03 July 2014

Kyoto


Hello!  Wow, this post is long over due! I went to Kyoto back in March, almost 5 months ago! Just goes to show how much I've been neglecting my blog :-(

Well, I went for 3 days and took the lovely Shinkansen all the way to Kyoto for a mini-vacation to meet my good friends Anthony and Jonathan, who were visiting from California! Along the way, I also got to meet the lovely boys behind Japanesesong Trip!  David and Koichi turned out to be one of the most loveliest couples I have ever met!  I'm also super excited too because they are moving to Tokyo now!

This was my first trip to Kyoto and it really didn't let me down.  It's a beautiful city chock-full of temples! I have to say my favourite one was the Fushimi-Inari Shrine (with the red Tori gates).  It was just such a magical experience for me, walking through all the gates!  Also, there was this one spot with a big pond and all these little altars surrounded by Inari statues... this spot really had an affect on me. Maybe it was because the cold moisture in the air, mixed with the spiritual atmosphere... but it was so incredibly peaceful and calm. I definitely think it was a "power spot."

I also really loved Arashiyama!  The place with the bamboo grove.  I totally emulated a Lost In Translation vibe here as I walked through this quaint village, constantly listening to Air - "Alone in Kyoto."  It was perfect.  After spending 3 days there, I feel I've got a real nice grasp of the city, after constantly walking all day through busy streets and visiting temple after temple.  Hanging out with great friends and eating healthy local foods was also the cherry on top!


Also, here are some left over shots I took during the Hanami season!  As you can see, the parks were packed with picnics and endless amounts of alcohol and laughter.  It's such a joyous time of the year which only lasts for about 2 weeks.  I was also surprised to experience night-time Hanami!  I, personally, couldn't understand the hype over it since I'm such a sunshine loving person, so watching the Cherry Blossoms in the dark was a little anti-climactic for me.  Hahahah! But none the less, still a memorable experience!


Other than that, life's been crazy here in Japan!  I guess I didn't realize how fast paced the lifestyle was here.  Especially being a Hawaii boy, the city does sometimes get to me.  Coming to Japan on vacation, and working and living here and two totally different things!  It really can get stressful, which gave me some health problems... but not dwelling on that, I still am loving my new life here so much!  I'm always still exploring and seeing new things and making new friends!  Also, I  recently found love, so I've been on cloud nine these past weeks ♡

In May I also went on a very exciting adventure to Yakushima island!  This is the place where Princess Mononoke was modeled after!  It was such a beautiful experience full of nature and hiking and new friends!  I don't think I have ever been so immersed in nature like that.... but I'll do my next post on that!

Take care and I hope all is well with everyone!!
-Aron

07 May 2014

My first cherry blossoms!


This post is well over due!  I finally got to see the cherry blossoms for myself in Japan!  One of my life goals that I can finally cross off my list.  It was more beautiful than I ever imagined... such a spectacle to see, and the fact that it only lasts about 1 week makes it even that much more special! 

Since this is my very first experience and I waited many years to see this, I made sure I had proper time to enjoy this beautiful event, so I took 1 whole week off of work just to marvel at these flowers!  I did Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in 7 different parks: Hibiya, Inokashira, Genjiyama (in Kamakura), Nakameguro, Yoyogi, Ueno, and Asukayama park (which was my favourite place out of all the rest!)

I also had the pleasure of enjoying Hanami with some wonderful blog friends! Like Hiki from Jollygoo, Ebony from Hello Sandwich, and the David & Koichi from Japanesesong Trip. It was so fun to meet and hang out with these people.  My first cherry blossom experience wouldn't have been the same without them!  I also went with many of my coworkers here, so it was definitely something that I will remember forever!



16 April 2014

hello hello!

Just a small and random blog post to prove I'm still alive and care about my blog still. hahah!  I have a Kyoto post to do, and also a Cherry blossom post!  I can't believe sakura season is already over! It came and went so fast, but was so beautiful... One of my life goals was to see cherry blossoms in Japan and I am so thrilled to cross that off my bucket list!
Pictures to come....

ps: I can't believe it's already been half a year since I moved to Japan!


07 March 2014

My first winter!



Winter came, and it was absolutely magical for me!  This was my first time EVER seeing snow fall, and it was such a beautiful sight to see.  The way it danced on it's way down, I've never seen such movement before.  It was almost as if I was underwater.  Also, I didn't realize how soft fresh snow was!  It really is like powder!  So of course, the morning it snowed, I woke up and opened my curtains and started screaming with joy! Then I called my family back home in Hawaii and showed them pictures and videos, and then I went outside and played in the snow like a child. 

BUT, with the beautiful came the horrible... 
Because I lived in Hawaii my whole life, where it's summer all year round, my body was NOT prepared for this drastic weather change!  I've been sick a total of 4 times already, having to miss so much work.  I was even in the clinic for 5 days getting IV treatment because I was over dehydrated from this dry winter.  And when it rains after the snow, everything just gets so much worse!  Everywhere was flooded temperatures shot down even more, and I wasn't prepared with rain/snow boots, so some days I went to work walking in freezing water up to my ankles... absolutely soaking!

Well, that was my first ever snow experience!  hahaha!  As beautiful as it was, I think that's enough snow for this Hawaii boy.  

Oh also,  Last week was my birthday!!!  It was the first time spending my birthday in another country, and Tokyo did well!! I was out all day, eating, shopping, went to a cat cafe, and later partied with some friends all night long!  We went bar-hopping, sang Karaoke for 3 hours, and drank until the first trains started back up.  Good times ♥

04 February 2014

Japanesesong Trip



I quickly fell in love with this couple the minute I came across them on Instagram.  Full of journeys and intimate moments between this pair is enough to turn any ordinary day into one with a pleasantly different outlook.

David (a South African) and Koichi (a native Japanese), really take 'traveling' to another level for me.  So happy to see that they started their very own travel blog, got me more than excited.  With high quality snapshots and stories that will have you smiling from ear to ear, I instantly became a fan of their adventures.

As I mentioned, the Japanese and English translated stories really are the icing on the cake.  Reading though the incredibly fresh and simply put dialogue that goes along perfectly with each trip, really paints a vivid picture as to their whole experience.  As if watching their movie, each story is filled with cultural tidbits about the current location, as well as beautifully written little anecdotes that remind me how human we really are.  (my favourite is the Setouchi Triennale 2013 piece!)



30 January 2014

marcma / 馬克馬



love these photos by Taiwanese photographer Marcma / 馬克馬.

so many exciting things ahead!  I found the cafe of my dreams, and quickly made friends with the owner and staff.  I can see this becoming a regular thing... but more on that later!!

so obsessed with Dustin O'halloran's modern classical music.  listen to his Opus 20