Saturday, November 15, 2014

Osaka, Japan 05'10'2014

Long hiatus.

For months I haven't posted anything in this blog. At first I lost the time, but then I lost the energy. I still took pictures when I went on trips but then I grew tired of posting them.

Around a few months back while I was editing my pictures, I found that they weren't as good as I wanted them to be so I lost the will to share them.

Then so many stuff happened especially at work. I also went on vacation. I lost many things and I lost my spirit. I lost myself.

But then I realised a few days back that I lost my passion because I forgot why I started this in the first place. I started this blog to share my experiences with the people I love. I started this blog because I wanted to really experience and remember the places I go to.

Somewhere along the way I became a photographer for the people I was with on trips when what I really wanted to do was to photograph the places around me.

This made me realise that I always lose myself when I am around people because I concern myself on what they want too much (good pictures of themselves) over what I really wanted (good pictures of my surroundings).

Instead of happily walking and experiencing places, I started to compromise, rush my pictures and shorten my trips because the people I was with are either too tired, too hungry, or too bored. That was not me. That was not what I wanted to do. I never cared if I got lost, If I was too tired, or too whatever as long as I was out and about experiencing the place that I was in first hand. It made my pictures bad (IMO), It made me lose my passion in taking photos of things.

I applied this realisation to the other aspects of my life and thought that I really did concern myself with other people too much, the people who didn't matter, and in that process I really have lost myself - I lost the things that made me happy.

"Life is too short to try to please other people. Remember that the only people who matter in your life are only those who you matter to - in their life. They are not other people, they are your people."

Well I am still in the process of recovering from the many sad things that has happened to me in the past months but at least I am recovering. I am trying to live a life now where I focus on me and the things and people that make me happy and trying not to lose that focus despite other (dark) forces that try to distract me.

I will surround myself with things I love and with people that love me.

I'm gonna try to catch up to my photos in the next few days. This post was supposed to be from last May but I am posting it now. It is a three part series on Japan.


It was going to be one of my best trips yet. I was planning to go to so many places and eat many things. My budget was my credit card. But alas, things often change and I had to make last minute changes to my plans.

I was originally planing to go explore Osaka, Kobe, and Himeji. But when I learned that Himeji Castle, the largest castle in Japan, is under renovation and scaffolds are covering its facade, I had to change my plans. I ended up googling places to go around Osaka and decided on Kyoto and Nara. Whereas Himeji and Kobe are to the west, Kyoto and Nara are to the east.

We arrived in the hotel at night and we immediately went out to Osaka Station to ask for directions for out plans the next day and have dinner before we sleep.

Fried fish.
Raw fish
Dinner was nice. Japanese rice really has a very great flavor and texture to it that just keeps you wanting more. I think When I eat in Japan, the rice is really what I crave for.

The next day we woke up early to go to Kyoto.

After Kyoto we still had so much time, we decided to do that day what we planned to do for the next day. We went to Nara.

After Nara we came back finally to Osaka, Insanely tired and sleepy we went straight on to the hotel with plans still for the next day.

The next day, Osaka Castle. It wasn't really part of our plan to go anywhere on that day, but Osaka Castle was near, historic, and disappointed me because of one huge detail that I missed reading about.

Kyobashi going to Osakajokoen
The japanese on rush hour?
There were a lot of people on the train at the time we went to Osaka Castle. I was surprised to see people weren't rushing to sit on the chairs inside the train, many people were opting to just stand up.

It was a gloomy cloudy day so I wasn't really expecting to see people in Osaka Castle that much... which was good.

A girl taking a picture of the Osakajokoen sign.
Beautiful green as far as the eye can see.
A moat surrounding Osaka Castle
The moat acts like a perfect mirror.
My favorite picture.
From Osakajokoen station, there was still a lot of walking to do before reaching the actual Osaka Castle. Thankfully we were greeted with fresh cool air, very very few people, and a lot of greenery.

When we reached the moat that surrounded the castle, there was no wind. Which prompted me to take many mirror effect pictures with ok results.

Osaka Castle from across the bridge.
Osaka Castle through a wall
Up close.
Even closer.
Upon reaching the bridge on the moat, we got a clear view of Osaka castle. It was a very nice looking building. Walking towards it there were very few people, maybe one or two walking towards the castle, but then we realized that we were facing the back end of the castle and not the front. When we did get to the front of the castle we were surprised...

School girls & boys.
School girls.
There was a field trip of school girls and boys, probably still in primary school, who were touring the castle and castle grounds. Needless to say there were no "few people" anymore.

We entered the castle and there was one supremely disappointing thing I learned that I did not know about Osaka Castle...

A girl clad in samurai armor.
Samurai Armor.
For one, pictures weren't allowed inside and it was very difficult to hide a few clicks or two with my camera so I could only take the two pictures above.

Second, it is NOT the original Osaka Castle, apparently the original was destroyed in a previous war and this one is just a copy complete with an elevator to reach the top! An elevator! I was really disappointed given that my original plan was to go to Himeji Castle. at least the view at the top was nice...

View from the top.
You can still see the school children running around the castle grounds even from the top floor.

After reaching the top of the castle we went straight home.

Our whole trip from Osaka to Kyoto to Nara and then Osaka again was... tiring but an amazing, near once in a lifetime experience. It opened my eyes to the beauty the world can hold and the genius of man in shaping it. I would go back to Osaka again of course hopefully, Himeji Castle will be open by that time.

Until my next trip, Sayonara!