Five stories and a twist
Friday morning I woke up, did some house cleaning (before I passed my key on), and finished up the last of my summer work. It was three before I started looking for a hotel — and they were all over priced in Kyoto. I scanned the route in my mind. Okayama. I could stay the night there then catch the ferry over to Naoshima. It was five by the time I left with Hiro’s backpack and two pairs of each: shorts, t-shirt, over shirt, socks, Calvins. I packed one outfit for sleeping and the essential grooming gear (toothbrush, razor, gel, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair). All the rest was camera equipment — and it was heavy. Over my other should I carried my tripod.
The Shinkansen from Shin Yokohama is about three hours. They sell special bentos onboard called “Eki Ben“, each one packed with foodstuffs from all the major areas a given Shinkansen passes through: Quality, not quantity.
Onboard I found my hotel through my iPad 3, used Wikipedia on the Mini Retina, and Facebooked on the iPhone — traveling alone with the world in hand.
I got to Okayama sometime after nine. The drizzle started the moment I left the station — and it did not stop until I came back home four weeks later. Still, my holiday was a blast. One of the many perks I get by living in Japan as a teacher is two – three months holiday. Don’t misunderstand. I work hard. I work seven days a week, plus I have to do extra things in my free time such as grade 5-page essays and create lesson plans, which is all to say I earn my vacation. The twist is that I use it to learn. This year, my aim was to teach myself how to take better pictures.
This post begins a photo series I will tag “vacation” and “travel” along with whatever city I happen to be in. My pics aren’t perfect. I’m posting them not only to share to but learn through your criticisms and comments. I also hope they’ll give you a sense that Japan is someplace you’d like to come visit. It really is unlike anyplace else you can go on our small, blue dot.
I’m starting with five different pictures which look the same. They were taken near the same spot around the same time in the morning (about seven a.m.) but with a little math I endeavored to put them on the same plane. They are of Okayama’s main attraction: The Okayama Castle. I’ve been to Okayama several times and so this time I didn’t wait to go inside. Rather, things happened and I changed my plans yet again to see something new which I’ll write about next. In the meantime you can play “Spot The Difference” and/or tell me which version you like best. Enjoy your weekends!