Current state and Moving Forwards / by Daniel Whiston

So I originally wanted to write this blog at LEAST on a weekly basis in some form but as you can see it's been quite a while since the last one...but there is a reason!

Now, this will just be a small "What have I been up to" blog to break the stagnation and what I plan to do moving forward photography wise as there have been quite a few significant changes in my life over the past few months that have drastically changed my day to day life.
So the biggest thing is that I'm now married (Most adult thing I've done in my life indeed) and currently relocated in a small city near Hiroshima city where I plan to be for the next few years and I really couldn't be happier right now. Of course I miss my family/friends/pets but I'll be back ;)

Anyone that knows me will know that I have had an obsession with Asian culture ever since I was at school studying about industry in Osaka and even not that long ago visiting Japan was just a dream I'd always had but was just too scared to take the jump and plan a trip there as I'm not the biggest fan of travelling alone among other reasons and now suddenly I find myself LIVING in the very country I had always wished just to spend a week or so in!
There are the obvious issues that living in a foreign country brings that I'm currently trying to overcome like the language barrier which can (but not always) cause a few problems but I'm taking lessons to resolve that.

I have to say one of the biggest things you notice right off the plane is how helpful and conscious of each other the Japanese are (So much etiquitte!) and the same applies to helping out confused people such as myself even if communication isn't possible. I've always read about the myth of "Gaijin" and that the majority of people will either avoid you or give you a stare but it's honestly as far from the truth as you can get.
or example I was in a supermarket looking for an item which I couldn't for the life of me find and ended up with not only 4 of the shop staff trying to work out what my flailing arms were trying to describe but also 2 nearby shoppers that wanted to try and help out too!I didn't manage to get enough flailing across for anyone to understand what I actually wanted but that's beside the point! I've met more strangers here that have done so much to help me or make me feel welcome than you could imagine.

Another great example which seemed to come out of sheer luck was back in December on the second day of my first trip where we decided to have a night wandering in Shinjuku, Tokyo as they have an amazing maze area of small bars and restaurants spilling out out into the streets. We had been eating at an amazing bbq place when a couple that had been sitting beside us started talking to us and recommending various things from the menu. a few more beers and tasty bbq meats later and we had moved on to drunken bowling and arcade games. when we parted ways at the end of the night we were invited to visit the high end restaurant the guy was a chef at which ended in classic dive bar with more sake and whisky highballs than my memory could handle and all of it was out of complete chance that we would all be in the same place at the same time. Still one of my favorite memories of being here.

So anyway, now onto the future. For the photography side of things I intend to keep on doing what I've been doing for the past few years the same as ever although the gig side of things is probably going to take a bit of a break while I work out where any live music actually is in the area where I am! Hiroshima city itself has a few good spots I've researched but it's a good hour away by train and not really convenient for me at the moment so I plan on pushing more towards the festivals and holidays side of Japan with all different kinds of celebrations from the traditions of shrines and temples to the more modern events like the upcoming flower festival. I'll also be documenting everything that catches my eye as ever and since I'm in a completely new atmosphere even some where quiet like this area has so much to offer for me.

So the next few blog posts I plan to post will be about various places and events that I see and am involved in as well as whatever happens to come to mind while I fill this with ramblings (My creative writing still couldn't fill a sake cup)

Things should definitely be a bit more active from now on!