Saturday, May 22, 2010
Nara is a city known for a few things, but probably most known for the wild deer. Everywhere you look, there are friendly, wild deer walking around. and when I say everywhere, i mean EVERYWHERE. At first, it was really cool getting to see theses thing. After awhile, it get less exciting. Then later it just gets annoying. So feeding deer aside, Nara also has the largest Buddha ever made. Some fun little facts, Todai-Ji is the temple the holds this Buddha. It stands at just under 50 feet high(well, sits), weights roughtly 500tons(That's over 1 million pounds) and is made entirely of wood. Around the temple there were other statues, but none that compared to this one.
Lastly, I had a wonderful experience with my dinner, for a change. Our teacher took us to a place that made these pancake like means. It basically was a pancake base with whatever you wanted in/ontop of it. I got a pizza pancake, being the picky, non daring eater that I am. it consisted of pancake, pizza sauce, cheese, and corn. It came with other toppings that I wasn't interested in too.
All through out our trip, we've been given a lot of looks and stares, being from outside the country that we are in. But today, we received a lot more…For obvious reason. So the first thing we visited is what's not known as the A-bomb dome. Being only a few miles away from the actually blast, the A-bomb dome is one of the only buildings that still stands. This building is hardly standing on it's on as it almost a pile of rubble. After milling around the city for a while, we found ourselves at the manorial museum. Now I understand the whole idea of propaganda, and different views points, but a lot of the things I learned there were just straight facts. Somethings you could find there are models of the city, before and after the bombing, photos of the destruction, people, and objects, and stories from survivors. I find myself not getting emotional about a lot of things, but I found it impossible to not get choke up most of the trip.
There was one story in particular that really hit home. A photographer, a few days after the bombing, wanted to go into town to photograph the destruction. But once he was in town, the utter chaos and destruction paralyzed him, only allowing him to take five photographs total. He described how people were just wondering the streets aimlessly, with no place to go, or no family, food, or water. I won't go into graphics but you can only imagine the condition of the people who were not instantly killed by the blast.
Over all this experience was life changing. I'm not much a history major, and never knew much about this actual event, but after this trip, it's definitely going to change my the outlook on my life
This photo was a panorama photo taken by a photographer after the bombing. This should give a good comparison to the model photos. Just as a reference point, the bridge on the right of this image, and the T shape bridge on the models was the target for the bomb.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
For started, all around the stadium, they have "cheerleaders" standing up on rails. Their job is to get chants started, get the crowd riled up, and just, well be cheerleaders. A couple rows above them are trumpet players and flag wavers. So through out the entire game, these people were just standing up and shouting different chants, over and over and over again. There was NO break from the chanting.On top of the non stop chanting, almost every single person in the stadium had these like thunder bats, hollow plastic bats that they used instead of clapping.
The last amazing thing about this game was during the 7th inning stretch. Back home, we obviously stand up and stretch and sing take me out to the ball game. Well here in Japan, everyone buys balloons outside, blows them up, and sends them all off at the same time. It's like personal fireworks. I don't know the meaning behind it or where it came from, but WOW, what an amazing photo moment.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
After dinner, we bike about 20 minutes in the rain to downtown Hikone. Once we got there, we did some food shopping and looked around a little bit, but because of the rain, our options were left a little short. Another 20 minute bike ride home and we were back home for the night
Have a good day/night everyone
Monday, May 10, 2010
So anyways, It's about 8 o'clock AM here, rainy and cloudy outside. This is the first time I'm actually seeing Japan right now(In the sunlight). There are some giant crows outside on the tellphone wires. Giant crows that would trump the crows back home. Were getting a welcome breakfast around 8:30 and have orientation at 11:30. From there our adventure will begin =]
The plane trip.
So first of all, after being a pretty veteran flier, This trip was like nothing I've never done before. I didn't know what to expect before getting on the plane. What kind of plane, would they have power outlets, wireless internet, TVs? Well we flew a 747 which is your basic plane just with a ton more seats. Two outside rows with three seats each, and a middle row with four seats. The plane was pretty packed, luckily the person in the seat in front of me was not there. So I had the luxury of not worrying about bothering that person. Only problem with that set up though was I had the middle seat. And By some power beyond me, the person sitting on the isle seat slept about 90% of the trip. so I didn't want to be rude and wake him up multiple times to stretch my legs or go to the bathroom. I actually found my self sneaking over him a few times so i wouldn't have to wake him. The planes etiquette i guess we can call it was completely different from any plane I've been on.(My experience of planes only include short trips through our the states). Usually you stay in your seat unless you have to go to the bathroom, do so, then return right to your seat. On the whole plan trip there, people seemed to form a standing zone where multiple people met up and talked for a while(including my self for a bit) A few hours into the 13 hour flight they came around and told us to shut out windows, and turned all the cabin lights off. Almost like they were trying to allow everyone to go to sleep. The only problem with that is I find it impossible to sleep on a plane. Luckily I had a few friends to sit next to to keep me awake and entertained the whole time. I don;t I've slept in over 24 hours now. It's kind of hard to figure it out because of the time difference ( were about 13 hours ahead of Michigan).
This was probably the first culture punch in the face of a language barrier. Only to be followed by many, many, many more I have a feeling. But after standing in a line for a bit, you had to go and talk to a rep one by one. Some people got off easy with a few questions, not me. My person didn't seem to understand anything I was saying, and I'm sure I wasn't helping the situation out very much.
After all that it's been a pretty normal trip. Everyone from class met up, got our luggage and met up with Don, our photo instructor from back home. He's been here since Thursdays getting everything set up. We are currently on a charter bus driving roughly 2-3 to our new home for the next two weeks.
Just a fun little time line since i guess you could consider this "time travel"
SUNDAY MAY 9TH. Stayed up until 5am. Work up at 9am. Took off from Detroit around 4:30 PM. Landed in Japan MONDAY MAY 10th around 6PM( 5AM Michigan time) And we'll arrive back "home" around 9:30,10PM
P.S. Sorry for the bad grammar and spelling, it's been a long day.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
So since I don't do very well on plane rides, my plan has been to stay up tonight, all night, so that why I'm as tired as possible and will jsut sleep on the plane most of the way there. Only problem is, I'm really really tired. So this plan is either going to work perfectly or just back fire terribly.well only 12 more hours until the plane is scheduled to take off.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
So in just about 24 hours from now, I will beginning a 14 hours plane ride to Japan.For the class while I’m there we have to keep a blog and post up on it every day. Even though I’ve been meaning to make a photo blog for a while, this actually gave me a reason to. And hopefully will continue to give me a reason to blog after I home.
So cheers to the first blog.