Last night I finally had the chance to thoroughly attack the many images I had taken during my recent trip to Japan. It’s been two weeks since we returned and I’m finally finding the words to describe just how important this trip was for my mind, soul and perspective as a photographer. In the days, weeks and even months prior to the trip I went through some personal struggles that had me questioning just about everything. As far as I was concerned, removing myself from many of the causes of what had manifested was the best solution to the problem. From the moment I landed in Japan and set foot in Hayama. All of the stress, anger and anxiety I had built up in the prior months began to melt away.
As we shared a hearty breakfast and watched the sun rise over Hayama that first morning. I was asked a very important question. “What do you want to do while you’re here?” I took a while to collect my thoughts before raising my head and replying “I want to be the untourist.” “I don’t want to go near anything remotely related to what I’m used to.” “I want to absorb and experience everything this culture offers.” It was a pretty big statement for someone who had just experienced a fourteen hour flight, four hours sleep and had yet to take a sip of his first cup of coffee in Japan, but it was honest. I just wanted to leave behind all the baggage I had accumulated back home. I wanted a fresh start. Luckily for me, my mind, body and spirit was about to get the full treatment.