help me remember words and grammar patters. But all and all a good challenge to get me being productive and hopefull i will be able to keep it up.

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