Exploring Osaka: Part One

8:55 AM

We go to a brand new city with a heavy reminder digging at the back of our heads – it has to be as perfect as it could possibly get, both in your present and in your photographs. Often times, we fly away with our luggage weighted down by the burden of our expectations, but it’s a wonderful thing to revel in the pressure and rush our travel brings, as both feelings are a sign of great things to come.

In my case, I spent a considerable amount of time researching about how photographs are made of light, and how the art of it is to find playful ways to work with what’s around you. It seemed ridiculous now but at that time, I was fueled by my desperation to take advantage of my stay in Japan. Words like “opportunity” and “portfolio” were drilled into my head as I packed a few hours before my flight (with P helping me fold it efficiently), and I went to bed worrying if there was enough space on my SD card.

Whew, what a boring and lifeless paragraph that was! There I was, about to finally live my dream, and I was losing sleep over what frame and setting would fit best for ‘street photography’? No. It wasn’t an exaggeration when I said that I lost sleep though – for the next 15 hours or so, I traversed through the rough plane ride with muddled thoughts and bruised eyes. 

The skies reminded me of my fear of water – beautiful, vast and consuming. Down here, we tell the time by looking at a clock. Up there, you rely on colors and it’s shifting shades of blue. Time seemed interminable above the clouds, but finally, it happened. Green and blue met in the middle, and my heart recognized the home from my dreams.

I’ve always known that Japan is beautiful. It’s like having a crush - I’ve heard it all through snippets of random conversations and internet stalking, and I’ve also had a taste of it with my endless love for Japanese cuisine. But it’s a different story to actually meet him in person: you see his quirks, the cracks in his seamless image, and you get to know him more deeply in the best of ways.

When we finally got there, the ache in my body didn’t matter anymore. There I was, bright-eyed despite my lack of sleep, and all plans were forgotten. 

We didn't live in a hotel, and we didn't sign up for any tours. All we relied on was our map and guts. It was a difficult time finding our way along Japan's complicated (but beautifully efficient) train/subway system, and we had to ask help from random people who barely understood a word of English. Still, it didn't feel like there was a barrier between us. At that moment in time, I marveled at how we were reduced to a time before language - we were people who relied solely on body movements and facial expressions to reach a certain level of understanding. But the best part of all was allowing ourselves to wholeheartedly trust strangers. You'd be pleasantly surprised to find how kindness ran deep in their hearts, and it was a privilege to have been touched by these people, no matter how transient it may be. 

Next blog post will be about food. 

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  1. Beautifully written Nastassia! And I super love the photos! <3

    Loi x Wanderlaska