This bird lived on Yoshinoyama (吉野山), considered one of the most stunning places to see the cherry blossoms in Japan. That day, there must have been thousands of people from all over on the mountain, enjoying the trees. I’m sure she didn’t know what all the fuss was about.
Nestled beside the road on Yoshinoyama (吉野山), an old monument, surrounded by trees and wild grass, rested on the hillside. We couldn’t decipher any of what it said. But it looked so wise and ancient, and lonely.
This beautiful bamboo forest on Arashiyama (嵐山) was one of the most stunning things I’d ever seen. The bamboo towered so gently and so quietly, and when the wind blew they would knock together, and the rustling leaves and the hollow shafts would make the most beautiful sound…
I met this noisy fellow hiding among the cherry blossoms of the massive sakura trees at Daigoji, in Kyoto, Japan. He had plenty to say, but like most conversations in which I participated while in that beautiful country, I understood very little of it.
The tranquil beauty of Japan, in my humble estimation, springs from their use of naturally harmonious elements. This cleansing fountain, in Kyoto, contains two: water and bamboo.
When I was in Japan last year, I took some amazing photos. Now, I don’t profess to be a fantastic photographer by any means, but when you’re in a country as historically rich and phenomenal as Japan, how can you not come away with great pictures?
Some of my favorite pictures, though, were of strangers. There is a quiet elegance to the Japanese culture that I find so beautiful and endearing, and that made for images that really resonated with me. Who are these people? Where do they come from? What are their struggles? Who are their families? Why do they sit and watch the sakura alone?
The pictures are like unwritten stories. They pique my imagination, and make me feel emotions, probably for no other reason than it captures a portrait of a moment in a stranger’s life.
Watching the sakura in an ancient garden
Capturing a flower cluster
Showing her mother a cherry blossom
Putting her shoes back on after walking the tatami halls of an ancient mansion
Moments like these are so inspiring to me. They might produce just 100 words, but what stories could be shaped from them! I wonder what I might have brought back from Japan if I’d brought a pencil instead of a camera…