Lens-Artists Challenge – New Experiences

We all have defining moments in our lives. Sometimes they vary in weight as time goes by, but they have shaped the way we see things and continue to do so long after they occur. I remember the first time I went abroad without my parents; a bus tour to Northern Italy, back in 1990… That experience made me love travelling and getting to know other cultures.

There were other destinations, not many, but some. I love Paris but not so much London. I enjoy discovering Scotland as I love getting back to Portugal. I’d love to tour more European Capitals and one day I’m sure I will. But nothing, I feel deep in my bones, will ever get close to my travels to Japan. It was not just a new experience; it was a proper adventure. One we repeated once and are still hungry for more.

In every sense, we fell in love with the country. It was complicated to start with. The sheer size of everything was overwhelming. And yet, it’s so organised and clean, safe and beautiful. Different. Inspirational. I have shared some of these photos before, but they are still my favourites.

We were lucky to witness the Cherry blossom season, the hanami in the parks, the excitement of the arrival of Spring.

We tried some of the traditional delicacies of street food in Osaka. Would I have them again, those octopus’ meatballs? Maybe not…!

We had a feel for the peacefulness of private spaces like the Samurai House in Kanazawa or the Onsen of our room with a view to Mount Fuji.

We marvelled at the simplicity and perfection of the architecture of Castles (like Kanazawa) and modern skyscrapers in Osaka.

We discovered, almost by accident, gardens that awakened all senses, so varied and unique. Gardens where everything was manicured to the smallest detail and they became our favourite of all the gardens we visited.

And we saw the sights that are on every guide to this marvellous country and proved ourselves that nothing beats being there, living it, making dreams come true.

Thank you to Anne for this chance of remembering and sharing fond memories. As Anne says “Experiencing something for the first time can be exhilarating, exhausting, and engaging. Looking forward to that experience can create feelings like anxiousness, happiness, and anxiety. It’s even more exaggerated when the experience is something you wished for but thought would never happen.” She is so right. Please visit her amazing site and join us if you can. Remember to link back to her original post and tag Lens-Artists.

A big thank you to all your replies to last weeks challenge. It was great to share the hope and beauty of Spring through our photos and thoughts. I was certainly inspired to go out and catch those early signs that are now finally well-established here.

Next week, on April’s Fool, is Donna’s turn to host, so make sure to have a look at what she’s up to. Until then, take care.

If you want more info on the Lens-Artists Challenge, click here.

Posted for Anne’s Lens-Artists Challenge


32 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge – New Experiences

  1. Beautiful photos of Japan, Sophia! All the details, gardens, temples… are amazing and so very beautiful.
    We have visited twice and we, too, “are still hungry for more”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can show these images any time and every day – I love them. I love the gardens, the purity, the neatly pruning of everything. I’d love to go there one day. I hope you will keep sending us memories and images from Japan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this post Sofia – your love of the adventure comes shining through both in you text and in your images. For the first time you made me think Japan should move up our travels list! The cherry blossom crowds are amazing, as is the gorgeous view of Mt Fuji. What a fantastic adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your photos, beautiful. Your words bring the softness, and the pristine culture Japan is known for. You covered a lot of places in you two travels. And like you, I would have loved coming across tiny perfectly manicured gardens. Such care in all the do. No octopus eyes for me either.

    Fantastic gallery. I hope you return too. It’s been on our list for quite some time. And our agenda…. the culture, as you experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

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