E is for 興

E is for kyou, or the Japanese word for Entertainment. If nothing else can be said for life in Japan, it’s that there is always something to do. Whether you are in the city, suburbs, or rural areas two hours from any train station, there is something going on. Festivals, plays, fireworks, street performances, ceremonies, gourmet fairs, flea markets, concerts, theatre productions, and a million other activities fill the pages of every newspaper, magazine, and billboard. In addition to all of that, there are classes for students of every age, and “circles”, or clubs for people of every interest.

When you’re unused to that much activity, it’s easy to experience burnout. My first year in Japan, I did so much, and went to so many places, but it never felt like I was even close to experiencing everything the country had to offer. Five years later and I still feel that way. 2013 was a hard year for me; I experienced significant burnout from all the activities, and finally needed to take some time to recuperate (that year I only took about 900 photos; less than half my normal.) Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Images hosted on Flickr. 

https://flic.kr/p/nXGDR9

https://flic.kr/p/nZDk8E

Kyoto Costume Museum

Takarazuka

Tokyo II

Arashiyama

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DSC01286

55 thoughts on “E is for 興

    1. I burn out a lot more frequently than I used to, haha. I went on an overnight trip last week that totally knocked me out afterwards. I need to work on my stamina. 😉

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    1. That’s the hope! We really will have so many memories to take back with us when we leave… and then it’s time to explore Vancouver!

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    1. It really has been. I think the biggest effect it’s all had on me is I will really try anything at least once. Even the totally bad decisions (spa in Seoul) make for interesting stories later. 🙂

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    1. That’s very kind of you to say! But I’m nowhere near that skill! Trying to learn though. It’s a hobby that relaxes me. 🙂

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  1. Lovely and amazing clicks there! I would definitely want to try out the same but then I shudder to ponder how I would cope with all that.. would burn out in a week I guess! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Shanx! Burnout is a very real thing and not to be underestimated! (I’m worried I’m going to burnout this April, haha!)

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    1. Yeah…. I wore the shutter button off my last camera, haha. Granted, it was made of plastic, as is my current one. I’m about to upgrade to a Canon for better quality.

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      1. Mine’s just old. Like, maybe, 15 years old. Maybe older. I have a better one, but I can’t, currently, connect it to my computer, so it’s just sitting around. Of course, it’s old, too, but it’s a better old.

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  2. Japan is one of the places I most want to visit. Clearly I will need a month at least if I have any hope of pacing myself! With such a wonderful culture and so much to see and do, I can imagine it is overwhelming. I’m not a planner, but this is one of the occasions when I will certainly take the time to schedule 😀

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    1. You definitely want to! And while the cherry blossom season is the most famous, I actually recommend October/November more. The red maples, and TONS of festivals!

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        1. That first picture is from Jidai Matsuri! It’s a fun festival, but the better one happens the same night in northern Kyoto (Kurama Fire Festival). Not many foreigners know about it, so it could be a unique experience!

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  3. My husband and I are planning to visit a good friend of ours in Japan later this year. We’ll only have a week there, so trying to figure out what to do is completely overwhelming! Our friend asked us what we wanted to see and all I could come up with was, “Pretty things. Show me pretty things.”

    I need to stock up on memory cards. 900 photos is one day on vacation for me.

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      1. Not sure yet! Our friend lives in Yokohama but she just got her Japanese driver’s license so now we have way too many options to try and narrow down.

        Ideally I will have mastered time travel by the time we leave in October so that I can just stay forever and see everything.

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    1. Many forgo it. 🙂 I thought I was an introvert until I came here… but I have my days in the big cities and during tourist season.

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  4. I’ll be honest, due to a bit of ignorance, I’ve never considered Japan as a travel destination, even though lots of people speak about its beauty. 🙂
    Your pics have captured my imagination!
    The night life looks amazing… and varied too!
    (I’m in the entertainment/educational fields…)

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    1. You would love Tokyo, then, or Yokohama/Osaka. Basically the port cities. There’s a lot of fun stuff to do at night that amalgamates old and new ideas of entertainment. Not to mention the streets and streets of bars, karaoke dens, etc. It’s a blast. 🙂

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  5. I loved your comment about taking son many photos. I am so thankful for the digital era but my hard drive is packed. I am the official school event photographer and take hundreds of photos at some opf these events. I also just love photography. Our zoom lens broke a few months back and we’re saving our pennies for a new one. Tax return due soon so fingers crossed!!

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          1. I haven’t heard of the Sony. I have been a Nikon girl for over 20 years. Not always perfect but it’s hard to change over once you’ve started buying lenses.
            My nephew does the best macro nature shots I’ve seen. He did one of a butterfly’s wing which was incredibly detailed and absolutely perfect. I am a bit of a butterfly fan. I love their beauty and freedom xx Rowena

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            1. Does your nephew also use Nikon? I’m looking into a Canon 70D at the moment. 🙂 I really want good macro, long exposures, landscaping, portraits… the whole deal… I know it’s all in the lens, but I’m still biting my nails over Canon or Nikon. 😉

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              1. No he uses Canon. I’m not happy with the lack of fill flash on my current Nikon. I might have heard some talk about Canon changing direction but could be wrong.

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