Hello 2017

Happy New Year!
I can honestly say that 2016 was an awesome year for me!  I moved into a new apartment, finally invested in a more professional camera, traveled to Taiwan and Thailand, and just becoming much more settled in my 3rd year of life in Japan.  I really do feel very lucky and blessed in my life and I have more than enough to be thankful for.  So cheers to the New Year and also look forward to turning 30 years old!

I spent my New Years at my friends house by the sea in Hayama.  Two days of drinking, eating, dancing to music, and sharing laughs.  I took this photo on the last day of the year.  We woke up on a clear blue morning and walked to the beach only to find Mt. Fuji looking crisp as ever without a cloud in the sky.  It was perfect. 

         あけましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくおねがいします!

         あけましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくおねがいします!

A change of space

* photoshoot update: finally added the Nagano gallery! *

 

I've lived in Japan for 2.5 years already... I can't believe how time flies!  So the timing was right and it just felt like a perfect opportunity to move, so I packed up my life in Yono town and moved to Urawa!!!  Which is actually just two stations away, so it was not all that bad; still in Saitama prefecture.  Even though the towns are quite close, the vibe is completely different! Yono was a very small and quiet "bed-town" that had like 3 restaurants.  The only neighbor I made friends with was a Shiba dog named Meister, whom I miss dearly...  But on the other hand, Urawa is much much bigger and busier, with cafes', shoppings malls, countless restaurants and parks, and even a movie theatre. 

The left picture is my apartment in Yono.  I'm so grateful to have started my life in Japan in this cozy space... ♡
And the right picture is my brand new apartment in Urawa!  Not only is it more than twice the size of the Yono apartment, but it's also a brand new building, being built only 1 year ago!  The only downside is it's a big social residence, so I have to share all the facilities, like the kitchen and washrooms.  But it's not as bad as I thought, and settling in after a month has been nice, especially with all the different tenants living here (half are Japanese and half are foreigners).  I have to say, I am so much happier here!  The huge room, giant windows, tons of sunlight, high-tech appliances...it's just a bright and fresh space.  I really have to pinch myself sometimes... I never would have thought moving to Japan, I could live in such a nice place!

Shizuoka hopping

To the end the summer of 2015 and celebrate the first ever Silver Week in Japan, I had to take advantage of this time and get out of Tokyo!  We took a little trip to a neighboring prefecture and explore Shizuoka.  I think the best thing for me was riding our bikes to the ocean and just breathing in the fresh salt air.  Miho No Matsubara beach was also covered for miles in perfect stones and beach wood!  I wanted to take so much home... Also, probably one of the most epic moments of my whole time in Japan so far is going to the top of Mt. Oomuro!!  With a 360 view of Ito, perfect weather conditions, a short hike around the top of the extinct volcano, and some good meditation and breathing space, this was definitely the highlight of my trip!!

Now that summer had ended and Fall is here, I'm actually taking my next trip to Nagano tomorrow!!! It may be too early to see the red Autumn leaves, but I am so excited to go hiking again and breath some fresh mountain air. Also, I'm so thrilled to meet some blog friends for the first time! We have probably known of each other for about 10 years back and now we can finally meet!  More of that to come.... 

Summer Matsuri 2015

I love summer so much!  Even though it's twice as hot and humid than Hawaii, it really makes me feel like I'm back home!  There's just so much life and energy, not to mention the trips to the beach and also drinking beer more than usual.

The cherry on top for me though is definitely the matsuri!  Last summer, I was busy working a lot so I didn't have any chance to go to a matsuri.  This year, I made sure it was my priority and changed my schedule around so I could experience these festivals.  I went out of my way to buy a Yukata and also a Shibori kit, since I love indigo dye, and added the blue details to my yukata myself!  I really felt like I encompassed the whole feeling of summer in Japan when I put on that yukata.  Not to mention feeling really cool wearing it too, haha!

(photo of me by David Buchler)

Sunshine to Me

Two weeks ago I stayed at my friends house in Hayama. Her name is Sachiko, who is a artist and designer that goes by the name of Sunshine To You, and that's exactly what she brings to anyone who meets her!  When it came to 2015 New Years, I literally thought of the happiest person I know in Japan and really wanted to start the year off right with positive energy, so I called her. Ever since then, my little weekend getaways at her house never fail to bring me joy and comfort. 

Her house exemplifies calmness and light, and it's no wonder they filmed several commercials here, including Muji. There is so much detail, life, and personality in everything she does and I am so happy to spend time with her in her ocean-side house that sits on top of a mountain. A weekend full of sun, swimming, good food and beer, hiking, cooking, and laughs is everything I need to enjoy the summer! 

Kamakura with the Lau's

A refreshing new photo shoot update in Kamakura with my buddy Mike and his beautiful family!  I had a little staycation with them in their Kamakura home where we had lots of fun in the sun!  Drinking, seashell picking, hiking, sushi dinners, tons of picture taking, and also got some free Island Slippers from a photo shoot we did with Akiko (Mike's wife) since they did an interview with her for a magazine.  

It's rainy season right now in Japan, so Summer is just around the corner!  It really is crazy hot here, but I enjoy it much more than the frigid winters! Plus, that means beach parties, firework festivals, yukata's, shaved ice, cold beer, and Vitamin D. 


Welcome!

Thank you so much for taking the time and interest in visiting my new website!  I am so excited to finally make a home for all the photos and adventures I have been on in my new life in Japan!  I have come a long way and finally can call Japan my new home after dreaming of a life here since I can remember.  

If interested, I also have another blog called Make It Easy, which started it all and I really have my friends and community there to thank for getting the ball rolling.  Though I started that blog 7 years ago, in 2009, I will never get rid of it and always appreciate how it helped mold me into the person I am today... even though I sadly don't update very much.  

I will use this new blog as a source of updates on my photography, plans for future projects and works, and also maybe some fun silly outtakes I want to share too!  Thanks again for everyones support and kindness on my journey.  I am so excited for the future!