is for bunka, or the Japanese word for Culture. It’s hard to think of Japan without thinking about its amazing culture. Whether you’re looking at the premodern, modern, or even post-modern, Japan has you covered, and it’s a country that is proud to show it off. In Kyoto alone, the culture of maiko, Heian court, Buddhism, hipsters, and obaa-chan (grannies) converge to make a center of funky, fashionable, and traditional events that can fill an entire year’s calendar. Just check out the various travel blogs to the city; you’ll never run out of things to do.
When I lived in the U.S., I never really went out and did anything. It probably had less to do with there not being anything to do (the Bay Area is full of things to do), and more to do with my general apathy for what I knew would “always be there”. When I came to Japan, originally I thought I was only going to be here for one year, so every weekend was a rush to go out and explore new places and things.
When I look back on the literal thousands of photos I have taken in the last five years, I realize just how important having an active life is. To have an active life is to make new memories, and after all… memories are what make our lives. My need for culture in my life has been fulfilled here, and when I leave, I will take with me the knowledge that a place is what you make of it. I am looking forward to exploring everything Vancouver has to offer––and I have Japan to thank for that.
Images hosted on Flickr.