Sunday, May 6, 2012

Golden Week & Yamanashi

I took a short trip to Yamanashi with my friend and Okaasan in Japan.
About two hours by train from the center of Tokyo, Yamanashi is a vast stretch of green mountains embracing one from every direction. 

A stick of delicious grilled ika (squid) greeted me on the way there.

A shrine visit before heading back home. It was cold in the forest, and I hadn't brought along anything warmer than a thin cardigan. Yet, the chilliness was refreshing and revitalizing, washing over me like a gentle mountain spirit.

How long have these massive trunks stood stretching upward, and what stories would they tell?

A hushed sanctuary.. I felt as though I should step quietly and carefully past these moss-covered stone pillars.

After the rain, the skies gradually cleared as misty clouds drifted over the mountaintops.

I love these shades of blue, gray, and white - overlapping, swimming and melting into each other.

On the train back to Tokyo, I captured this shot of the misty mountains through the window. This was perhaps my fourth time in Yamanashi. Every trip there inspires a sense of peace, calm, and wonder in nature. For no matter how busy and bustling the days are in Tokyo, time always seems to slow down in places like this. To breathe the cool, clean air and let your thoughts fly free, beyond your mind and body, to become comfortable with yourself just as you are.

We are who we are, but the place we put ourselves in, the people and circumstances we surround ourselves with, have such an influence on us - don't we sometimes become almost different people? Perhaps some want to find stability through all those different selves, or some find it necessary to jump from one self to the next. Perhaps it is common courtesy to meld yourself as appropriate to the situation.

No matter which, I think we should try keep a clear idea of who we truly are, because shifting and changing probably tires us more than we realize. It may be possible to even lose sight of who you thought you were in the first place. It's never easy, and even just living life is, for myself, an everyday process of discovering who I am.
It's harder than it seems, to be truthful to yourself and the things you love. Obstacles are always there. But we can move past them.