Fuji in the Sky




I start by documenting my experiences here in Japan at the one place that has brought so much interest and fascination to my time here: Fuji Mountain, otherwise named “Fuji-San” or “Mt. Fuji.” It is a mountain where you can appreciate its beauty from afar just as much as you can up close. I chose to blog photos instead of videos, because I personally believe a video cannot explain how surreal it felt to both be at the top of Shibuya Tower- nearly two prefectures (130km) away in driving distance- seeing the sun fall into the earth behind the shadows of Mt, Fuji; as well as being at the top of a nearby mountain in Hakone prefecture, a hot springs town nearby the mountain to see its true power and size in front of your eyes. Being able to know where exactly I am looking and what I am admiring no matter the distance from one mountain alone is something I could not experience in my hometown Kentucky- possibly even in America. I’ve even flown above the mountain on the way to Hiroshima and it never fails to leave me in awe. In a way, it made me aware of how small Japan is- how small the earth really is, yet how large and fascinating nature chooses to express themselves; how people managed to come to a small on volcanic island in the sea and learned to create a way of life and culture unique to themselves, and is unique in the eyes of everyone in the world. It is the most beautiful thing I never get tired of seeing in Japan and I would go out of my way to experience it as much and as long as possible.

Being in Japan has been a surreal experience, where I was able to easily adapt to life and its culture due to prior cultural experience, yet at the same time I felt isolated due to the language barrier I could not easily overcome. It is a unique experience to say the least being in a place where everyone looks like you but is unable to really connect with you. In America, I could say that I am the minority of a minority; not many people look like me so it’s hard to connect sometimes, but here in Japan I am the minority of a majority. Though, I never really saw that as negative and more as a “silly little obstacle,” because why would that stop me from having my experience in seeing the world? In fact, I was grateful to have found friendships and mounts of love in numbers of people, enough that allowed me to travel all over Japan with these people, eating and seeing new things. The scene and the environment was the blueprint for my experience and having the most precious set of friends constructed that experience into a beautiful house of memories. In both of these photos, one is just a blurry shadow and one is clear portrait view of the mountain, yet they say so much about itself. I look at it and I know exactly who was with me at the time these photos were taken; what we said, why we went there, and what I did that entire day and while we were there. I do not think I really understood to appreciate simple photos like these until I went to Japan, where I knew that the people I’d get to know and care about for an entire year would most likely never show up in front of my face again after our experiences ended. Bittersweet, but these memories push me to be great, through the obstacles of life and isolation, and are memories I wish to never forget in this lifetime.