Narita-san Temple

Wow, so the first post of 2007, huh? I suppose it’s a bit cheap that it’s gonna be primarily a photo entry, but as previously mentioned I’m heading off to Paris this Thursday – Thursday people – and I’ve not done any packing yet. In fact, I should probably try and figure out where all my underwear seem to have disappeared off to over the past two weeks. I’ll need them for my trip and I don’t have time for the crazed antics of thieving Underwear Gnomes.

narita-san temple

I’ll be in Europe until the 15th, at which point I’ll attempt the impossible and try to land in Narita in the morning and make it to work the afternoon of the same day so as to avoid using any unnecessary vacation days. I have a strong suspicion the day will end with me passed out face first at my desk, drooling all over that stupid clear plastic protector mat that keeps my schedule and stuff firmly affixed to the table top, staring up at me as if to remind me how banal and eyeball melting life in a Japanese office can be. Oh panda, why can’t you stay in the land of bread, cheese and wine forever?

Ahh, because you don’t speak French. And also, they hate Americans. And quite possibly Pandas.

narita-san temple

*ahem* Pardon my little soliloquy. I’ve been trying to save money – plus everything is shut down until the 3rd for the New Year holiday – so I haven’t left my apartment in three days. I think I’m starting to lose my already-frail grasp on reality (for example, I used to half-jest that I was part panda, now I actually believe it).

Before I started my period of involuntary hermitage, I did manage to find my way out to Narita-san Shinshoji Temple over in Chiba Prefecture, one of the most famous temples in the Kanto region for a little late night photography session. Originally my plan was to go there during the beautiful sunny day last Saturday, but I ended up going to photograph the Emperor’s Birthday instead. Then I thought it would be great to go during the Hatsumode celebrations for the New Year but given that temples are unbelievably crowded during this time and Narita-san is second only to Meiji Jingu in downtown Tokyo in terms of crowd size, I decided that probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

narita-san temple

So instead, I went the night before all the festivities took off, when the temple was unbelievably silent and deserted, and took some shots at night with the lens wide open and the shutter set to double digit exposure times. I’m still getting used to my camera as you can tell, but I thought it turned out pretty good given my ham handed approach to photography (Step 1: Point in general vicinity of target. Step 2: Push shutter button. Step 3: Remove lens cap. Step 4. Repeat Step #2.)

Click on the “Continue Reading” link for more…

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

narita-san temple

If you want to see more shots, in their original uncropped aspect ratios, you can check out the narita-san photo gallery!

Well that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed the photos! As mentioned, I will be in France until the 14th, but I will try to update at least once during that time period. But don’t hold me to that. I may very well be passed out drunk on wine and stuffed on cheesah bread in some corner of Paris somewhere, being silently mocked by a vicious mime pretending to be sweeping around me.

God I hope I can see a real mime in a black & white stripey shirt!

Now listening to: 2Pac & Tyrese – My Block (Nitty Remix)

2pac - Better Dayz

Now shit’s constantly hot, on my block, it never fails to be
gunshots
Can’t explain a mother’s pain, when her son drops
Black male slippin in hail when will we prevail
Fearin jail but crack sales got me livin well
And the system’s suicidal with this Thug’s Life
Stayin strapped forever strapped in this drug life
God help me, cause I’m starvin, can’t get a job
So I resort to violent robberies, my life is hard
Can’t sleep cause all the dirt make my heart hurt

Put in work and shed tears for my dead peers
Mislead from childhood where I went astray
Till this day I still pray for a better way
Can’t help but feel hopeless and heartbroke
From the start I felt the racism cause I’m dark
Couldn’t quit the bullshit make me represent
Hit the bar and played the star, everywhere I went
In my heart, I felt alone out here on my own

I close my eyes and picture home… on my block

6 Reactions

  1. Kristy Chama

    Your pictures are beautiful! I have to squint because some are so bright. It is hard to believe you took them at night. Can I get some printed to put on my wall?

  2. Kristy Chama

    Your pictures are beautiful! I have to squint because some are so bright. It is hard to believe you took them at night. Can I get some printed to put on my wall?

  3. lizb

    michael panda! i just made you the CUTEST thing ever. my mom got me a hot glue gun for christmas (weird?)and i wanted to try it out..so i made you something and it’s amazing and i can’t wait to send it to you. and i mean it, i really am sending this! :[
    salut!! bon voyage à Paris!! beaucoup de photos sil vous plait!! :3

  4. Shay

    Beautiful photos (good as always)! I had a great time in Japan. I didn’t make it to Tokyo on this trip but I might go there come August (I hope ^^).

  5. Dave

    Man… too bad I only realized today that your old feed wasn’t working anymore while cleaning my RSS aggregator… I would have totally offered you a cup during your stay here !
    Cheers and happy going back to Japan…

  6. Pia

    Your photos are gorgeous!
    Have a wonderful time in France . . . and take many, many pictures.