Saturday, July 17, 2010


Last post about Japan, I promise. I forgot about this one, so here it is.

On our third day in Kyoto, we do some site-seeing around Southern Higashiyama area on foot. It is fairly warm, and with some rain earlier that morning, humid as well. We walk to a number of temples, and by the time we had arrive at Chion-in, I am hot and need a break. I grab a soda from one of Japan's 10 zillion vending machines (there's one for every 23 people) and sit down on some steps to rest.

A minute or two later, a guy walks up to us and asks if he can take pictures of us. I'm tired and didn't understand the depth of what he is asking, and Bionica just replied "okay". He then motions to some other people and pretty soon, we are surrounded by 12-15 people with DSLRs and camera bags. Turns out, his name is Kentaroh Mishima, and he is teaching a photography class.

"Just do what you would ordinarily do, and we'll just take pictures in the background," he says.

Problem is, when you walk around a tourist destination with 15 photographers surrounding you, taking your pictures, it is not ordinary. You don't just stop and blend in. Before long, other people start looking at us, wondering what is going on and why people are taking pictures of us. A few join along and follow for a little bit, trying to figure it out. Bionica is enjoying this, and at one point, lets her hair down and starts doing a satirical model walk down one of the temple's stone paths. Shutters go off furiously.

Twenty minutes later, and its all over. They thank us for the time, and go on to find some different people to shoot. Normal site-seeing resumes.