Because I have so many pictures from Japan and Korea, I figure that I'll split them up into several posts.
I decided to mix things up by shooting panoramas, and I'm quite happy with how things turned out. Heck, I was incredibly excited to get one particular shot online:
The bamboo grove around Mt. Arashiyama, in Kyoto. I've wanted to wander through a bamboo grove for years (too many martial arts movies?), and I finally had the opportunity to live out one of my dreams. As I sat in the shadows of the stalks of bamboo towering overhead, I couldn't help but feel that the world as moving towards stillness. There was no one else around to disturb my moment; even the sound of my own breathing seemed muffled by the bamboo all around me. A light rain started to fall, the occasional droplet falling through the canopy above me and splashing on my jacket. I was overtook by a sense of calm, and I was at ease.
The pond behind Kinkaku-ji, the famed Golden Pavilion. There was an incredible number of beautiful gardens in Kyoto - the traditional green type, and rock gardens. This one just stuck out in particular. With the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Tangible Cultural Assets, and whatnot in Kyoto, it's near-impossible to not stumble on something beautiful.
The Osaka skyline, as seen from atop the Umeda Sky Building. I wish I could also show you guys the Floating Garden atop the building. There are colored patterns in the walkways around you that glow at night once blacklights are turned on. Anyways, this was an amazing location to watch the sunset. It turns out that the entire place was a popular date location (because of the view. Figures.) which made things a bit awkward for me, but screw it. I wasn't going to pass up an incredible view for something as small as that. The building was built around the idea that mankind is constantly trying to get closer to heaven, hence the open observation deck atop the tower.
If you found this at all enjoyable, then there's a lot more where that came from. What to put up next? More temples? Food? Weird stuff that I found around Tokyo? Hmm...