As many of you already know, back in October I finally got around to living one of my biggest - and longest put-off - dreams: going to Japan :) We spent an amazing three weeks travelling and photographing this fascinating culture and the lovely people who live in it.
We went to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji (although not UP Mt. Fuji), Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and spent an amazing week living and working on a farm in the mountains in Gifu. We spoke broken Japanese, broken English, and some barely-remembered high school French. We ate things with names like "octopus balls" (and enjoyed them!). We learned how to make sushi from a woman who was deemed an expert due to her 30+ years as a Japanese housewife. We braved multiple onsen (hot springs) and were not shunned for our tattoos. We saw a few real Geisha and many young women dressed up as Geisha for the day. We stood in a cage to feed wild monkeys who live outside of the cage. We were enthusiastically greeted by teams of employees at every restaurant, shop, and museum. We heard automated greetings and/or warnings from escalators, elevators, and subway entrances. We learned the difference between saki and shochu (the hard way). We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of people crammed into the narrow streets of a tiny village while men paraded with huge fiery torches.
It was AMAZING.
I have the distinct feeling that I'm still unaware of how much this trip changed my life, which is a pretty awesome feeling :)
Being photographers, we of course took many photographs while we were there. We also made 80 short digital videos, and shot 4 rolls of super 8 movie film. Needless to say, there's a lot of really amazing material to work through now that we're back. The best of these images will be included in future art shows and exhibitions (stay tuned for details), and I'm going to work on piecing together the video and film footage to create a short piece in motion. And (as with past travel images) I will be selecting a handful to use in the creation of my photo-based multi media art pieces, which I am SO looking forward to making :) I've already started one, which you can see below..
I can't wait to show you more of these images from our awesome trip, and tell the stories that go with them! I'm currently knee-deep in application and submission forms, so stay in touch to get the latest news on where we'll be :)
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Thanks to everyone for your much-appreciated on-going support! You guys are the best!
Jessica + Norman