“…a thousand miles from comfort…there’s no place I’d rather be…”–Clean Bandit
This is where it all started. The first time I saw Japan was way back in November 2013. I was invited by a major Japanese furniture manufacturer to attend a convention in Tokyo. It was a 3-day event with a 2-day extension for us to do anything we want. It was my first time to travel outside my own country (other than Singapore of course where I am currently based) and to be honest with you, I was childlike ecstatic. Autumn was very much well on its way when we arrived; and with the cold temperature, I fell in love with Tokyo almost immediately. I remember the last time when I passed off an opportunity in the office for a free winter travel to this country. I really regretted that one.
I also just got started with photography during this time, so I was able to put it into practice during my stay here. Like most newbie photographers, most of the photos I took home later were just average. But I was happy with the thought of being able to document the travel experience in pictures. With the days also shorter in autumn, I found myself doing more of night photography. That sense of peace and being alone as a stranger in those cold autumn nights gave me the confirmation that I am happiest as a photographer when shooting during the late hours of the day. That first travel experience also gave me the desire to explore more of the world around me with whatever limited time, opportunities or resources I may have. I remember looking outside our Tokyo hotel window one early morning and promising myself to return to this place. Four years and twelve Asian cities later, I will finally be back this winter.
Seeing only Tokyo is barely scratching the surface of the beauty that Japan has to offer. Chances of snow here in winter is minimal and the landscape barren and devoid of color. But I don’t mind. I can always come back. I have always loved this beautiful city, with its pace and busyness. I usually don’t write about an upcoming trip (honestly, I am just making full use of what I am paying for in this blog space) and seldom do I visit a certain place twice (unless it’s to find something I lost). But in this beautiful case, I will make an exception. But I did lose or missed something: it’s those precious moments alone outside in the cold; in the same place where peace and a perfect and unforgettable experience had started. I haven’t listed yet what I will do here, but I do hope to make more time to cover those places I have missed the last time I was here. Looking forward to more photography sessions in the cold. 🙂
See you in my next post. Cheers!!! 🙂