You may have noticed the headline on my main page: "Wherever I be, I'm still the same ol Kie." Well, it is not only my web tagline but it is how I live my life! No matter where life takes me, I will forever remain the same ol silly, southern, creative, friendly Kierra.
With that being said, here is the first story of my travel series: #WhereverIBe
About a month ago I visited Japan for the first time and it was better than I ever imagined.
Over the course of two weeks, I visited:
Now. This is also the first time that I've ever crossed the ocean to leave a continent in order to meet another. So I didn't mentally get into the awesomeness ahead because I was focused on that looooong plane ride.
We traveled through space and time on Juneteenth (poetic right?) and after a stopover in South Korea, we safely made it to our first stop: Tokyo, Japan.
At first sight, Tokyo was O V E R W H E L M I N G.
All of the buildings, anime shops, malls, merchants shouting their marketing pitch, throngs of commuters, smells of delicious food, EDM, Soul, Rap, and J-pop music simultaneously blasting from various speakers, bright, flashing signs and imagery all pushed me into sensory overload.
Upon second glance however, I saw a modern, vibrant, and expressive city still holding onto its traditional roots. No matter how technologically advanced the city becomes or their status as a globally recognized fashion capital remains true — the people of Tokyo (and the Japanese as a whole) place a high premium on the preservation of their culture.
The nods to traditional Japanese culture was noticed within the hospitality of the people, food, fashion, temples, gardens and palaces and castles.
I had a great time capturing the images and video from this trip! It was both extremely satisfying and challenging. I struggled between being consumed by the moment and instinctively grabbing my camera. When I noticed myself getting frustrated with how a shot came out or when I "missed" a great capture, I had to check myself. Having a sour attitude while on the trip of a lifetime is a sure way to spoil a trip or as my momma would say, "block your blessings."
It took me some time but as the trip went on, I reached for my camera less and less. Don't get me wrong — I absolutely love documenting personal moments and the joy it brings when I'm putting the stories together. I just wanted to really challenge myself to relax into my surroundings and take it all in...mentally. I may be kicking myself now over footage I wish I had a digital memory of but I will never forget my first adventure to Japan.
I shot all the photos using a combination of my iPhone and Canon DSLR. I edited with the help of VSCO Cam and VSCO Film by Visual Supply Co. All presets used were purchased on my own.
Be sure to check back for the video of my Japan experience!
For now, check out the gallery below for more visuals from the trip.
All images taken and edited by Kierra Jenaé