If you have ever been to Istanbul, then you know that it has one of the most breathtaking skylines in the world, if not the most beautiful one. There really is nothing like the way the mosques rise against the city and the sky. Although I fell in love with pretty much everything about this city, the most beautiful moment I experienced while visiting Istanbul was a late-afternoon ferry ride on the Bosphorus. Europe on one side, Asia on the other. As we set out onto the waters of this iconic stretch, the muezzins filled the air with their voices, the sky turned pink then yellow and red, and the birds decorated the horizon with their silhouettes in flight. It’s been a while since I’ve done a photo story, why not bring it back with the world’s most awe-inspiring city?
“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is the most beautiful place on Earth.” Edmondo de Amicis Every traveller has been faced with the question “what is your favourite place on Earth?” Typically, my answer consists of “I don’t have a favourite place”, or “I can’t choose.” There is just so much variety, so much beauty, so much culture and tradition and years of history to be discovered. And in between, there are so many differences that make one place incomparable to another; each is as unique and special as the other one.
My next adventure is coming up soon and I am anxious to explore Europe over the summer. Still, I must admit I’m quite hung up on Japan, and the best way to give this adventure closure and move on to the next (at least for now, but I’ll be back, Japan.) is to end where it all started: the incredible city of Tokyo.
Kyoto is quite unlike any other place I’ve visited. The city is growing day-to-day, yet it still remains humble, with a great devotion and respect for its history and ancient faith. It is a place where I would like to live for a couple of months and explore, because it has such a rich past, full of mysticism, culture and tradition that still awaits to be discovered. It is also an incredibly beautiful place, located in the heart of the mountains. It is one of the most explorable places on earth; you’ll never run out of mysteries.
I knew I couldn’t go to Japan and not visit this historical place, even if just for a day. Out of all the places I researched before the trip, Nara was the one I read about the least because I wanted to discover it by myself. I did not look at pictures, and I did not read about the best ways to visit Nara in a day. No, I chose to just walk and see what I found.
The surreal island of Naoshima is just a train ride away from either Osaka or Kyoto. None of us knew what to expect, we’d heard so many things about the island. More specifically, we were told over and over that this was one place in Japan that we couldn’t not go. I was skeptical, and a lot more excited for the upcoming day trip to Nara.
I am back! First things first, an apology for last week’s hiatus. As part of my college work experience, I have been working in a student-made film festival for the past year. The festival (check it out here!) took place last week and it was work, work, work. Now that the festival is over, I took the time this weekend to finally review all the photographs from my travels in Japan, and without further ado, let’s get started:
During the last week I have been travelling Japan’s cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. It has been incredible, and I can’t wait to write about all of it. I am going to start by telling you about what it’s like to go to a sumo fight as a tourist, and having never seen one before.
Although getting around Tokyo hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, being in a foreign country with a language so different from any that I speak can get difficult at times. In Japan it’s been even more so because literally everything is in japanese, every single thing, and not a lot of people speak or understand english. I bought a small dictionary for travel in Japan a couple of weeks back, and I started thinking what the best way to use it would be because sorting through the pages every time I need something is just not practical, and decided that the best way to explore Japan easier, and learn something really awesome at the same time, would be to keep a list of the most basic phrases at hand. It turned out 1) Japanese is a really beautiful language, and 2) Japanese people find it really entertaining when you try.