June 30, 2010

three months in kyoto

About a month ago from now, we left Kyoto after spending three months in the magnificent old capital of Japan. While it was not meant to be a real 'vacation' for us, three months were far too short for me to really settle in a new place; from the beginning it was always meant to be a short-term stay, and that made me realize that I would always be more of a visitor than a resident. Essentially, I was little more than a tourist - only it was a rather long 'trip' and I still had to do my day job (and chores) at home in our small apartment.

Such a mindset, I think, heavily influenced how I spent my time there, as well as how I saw the place through my camera; I tried to go out and explore as much as I could - just like when I'm in my travels (normally I'd spend most of the day working at home and hardly go out back in Tokyo where I'm from). But at the same time I didn't go to typical sightseeing spots too much, but instead walked around town and checked out things like small shops and cafes, some touristy but many not. It helped that I had visited Kyoto numerous times before and had done many, if not all, of the "must-see" temples and gardens (for which I have some photos from my visits in the past few years here); so I didn't feel a need to run around for such touristy places. That's except, well, my obsessive tour across the city in chase of cherry blossoms in April, but that's another story.

The results were a huge pile of pictures that is a mixture of some travel photos and everyday sort of food shots. It has taken (and still is taking) me longer than I'd like to admit to organize these images for my blogs, but I've managed to put together a set of photos from some of my most memorable moments during the three months that I thought I'd share with you.

Some of them have already appeared in my past posts here, but most are not. Some happen to be from well-known tourist spots and/or some big festivals, but many were taken on a random small street on a random day, and even more were from small cafes around town. I tried not to include too many of cherry blossoms, but there are still plenty in the mix; after all, sakura was a major part of my stay in the city that is considered one of the greatest places to enjoy the short-lived flowers that is a synonym of the Japanese spring.

So if you have a moment to spare, come and join me to re-live my time through snapshots. A three months' stay may not have been long enough for me to really 'live' in Kyoto, but I certainly lived it. It could have been the best three months that I've ever spent, and I still think a lot about it, and miss it dearly. I hope I'll get another chance to go back for more than just a few days. The city has so much to see and experience.

And most importantly, I was blessed to have some of the loveliest people around me. Thanks so much for all of you who shared some of your time in Kyoto with me - without you, my days in Kyoto would never have been such a fun. Thanks also to the people of Kyoto for allowing me to wander about and get a taste of living there. Thank you, Kyoto! -cx

* Slideshow: three months in Kyoto


Kavey said...

That first image is absolutely, utterly, completely captivating. You should enter that into some proper high profile photography competitions, or sell in an art gallery or something.

Lidia said...

WOW!! 3 months in Kyoto, that's a wonderfull experience!!!!

Ping's Nom Fiction Life said...

Hi there! Been a looooooong silent reader of yours. I haven't been here for awhile and thought of you what you've been blogging about. Anyway, I'm glad to be reading regularly now:) Also, love your pictures too!

cocoa and coconut said...

How much would I love to have a trip/long stay in Japan! You're so lucky. Pictures are beautiful too.