Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year in review 2013 Edition

Hey everyone!
This past year, 2013, has had a lot of new things for my life. It was a great year and loved it, problem is that it went by to fast! I am still wondering what happened to my Summer as I didn't do a lot of things that I really wanted. I also didn't put as much time into blogging as I wanted. I don't think I ever finished posting my first Japan trip but I got plenty from my one this year!
It started out as a slow year, not much going on in January. The biggest thing and most important is that I started my first full time job as an Environmental Field Technician. It allows me to see the state and my work place changes frequently, it is a 98% of the time outside job! Having this job I had to cut back my hours as a server as 63 hours was to much and tiring. I am still a server there too this day.
For the blog in January, I posted a lot of things from the Japan trip in 2012 but I also added a trip to Meadow Farm which is just a local county park.
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In the month of February my girlfriend and I went on a trip kinda for Valentines day. We went to Luray Virginia to stay at the Mimslynn Inn and see the Caverns! It was a fantastic trip and it started to flurry in the town. It was beautiful.

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Not to much happened in March and there really wasn't many posts other then those from Japan. I did go to Maymont and mostly worked!

In April spring time is starting to come together and that time of year I get cherry blossom happy! We went to Washington D.C. to see the blossoms as I never got a chance to the previous year. It still seamed that we were a week year for the peak but that didn't stop the enormous crowds there. That was a great day trip! photo IMG_8075_zpsed6a72f4.jpg
I wouldn't dare to leave you without some blossoms to see so here you go, these were from Browns Isle that is in Richmond downtown! There were also some more from Maymont, take a look here.
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In the month of May many things were going on and I can not recall doing a lot of trips or even going out to parks. Although my lifestyle changed drastically. I moved out of my house that I grew up in and into an apartment with my girlfriend. It was a big step for us but also for me as it was the first time officially out on my own other then my trips. It has gone really well and I have enjoyed this new since of freedom. I do miss being able to walk out the front door and right into my forest though. It is not as quite as it is back there. Also I had more room for my plants and my moped this there as well as my canoes. Oh I got another canoe as well!

In June I posted about my Azalea plot at Bryan Park in Richmond. My girlfriend and I had adopted a bed and we did a lot of up keep with it and were happy to see them looking great!
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I also went to the mountains, Shenandoah Park in particular, to go camping with my girlfriend. This might have taken place in May or even April but I posted it in June on the blog. It was still chilly so I think it might have taken place in May some time. I had a great time and it was her first time camping since she was really young. She had a great time but thought it was a little to chilly for her. You can read about the trip here!  photo IMG_8200_zps9b9f173a.jpg

In July it was hot and such. I wish I did more then I really did but I had enough time to go to the beach with my family for a few days. I also went with my friends for a few days a few weeks prior. I always have a great time at Nags Head and it is peaceful with my family as I go about and do stuff on my own. I think I have a trip about Nags Head every summer on this blog since I started it. You should go if you ever get a chance!
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August is a really hot month in Virginia. Nice and humid with plenty of heat but it wasn't all that bad. Yes I work outside but we didn't go drilling the whole month since I was in a truck accident and it messed up our trailer. Well it totaled it. Anyways that got the tech's out of drilling but there was other things to do out in the summer heat. It was mild yet still.
I also managed to get out of town for another trip to Shenandoah National Park and this trip was a lot of fun. There was way more wildlife in the area and my girlfriend had a blast. We were able to stay in Big Meadows this time unlike last and that was because I reserved a site! There was deer and bears galore! All about the trip you can click here.
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September is the winding down of the summer season and everyone goes back to school, including my girlfriend but not myself. It wound down so much that there was not a single post on the blog about anything! That surprises me and I really was slack about posting on the blog this year. Work really tires me out afterwords and I just get really lazy with everything. There was a lot of things that I wanted to do this year, for myself and the blog. I meant to crack down on learning Japanese and going to groups/clubs and practice my photography. Also been working on a site but it never happened. I hope to change this in 2014.

October the month of candy and scary beings roaming the neighborhoods. Mostly about not having much photographs on the site or posts is because I didn't have a working photo editing software on my laptop. It froze up and crashed my computer over and over and was trying to figure out what to do next. I did end up getting Adobe Light room which I have been enjoying now with much more control of the finer details that you can change. I did go out to the park a little bit like Maymont and Belle Isle but that was really it for October. It was a nice month and a good time to do outside work. At that point I was truly looking forward to next month which was all about my second tip to Japan, all in Kyoto. I did do some hiking though in October but the posts came up in November. I did a hike with a friend on Moormans River and also did a solo hike bright and early in the morning on Old Rag Mountain. I love that hike and recommend it a lot. I wish I had gone a week earlier but because of the "Government Shutdown" that park was closed and it was not allowed and it lasted the good part of the Autumn peak in the mountains there. Here is a picture at 7am or so on my hike up Old Rag.
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Here is a picture of Richmond from a post in October.
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November is here and I was looking forward to my trip so bad. I love Japan and it was such a great learning experience last year and the amount of freedom was such extraordinary. It was not the same as last year since it wasn't all that new to me but I had a great time and met some new faces. The autumn foliage was great but I probably was a week early from the peak which was fine. The numbers of people there was way to much. It is a popular time and it shows for sure. I did a lot of things that I did not do in the past. I love bonsai and Japanese gardens and that was once again my highlight of the trip that and some hiking and hot springs. I think I might do another trip in 2014 possibly and go to Tokyo and maybe somewhere else to not sure. It is in the back of my mind. Since that trip took two weeks and I got back into Thanksgiving week I just didn't give myself time to make posts about the trip at all. I posted pictures while on my trip onto Instagram and if you follow me you saw them. I got up the Old Rag posts before I left and schedule it while I was out of the country! I also did buy a new camera on Cyber Monday and upgraded to a 60D and I also recently got a new lens that I used all the time in Japan the 17-55mm 2.8. Loved it.

December was a month of Christmas parties and good things to come. I enjoyed my works dinner party and also the lab we use took us out for drinks. I went to my girlfriends work party and had a great time as well. I did not get to go to the Festival of Lights yet with my girlfriend at Lewis Ginter but I got some pictures of the tree downtown and the Jefferson Hotel. There was no white Christmas which is fine but I am guessing we might actually get snow this Friday possibly. I started posting some from my trip to Japan like Kibune Shrine and Kurama-dera. Also some big change is that I got a promotion in my company. I am now a Project Manager with and office and company truck. Hard work pays off and especially you show that you are reliable and hard worker. I also had my birthday and my girlfriend gave me a Blue Pacific Juniper and a nice bonsai pot, really excited about it.
Here is a photo from those posts.
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2014
I have a couple goals for 2014 in which I have already started on them.
I plan on learning Japanese and already started to take some online courses!
I want to get out and do more photography with a group in the area and more so for myself.
I also am working hard the past week on a new "site" for myself. More professional but I will still be blogging.
I will have more time to do things as I am not to lazy when I get home with an office job, that part I am excited about.
I think we might find a house to rent so I will move some time this year.
I want to take a big trip again like last year but not sure how much time I can take off while I am now a manger. I sure hope so though. Also with the new management position I might stop as a server on Saturday nights and be able to take more weekend trips or do things and that mean more photos!
Lots to look forward to everyone! I will see you in the new year, 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Kurama-dera Temple - Kurama, Kyoto

On my hie from Kibune to Kurama in the mountains north of the city of Kyoto I stopped at Kurama-dera which is a temple right above Kurama on the side of Mount Kurama. It use to be the member of the Tendai sect from the 12th century to 1949 when it founded its own sect. No it has been around since the 8th century but it is not really known its true origin. It is said that a Chinese monk named Jianzhenhad a disciple that had a dream that Mount Kurama had a spiritual power and went ahead and built a temple there to control this power. Over the years it has been burned down many times but all the treasures inside have been saved over and over and are now national treasures. It is still believe that the tengu live in the mountains there along with other worldly creatures. 
The fact that this temple was on the side of a mountain like Murama was wonderful. There were colors to be seen!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kibune Shrine - Kibune, Kyoto, Japan

Kibune Shrine is located in the small town that is pinched in between some mountains. It is lovely and really nice quite place to see. the fall time is great! Kibune literally translate into yellow boat.
the story goes that a goddess traveled in a yellow boat from Osaka up the river into the mountains just north of Kyoto and this shrine was built on the site of the end of her journey.
The shrine is dedicated to the gods of water and rain.

The Steps leading up to the shrine was gorgeous. Orange on both sides all the way up. There were a few people there and made it pretty much impossible to get a picture of the stairs without anyone!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!
It has been a long time since I have posted o the blog. I have been trying to and get side tracked. I have been working on something, a new blog/profile. I also have a ton of photographs from Japan that I am still going through. It is taking awhile but I got some pictures uploaded and just need to write it up!
It has been a nice few weeks since I got back from my trip. The trip was great and the fall colors were amazing. Thanksgiving was nice to see some family as well. The other week we had an employee leave and I got a promotion with a corner office and windows. Pretty excited about it.
I hope everyone has a merry time!!!
I hope you enjoy snow if you have it! Wish I did.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Moorman's River Hike - Shenandoah National Park

Few months back before the government shutdown and Shenandoah National Park was open I went with a friend to a hike along the Moorman's River. It was a nice easy hike along this river and you actually cut across it a few times. Wish I tried going up here in the summer to take a dip in the icy cold water. Well enjoy the hike if you get a chance, it's not far from Charlottesville. 

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Old Rag in the Fall 13

Old Rag Mountain has got to be my favorite hike still. It is just the right length is really a challenge for yourself. I was really depressed when we had the government shutdown and Shendandoah National  Park was closed. As soon as it opened that week I went on a Saturday morning to defeat it. I had left at 5 something in the morning so I could be there at sunrise which was 7:15am and I got there right before and started in the dark. Was worth it as it lessened the amount of people that I hiked with considerably. I was mostly alone all the way up and into the rock scramble with people ahead and people way back. The problem with this hike is if you do not start early you hit a TON of people on the trail which makes it less enjoyable for me as I have to quicken and slow my pace and wait as well, especially at the scramble. Anyways it went great and I hope you enjoy the pictures. For the most part the camera configuration was a Canon T3i with a 17-55mm 2.8 lens. 


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The day started out gorgeous, the moon was over top the mountain when I pulled down the windy road and the temperature was perfect.

Please continue to read below, more pictures!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trip to Japan: The Sage Continues

Hey Everyone.

It really has been awhile since I last did a post. I have been busy and with Fall/Autumn around I try to keep myself busy. I had been working a lot on models and also getting outside. I have also been traveling a lot within Virginia for my job which is really fun even if I am passing by in the truck. I still feel that I have yet really explored Virginia and I hope next year I will take more weekend trips for that, but I am not really hear to be writing about traveling in Virginia. On Saturday I will be traveling back to Japan, Kyoto specifically and I am pretty excited. I have somethings lined up that pan out and if they don't they don't. That is why there are contingency plans or just do it on the fly. I am hoping I can enjoy another two weeks of Autumn colors in the old capital. I am all set and ready for a vacation. I will also be getting a ton f pictures of the foods I eat as well what I drink for the food blog that my girlfriend and I have.
Please if you are in Kyoto, I would love to catch up with anyone who wants to grab a drink or walk around taking pictures.
I have some pictures from Old Rag and a river I visited that I will try to get up and scheduled before I go so you have something to check out. If you don't follow my instagram or twitter I suggest you should as I will most definitely be putting up pictures there while on my trip and then uploading them here once I get back.
I had a wonderful meeting last night with a couple that help and are really active with Virginia and Japan relations. I really would like to get to be apart of the non-profit and help with the relations. It is very interesting to learn that there is so much major Japanese Company influence here in Virginia like Canon and Mitsubishi.
I will have lots to talk about when I return and lots to post. I will try my best to get up my photos quicker then I did last time. I feel like it took a year to upload them up but there was so much  to cover!

Cheers!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Summer of 2013 has past

Hey everyone!
So it has been awhile, a little more then a month since I last posted! that has been awhile. I haven't gone out to take a lot of pictures nor have I editing pictures in a while. My photo editing software has been freezing my computer and had to try a few different things to get it working. Hope it will now as I will be having a lot of photos to get through next month. Next month I will be spending two weeks in Kyoto! I can not wait!
I can't believe already that the summer has come and past! I love the autumn though and intend on going to the mountains a lot for hiking. Problem is that Shenandoah National Park is closed from the Government Shutdown which is really bothering me.
Well I have a few pictures from the summer from when I went to Bell Island and Maymont Park to lighten the mood up!
The city of Richmond

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time in the Sky - Shenandoah National Park

Went up to Shenandoah National Park about two weekends ago and had a great time. the weather wasn't all that bad, rained a little but was nice. My girlfriend didn't get cold at night either which was a plus for her. Unlike the last time we went in Spring we got to see all kinds of wildlife this time around. Anyways check out the pictures! 
Clouds were blowing over. There was a slight wind that made the temperature great for hiking!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Car Accident!?!?!

So few weeks ago I ended up in a car accident. Was pretty freaky as my co-worker and I ended up into a Jersey wall on a bridge over the James River. Lucky we didn't go over and I only had slight injuries; whip lash and something with my back. Anyways glad to say that I can walk and go on about things. Puts things in perspective and realize how much more there is to do in life. I am only 23 and I still feel like I haven't done but so much which is fine because according to medicine and future technologies I should have no problem going for another 75 years! Hopefully I wont be working for those 75 years but working for awhile is still fine by me.
Talking about my job, I realized that I do a ton of riving and riding. I travel all over the state or the city for inspections, water samples, drilling and digging and it has added up to quite a bit of mileage. Since January I have traveled about 14,000 miles (maybe a tad more) and 9,500 on my personal vehicle. That's at least 23,500 miles or 37,819.5 kilometers! That is only 7 months and to go around the Earth is 24,900 miles.
So I went camping a few weeks ago up in Shenandoah and had a great time. It rained a little bit but we still had a great time and she didn't get cold at night, unlike last time. Tried to go camping at the beach at First Landing State park but all the camping sites were booked.
I haven't mentioned this yet but my girlfriend and I had been working on a site about Asian foods. We love trying new foods and we like Asian culture so this is what we came up with. I like reviewing different drinks and snacks and such and she is in school to be a chef so enjoys making recipes and cooking meals! We need to get on the ball with it a little more and I will admit that I have been slack with putting new things on the blog here but I haven't been out to take pictures a lot recently and just to tired when I get home. They work me to dang hard! The name of the site is noodlestotea.blogspot.com and if I get a decent response from it I probably will make it noodlestotea.com

Other big news, since I do enjoy Asian cultures and Japan especially I booked myself another trip in November and can not wait for it! Planning on checking out more gardens and temples which is my absolute highlight of my trip! I am currently reading a book called Zen at Daitoku-ji which is really interesting. I stayed right down the street from there last time but I want to go back after reading this.
How is everyone else Summer going? Mine is hot and humid with plenty of rain. I work outside so it is getting to me a little bit and I almost miss the freezing cold now. Funny thing is I think I am steadily getting use to it.
Well look forward to the pictures from the mountain I should have them up before to long! I'm going to the park today and doing some Mini-Putt tomorrow with friends!
Catcha Later!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Black and White time at the Beach

Here are a few more photographs from my time at the beach. I figure I play around with some black and white. I did recently go to the mountains (like 2 days ago) so I will have more on that. I have some interesting things happen recently as well! I am sure I will make a new post soon on life!
The beach is nice and I wish I could go for another few days!

Here is the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse that is in the Town of Maneo on the Roanoke east side of the island. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mirrors in Japan

There are plentiful amounts of the mirrors all over the place in Japan because off  all the narrow alley ways and paths that are hard to look around when you are on the move. Japan being a safe country that it is has these on corners that you can use. they are also great if you want to look behind you or take a picture!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sights at Imamiya Shrine Round 3

Imamiya Shrine, how I miss the. It was really a nice small shrine up in Kita-ku. Here are three other posts; the main one, another and another! 
This is the main hall below.  

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Hang Gliding at the Dunes

I have never done the hang gliding class at Jockeys Ridge in Nags Head but I always seem to have the opportunity to watch others set out into the sky. It was late afternoon and kinda hot out so my mother and father did not join my sister and I to hike the dunes. There was only a slight breeze.

This Man was about to jump over the sand in the air when only a few miles away man had its first flight.

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Konaka Residence, my home in Kyoto

I stayed at the Konak Residence in Kita Ward (Kita-ku) in the northern part of Kyoto. It was a wonderful experience to stay in a house and not a hotel or hostel. They were a nice couple that owned the house and Mr. Konaka's sister Senda was there as well. I saw her every morning for breakfast because I would get up early to go out for the day. She had some herring and rice in the morning and wonder what I was doing with my eggs. I made scrambled eggs with onions and cheese and put salsa on them haha. The building they own has a small import wine store downstairs and the upper floors is for their sister and home stay guests like myself. I got a small room in the corner of the house, it was the smallest of them and on the back side of the house. 
This window is to the house next doors wall! Still got a lot of light in there though.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning at the Beach - Nags Head

I went to the beach a few weeks back to enjoy are breather from work and such. I went out both mornings early to see the sun on the edge of the earth. The beach is so peaceful in the morning although you still hear the familiar crash of the waves on the sand. I can only go to the beach for a certain amount of time but there are many places to visit at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I hope you enjoy the photos and perhaps get the relaxing feeling of being there. 
Clouds were over the water in the morning, sweeping in to land...

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chicken place in Tokyo

I can't read this and I don't know the name of it and wish I did. I hope I could find it again. It was in one of the maze rows of streets near Asakusa Temple. It was tasty and fairly cheap!! My friend Ari showed me this place!




Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sights at Imamiya Shrine

Imamiya Shrine is located in Kita-ku District up in Northern Kyoto. I have a formal post here if you care to read. It is also located to the large temple complex of Daitoku-ji. I stopped by here really early in the morning when there wasn't anyone to be seen.
This guy was here taking some photographs with his Canon, had a nice backpack to boot. 

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Streets of Kyoto

Hey everyone!
So I decided to post some more random pictures of Kyoto when I traveled the streets. It is a very interesting city and worth just to take a stroll in any part of it. Most of these were taken for no reason at all other then to have some extra pictures haha

Here is a taxi that was heading over a bridge over the Kamigamo River near Higashiyama...

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Philosophers Path - Kyoto, Japan

Tetsugaku no michi or the Philosophers Path is located in the northern part of Higashiyama district of Kyoto. It is a stoned path that runs along an old canal lined with cherry trees and it is 2 kilometers long. It starts or ends depending which way you go from Ginkaku-ji or Silver Pavilion and ends right around Nanzen-ji Temple. The name comes from Nishida Kitaro who was a famous philosopher who walked along the canal in daily meditation while heading to Kyoto University.
I decided to take the path by bike after I visited Ginkaku-ji, post here. It was a wonderful path to take on a sunny day, so it started out. It started to rain when I took the path back haha. 

There were a lot of school students at Ginkaku-ji but along the path it died out which was great since I had some peace and quiet.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temple - Kyoto, Japan

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji is the head temple of the Seizan branch in the Jodo-shu sect of Buddhism. It is in Kyoto's Sakyo-ku in the town of Eikando. Eikan-do means "View of Eternity Hall and Zenrin-ji means "Temple of Forest of Zen". Kukai's Pupil Shinsho wanted to found a temple where he can worship Five Wisdom Buddhas, Goshi Nyorai, in 853. He got some land and couldn't build it for 10 years because of the band on temple building at the time. It was originally for the Shingon sect but shifted to the Jodo-shu. There is a Amida Buddha statue on the grounds that made this place famous. Usually Buddha looks forward but this statue looks over it's shoulder.
This was one of my favorite temples to see. It was on the day  that I walked the Philosophers path and truley had one of my best days in my life. I hope you enjoy the photographs!


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Monday, June 17, 2013

Maymont Cherry

the Cherry Tree season was fantastic  again this year. I went to a lot more places that have Cherry Trees this year and even made a trip to Washington D.C. for the National Cherry Blossoms festival. I went to Richmond's Brown's Island where they have some and along VCU's main path for their's as well. Also went to Maymont a few times and that is what I have right here for everyone! 

The Cherry trees that are right along the road to the mansion are always lovely. A guy was actually filming them moving in the wind. He was there for a while. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sanjusangen-do Temple - Kyoto, Japan

I almost wrote this off my list completely because I didn't know about it. I actually passed on it one day not know what it was but someone had told me about a temple with hundreds of Kannon statues and I was interested immensely after that. This temple is popular for its 1001 statues of Kannon which is the goddess of mercy. Founded in 1164 and called Rengeo-in (Hall of the Lotus King) is the official name of the Buddhist temple. Sanjusangen-do literally means "Hall with Thirty three spaces between columns. It was built under orders of Emperor Go-Shirakawa and had a fire in 1249 and the only thing rebuilt was the main hall in 1266. There was  popular archery contest called Toshiya that is held on the grounds since the Edo period. It is also believed that the famous warriors Miyamoto Mushashi and Yoshioka Denshichiro had their battle just outside of the  the temple in 1604. The main deity is the Thousand Arm Kannon of the temple and the statue of the main one was created by Kamakura Sculpture Tankei and is officially a National Treasure. On both sides of this main statue are 1000 life size statues of the Kannon in 10 rows and 50 columns. 124 of these are from the original temple that were  saved from the fires and the rest were carved in the 13th century. they all were made from Japanese Cypress and look marvelous. Unfortunately you are no allowed to take any pictures inside the main hall but you can see pictures online that were allowed. I think ti is also one of the longest wooden buildings in the world. 

Like usual in my quests in Kyoto I was at peak school trip time and had tons of junior high students running around also asking if i could take a picutre with them.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bryan Park Azalea Garden

The Azalea Gardens that are in Joseph Bryan park use to look fantastic! It is 17 acres and started in 1952 by Robert E. Harvey. He and a ton of volunteers planted 450,000 Azalea plants with 50 different verities! That is a ton but it isn't like that now. A while ago the city and such just didn't really have the funding to maintain a lot of open spaces and the gardens fell into disrepair. The fountain grew over and the pond had cat tails and a lot of azaleas died. Now it is handled by volunteers who want to make it come back. I didn't know until the beginning of this year that there was this garden there and I wanted to see what it could become. My girlfriend and I adopted a bed and had a great time cleaning it out unnatural vines (I got poison Ivy because of it) and raked up a lot of leaves. The peak season was April 1 to May 15 and boy did they look great and all the azaleas in the city. I recommend adopting one, there are still a ton of beds that need help! Enjoy the flowers, this is when my parents wanted to check it out with us.

There were a lot of pretty colors to view there. People were driving through just to do it on the way home and people also stopped for a picnic in the gardens. Was a great place to choose!

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mountains in Black and White

I think I am interested in starting to take photographs in black and white. I actually took my film camera with me to the mountains but apparently the little 6 volt battery inside was dead so that didn't happen. These were from the trip I posted a few days ago.
This is Old Rag again.

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Some falling water from Dark Hollow Falls. 

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Massanutten Mountain in the background, can barely see it with the haze that there is. 

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Hope I can bring more to you guys!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kōtō-in Temple of Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto

Wow it has been exactly a year since I got back from my trip to Japan. Sorry that it has taken to long to post all of these and there isn't to much after this. I absolutely loved this small temple. I never got in but it just had an atmosphere about it that truly moved me and so I went back to it quite a bit since it was a walk from where I stayed. It was built in 1601 by Hosokawa Tadaoki and he actually rests there and the founder of kabuki (Izumo no Okuni). It is within the Daitoku-ji temple complex. It is really famous for it's maple trees. It also has fantastic moss all around the temple area. 

I love the entrance which has the rock foot path with a bamboo railing along it. Moss was lined down it

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Camping in the Spring in Shenandoah

So a few weeks when flowers had already bloomed in Richmond and trees had their leaves out my girlfriend and I went to Shenandoah National Park for some camping! She had not camped in years (like 10 possibly or more, probably more). We had a great weekend and the park actually labeled that the weekend as Wild flower Weekend where wildflowers were technically coming up. The funny thing is I thought that since it had been a few weeks since the Valley and Richmond had leaves but up there it was still bare in parts. It also got really chilly in the morning on Sunday when we went to hike. It was empty when we went up there to camp but later in the day Saturday everything was booked up till the next day so we left the Park for camping elsewhere. We stayed at this little funny place on Route 33 that was in Elkton. Wasn't bad, at least we camped still! Anyways, enjoy the photographs, I didn't take as much as I usually do. 

This was from Hawksbill Mountain, the tallest mountain in the park next to Stony Man which is 40 feet shorter. 

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lunch in China Town Yokohama

So when I went to Yokohama with the two girls that are from Taiwan. We stopped to have a Chinese feast of a lunch in China Town. Here are the yummies that we had!

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Friday, May 31, 2013

I moved!

Hey everyone!
Sorry that it has been awhile since I have updated or made a post. I think there were a few random posts that the site spat out recently but I will fix them up and properly make a post out of them.
It is the end of May, oh my gosh time is flying. So two weekends ago I moved out of my house and into an apartment. This is the first time I have lived anywhere else and it is definitely a change. I moved in with my girlfriend and it is a pretty nerdy place. The freedom is nice and I spend less time running around on my car. I just got my internet back up, I had it day we moved i and lost it last Thursday. So freaking happy that someone came today finally and fixed it. It had something to with the cable box outside but now I am good to go. My girlfriend and I are actually working on a food blog that has to do with Asian foods and drinks. She is a cook in nature, my the end of the summer she will have her certified chef degree and then she will work one more year for pastry.
So I hope to plan more trips soon and get out there for more photography! I went camping a few weeks ago and took quite a few pictures and I have a little bit more photos to show. Also I hope to put some time into the new blog but I need to create some post and get a good layout!
Anyways I am rambling along here but I hope to get some stuff out soon now that I have internet!!!!
Tootles!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why can't we hold our trash?

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 Hey Everyone!


I added this photo just so that I added a photo. I took it out of my car waiting for a super long light. I feel like not many people take a few seconds and look out there car window to the guard rail, or do they?
Not sure but sometimes it is clean and some times it isn't. I know a lot of cities are really clean on the streets and others are not. In Richmond you will always find trash, litter or some kind thrown out of a window of a car left to rot for thousands of years or for a bird to pick up and die from. It's sad that we, the people and citizens of our area, can NOT trough that cigarettes butt or McDonalds wrapper out of our window and save it till be get to a trash can and dispose of it correctly. It rubs me the wrong way.
There is hardly any super amount of energy I use just for holding onto my trash before I flip it out the door. What is the point of throwing our trash out of our car and onto our road ways? Is it to keep the inside of the car clean or we just don't want to worry about throwing it away in a trash can?
I mean we as United States citizens pay taxes and our taxes are being spent to keep our roads clean and in nice condition so if we don't litter that is more people that could be spent else were too. Also, who the hell enjoys looking out of there car window and go, "oh hey there is a nice pile of beer cans, pile of cigarettes butts, wrappers, paper, plastic, etc. sitting on the side of the road." I sure hell don't enjoy looking at it, and I enjoy going down really well kept highways with wild flowers growing on the side. I have seen some great looking streets, and the streets that I see in Japan look awesome because of the responsible people. I just don't understand why people think it is acceptable to "toss/drop" a little bit of trash out of there car window. That stuff can pile up and just look awful and never degrades right and just pollutes the environment.
In this photo I think I see one piece of plastic towards the right or it might be a wrapper or what not but there has been worse. I think I will write another article about this again with more photos.
It just BLOWS MY MIND for the "no reason" of throwing their trash onto the side of the street. Seriously people.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Washington D.C. black and white

So I took a few black and white photos when I was in Washington D.C. for the cherry blossoms. There are not that many but take a look! Enjoy or maybe not haha

Smithsonian Castle is always a cool piece of architecture to see in the city. 

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

So it has been almost a year since I went to Japan, and one of the first places that I went to was Daitoku-ji which is in Kita-ku. Kita-ku was where I stayed at in a home so it was just a walk away! Daitoku-ji is a huge temple complex with more sub temples within its walls. It is part of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism and founded in 1319. It received a lot of damage during the Onin Wars but came back fine. It was also know for  mastery of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It is a great place to just cut through on the way home or to spend some time and check out the smaller temples inside. Anyways, take a look!

I took this path quite a few times after I past Imamiya jinga... 

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival 2013

Hey everyone! So a few weeks ago Ashley and I went up to Washington D.C. for a day for the Cherry Blossoms! The Street festival was a week after but this was ton of fun but super crowded. If it is Cherry Blossom blossoming time there, advice I can give is get there mega early on the weekends or go in the week because there is just a TON of people. We did had a blast though and unfortunately it was still maybe 2 days before max bloom. Some trees had buds, some had blossoms and very very few had all blossoms. Anyways, enjoy the Festival in it's 101 Anniversary! 
So I have never walked over to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Tidal Basin but it is so nice looking!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blossoms in Richmond City

This is a little late with the post but the Cherry Blossoms had bloomed about 2 weeks ago in the city of Richmond! you can find some great cherry blossoms down on Browns Island across the canal from Tredegar Iron works of Tredegar Street. We took a walk on the pipeline that day too, and by we I mean my girl friend :) Anyways, I hope you can catch the cherry blossoms some time next year. I recommend them here and also on the VCU Campus at Monroe Park. Enjoy the photos!

The twin towers of Richmond.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Japanese Pharmacy

I don't know the name of this pharmacy but it was funny to see that apparently he is "popping" a pill and making it look like it is fun!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blossoming at Maymont take One

So Richmond Cherry Blossoms bloomed a few weeks back and so did a few other flowering trees. My girlfriend and I went to Maymont on a weekend before we went to Washington D.C. It was a lovely day, but anyways enjoy the photographs. I am sorry that I haven't put up new photos recently but I am finding a little more time to get through them and putting up these posts!


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toji Temple - Kyoto, Japan

To-ji Temple is a grand temple complex and even host the largest flea market (Kobo-san) in the city of Kyoto. It is on the 21st of every month. To-ji Temple literally means "East Temple" and was established in 796. This is two years after the capital of Japan moved to Heian-kyo (Kyoto) and was one of the three Buddhist Temples that were allowed in the city at the time. It is the only one of the three that still stands today. The pagoda that stands there is the tallest wooden tower in Tokyo at 54.8 meters tall. It is also Unesco Heritage Site! Anyways enjoy the photos!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

But not really

Anyways, April Fools from yesterday. I have been really busy though and I am sorry there isn't that much new content up. Work has been going smoothly I guess and I even had a new interview recently that would advance me to a better place in life. I'm excited if I get it!
Also the weather is starting to get better and the Cherry Blossoms are starting to open. I hope I get out there and start taking loads of pictures and I will!
I also hope to take more weekend trips with the better weather coming. This coming weekend and maybe next I will be going to Washington D.C. for blossoms and just hanging around! If you are going give me a heads up!
I also hope to get some hiking in too!
Oh, so I am starting to run to the end of my photos from my trip to Japan :( If things go really well I might be able to make the trip this Fall to Japan, maybe...perhaps. I really do hope so.
Well I hope to get some more photos up soon. I hope I can write a post about a new job sometime if I get it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Closing Shop

Well I have found that I have been to busy to write on my blog in a long time. I haven't even been able to go out and take photographs and so I decided that I am going to have to stop updating my site. It is a tough decision but consumer and work life has taken over me and I must follow. I'm sorry guess :/

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sanmon of Nanzen-ji temple - Kyoto, Japan

So at Nanzen-ji Temple that have a huge Sanmon which is one of the three largest in Japan. It symbolizes the three paths in Buddhism liberation. This one is not the original, which was constructed in 1296 and destroyed by a fire. This one was built in 1628 by Todo Takatora, in the Zen style with a roof of baked clay tiles and has five pillars and three entrances. The gate is 22 meters high and you can go up to the second floor for a view of the grounds. 
Here is my ticket to go up inside, the stairs are really steep so look out.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ramen in Japan 2

I for one absolutely miss Japanese Ramen, true authentic stuff and not the instant noodles here at home. It was always pleasing to eat and was filling. Does this not look awesome?


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Yokohama China Town

My travels in Japan lead me to a day trip from Tokyo to Yokohama where you can find Japan's largest china Town and also the largest China town in Asia (which I didn't know). It has a history of 150 years and there still lives Chinese there. It still has 250 stores at least and is really interesting place to go to. 

This is the goodwill gate that was built and established here for people to come and go.

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