Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 years later!

Oh my gosh you guys!
It has been three years and one day that I started this blog! I can't believe all that has happen since then. I had done a lot this past year as you might have read in a year in review post around New Years. I still have some pictures and posts of some grand places from my Japan trip and I have more places planned to go to this year but mostly local or in country. I am actually going to the town of Luray in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia this Saturday with my girlfriend Ashley. We are staying some where nice and then hitting Luray Caverns! It will be nice to get away for a weekend and I have been working everyday since January 17th! Look forward to those pictures as I will take her a ride in the mountains too as long as the road isn't closed from the apparent snow that we will receive in the morning.
More good news, I am still a server part time but last Tuesday I picked up a full time job! It is also environmental in nature where I help with oil (like heating oil) tank inspections, checks, removals and clean ups if necessary  Last week I helped a family clean a spill at there house so now they can move back in, they were happy that it was fixed and plus I saved the water table! It isn't high paying but it will give me the field experience that I could use. I get to travel around the state and town so I always get a new setting.
Also guys, I am planning on going to Katsucon that is February 15th-17th at the Gaylord Resort at the National Harbor right outside of Washington D.C. If you can make it, maybe we can meet! It will be a blast and I will be there as Press for Missionstartpodcast.com!
You can still follow me on Google + and even Instagram if you care! I hope to put more work into the site soon and also more time in photography. It has been so busy with the new job that I haven't taken anything new in a looong time. I did get a new camera as well! Also last week it was freezing, below freezing!!!

More to come guys, more to come. It has been three years but I am not stopping for the world!!!!!

Catch you later!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ito en Oi Ocha Bottled Green tea

I got this quiet often when I was in Japan and at the Family Mart at least it came with a Mario charm! I got the bolder taste one and it always had a great flavor. Lucky me, I can find the same bottle here in my town in a regular bottle and 2 litter bottle as well!


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Crump Park and Meadow Farm Jan 13'

Went to Crump Park awhile ago and it was a gorgeous day indeed. Also known as Meadow Farm park, it has a old farm house on site and also animals! Anyways, check out some of the pictures.
I was loving the blue sky! I want more of it, it has been too cloudy and depressing. 

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ramen in Japan

If there is one thing that I can not get here at home is a real tasty bowl of ramen. Only have the packaged bowls and not hand made noodles and the most awesome broth. Below we have some cabbage  seaweed, slices of pork and also a hard boiled egg. This is so filling and super satisfying! This is one thing I miss about Japan, getting to a ramen shop and being well fed. 

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ghost at my House at Night

So back in December I decided to mess around with long exposure for fun and took a few pictures of my house and driveway. I was mostly bored but hey check it out!

I ran up the driveway with my cell phone out so the camera could get the screen glowing, love to do more like this again.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Lottee Tokyo Skytree Popsicle

So while in Japan I stopped at a convenience store and they had some Popsicles that were themed for the grand tower Tokyo Skyrtree. I of course picked this up in Asakusa which is near the tower and from there the tower is easily seen. It was pretty tasty actually!!!


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vending Machine of Japan Round 2

I grew very found of Mets cola, especially Grapefruit! Mets Grapefruit is surely one of the best soda's that I have had. I love grapefruit but as a soda was a great refreshing experience to have. I noticed that Kyoto had a better access to them than Tokyo. Tokyo had some vending machines with them in cans but Kyoto had more bottles available in machines. Of course you can find it in store to if you like. 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Williamsburg 2012 Christmas Season

On New Years Eve my girlfriend and I decided to go walk around Williamsburg for enjoyment! She hasn't walked around the open air museum of Williamsburg so I acted as a tour guide. It was a somewhat nice day but the breeze made it chilly! Anyways enjoy the few pictures that I did take.

We were not the only people that thought it be a great day to come and walk here on the last day of 2012.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) - Kyoto, Japan

One of my favorite temples that I walked around was the Ginkaku-ji temple or the Silver Pavilion. It was where I also started the Philosophers Path which was one of my favorite days in Kyoto.
Also officially known as Jisho-ji "Temple of Shinning Mercy" is a Zen temple in the Sakyo Ward of Kyoto. Construction began in February 1482 for the two storied Kannon-den which is the main temple structure people come for. It was a representation of Kinkaku-ji "Golden Pavilion" that was constructed by the grandfather Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Now the reason that is mostly known for the Silver Pavilion "Ginkaku-ji" was because originally it was going to be covered in silver foil like the golden Pavilion but it isn't like that and the name has been there since the Edo period. Now the reason that it was never completed with he silver foil was when the Onin War occurred, construction halted and Yoshimasa project was delayed so long that it never happened and he died. It looks to this day the way that he left it.
It is a great gardens and I am glad that I got to see it on such a fine day!

The main hall called Kammon-den/Kannon Hall sites by a reflecting pool...

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I went when there was a fleet of Middle School field trips all over Kyoto, it was so much fun!!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lewis Ginter Garden Festival of Lights 2012

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights for the 2012-2013 year was themed "East meets West" where they incorporated Asian themed influences within the gardens and lights. I of course had to go as soon as I found out so I took my girlfriend so we could both nerd out about it. Anyways, I enjoyed it and the last night is this Monday so go if you can! Enjoy the pictures!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Bell of a Japanese Temple

When night was approaching I remember hearing a far off ring of a bell from a near by temple all of the time. It was really nice sound as it has a deep sound that echos in the air. Especially in Kyoto in the summer since there is moisture or rain falling and that helps the sounds travel. I never did get a chance to see any monks or people ring them though :(

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Richmond's Illumination 2012

So this is a little late as when I went it was December 23rd maybe. Anyways, my family and I went downtown on a semi-rainy night to enjoy the lights like we usually do. they are nice to see if you have not seen them before. I actually didn't take as many pictures as I normally do but I grabbed a few for my family and with my in them to (after getting dad to understand what was the shutter button). Any who... check out the pictures if you like and hope you had a great season.


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Friday, January 4, 2013

Vending Machine of Japan

Anyone get coffee from a vending machine in Japan? It is awesome generally haha. I prefer Boss Coffee brand!


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SamShio's 2012 Year in Review!

Hey everyone!
I just wanted to officially say Happy New year and I know I'm almost 48 hours late on that one! I wanted to talk about my past year and what I hope for in the year to come. Also talk about my most popular post by views for fun!
This was a MASSIVE year for me, lots of changes and lots of new brought into my life. In the Winter and Spring I finished up my last semester as a undergrad at school and graduated into the real world. This was such a big step as my schooling is over and more opportunities have opened for me to do what I want with my life. My family was proud of me and I of myself to finish what I thought would take longer since I started at Community college. Only down side about it is that I have yet found a permanent full-time career job for me to start up and that is a massive goal for this year. Looking for those types of jobs is hard especially for the others looking in the job market. I am glad that I have a foot in the door with all the experience that I have from what I have done in my internship and working as a contractor. I look forward to getting a job and stepping up to the next part of my journey.
Right after I graduated I proceeded to complete one of my life goals which is now a goal again. My trip to Japan. I had wanted to go so bad and I was excited when I booked that ticket and I went for 22 days alone to a place so foreign to me and far from home. It was the best experience and most fun I have had ever. The culture is truly rich and I want to go back and see the friends that I made again. There was a lot of places that were left up visited and I want to see again and perhaps again. I came back something new but without that job and something to drive my passion like travel I seam to have lost my way and settled back into old habits. This is something that I want to change and that is why I want that job and so I can travel again.
I had a great relaxing summer but perhaps to relaxing as I had some work here and there. I did manage to get out and do a lot of things that I hope I can this year. I plan to travel to not just other places around the world in my life but I hope to start going to those places that I have yet seen in my own back yard; Virginia.
I ended a long relationship that I had and it truly was the best thing for both of us. I could tell we were not happy and one of us had to say something  When I got back from Japan I had the courage to say how I felt and for us to move on.
I started working as  server in a bowling alley, an interesting job and you meet a lot of interesting characters indeed. Some are good nights, others not so much. Lots of nice people and I am glad that it is helping me get along with some money while I search.
I hope to better my photography skills, I have been using manual mode a lot now and really trying to understand exposure and what is right to use in what settings. I would like to try more night photography and maybe long exposure but I need to get to the city for that. I hope to get better about street photography and not be nervous about it too. I also hope to increase the base for my site and maybe work on a more professional feel to it and maybe start a portfolio.
At the end of October I kinda confessed to a girl that I sort of liked for a long time. The first time I say her was at my retail job way back in Spring 2007. We both enjoy food and she is a culinary student. We decided to cook together one day because I brag about some of my food and later on I just said screw it and kissed her. Was the best decision I made all year (equal to going to Japan). It has been such a great relationship and I am really happy with her and my goal is to make her happy as long as possible.
More below ...

Heian Jingu Shrine - Kyoto, Japan

The Heian Jingu Shrine is located in the eastern side of Kyoto. It is a Shinto Shrine and is ranked as Beppyou Jinja which is the top rank for Shinto Shrines. It was in 1895 that the repudiation of the Heian Palace in Heian-kyo (Kyoto's name before) was planned for the 1100th anniversary of when Heian-kyo was established. There was a failure to buy enough land where the Heian Palace use to stand, so a 5/8th scale was built on the planes of Ito Chuta. It was later dedicated to Emperor Kanmu, who was the Emperor when Heian-kyo became the capital of Japan. Unfortunately the shrine was burned down in 1976 and rebuilt three years later from donations. 
I visited it early in the day and arrived with a few middle school students that asked if I could take their picture. They were following me a little and laughing and playing while we visited haha. The garden wasn't opened when I went but I came back a week later to see it. Look forward to that in another post. 

Here is the main gate called a Otenmon. It is pretty large and orange!

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There are  the students with their cute back packs ^^.

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