Nightwalk

Keage Station. It’s quiet, empty. I am the only person to have gotten off the train. The subway tracks are located deep beneath the ground and it’s just me and the silent hum of the escalators as they carry me upwards past pictures of the stars of the local zoo. I emerge into the dark, slick streets in front of…

Finding peace and beauty

After two days of fighting crowds in the snow at admittedly popular attractions in Kyoto, I knew I wanted to find something a little more off the beaten track but still atmospheric to catch what would probably be Kyoto’s last day of snow. With a little help from Google I kept coming across a beautiful pond and bridge surrounded by…

Tis the Season

Celebrating big holidays like Christmas in a foreign country always comes with a mixed bag of emotions. Some expats, especially in their first couple of years abroad, will rush home every major vacation. Others do their best to ignore it and treat it like any other day. And some, like me, do their best to celebrate it any way they…

The Joys of Translation

I will be the first to say that this post has nothing to do with travel or photography.  I was recently going through some old files and I came across a list of bad translations that my students had written for an assignment where they had to interview someone.  The interviews were harmless stuff, but the students were lazy and…

Deer glue and nightingale poo

About a month ago I saw a notice for a sumi-e workshop in Nara with a well-known sumi-e artist, Christine Flint Sato. Eager to try my hand at some traditional Japanese crafts, I signed up.  And on a warm November morning, I found myself grinding a sumi stick on an ink stone in a workshop with about 12 other students.…

Small guide, big heart

“You wanna guide?” “No, choose me!” “I’m the best one – you come with me!” As my friends and I were walking up the path to the Angkor temple of Preah Khan, a gaggle of boys came running down, each trying to get one of us to agree to his particular guiding services. My friends graciously rejected their sincere offers…