Andrew’s world in Japan 2017/August

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring thcreative process & connecting with other creative people.

A Visit to Nara, First Steps – Part 1

During the year of 2009, I kept uniting with others for experiences in the trail of wanderlust. The airplane delivered me from the US of A to Tokyo. Steadily, I whittled my way around the land mass fondly referred to as Japan by the English speaking realms of earth. Officially, in the Japanese language, the name is Nippon Koku or Nihon Koku. At this stage, I was still lost at sea in a way. Still surprised to be alive after a two-year trek touring the Western coast of America, Mexico and Guatemala on a basic ’84 Honda CB650. For some reason, Japan seemed like the right place to begin what I’d hoped would be a similar trek around Asia. Really, it should have come as no surprise, yet it was, and my only thought was that the research exploration of the Moments Of Truth project must continue. It could not have just been a series of random experiences, everything was connected, how could it not be? Before running away with the farm, let’s fast-forward and lean in to some particularly focused moments of sponge-like absorption of life’s wondrous experiences when we open up. So here I am, a few days prior, having met a French fellow nomading around, already hitchhiking my way to unfamiliar spaces, and now heard a guiding travel principle of “do not pay to sleep.” Completely curious as to how this could be accomplished I set out to inquire.
I asked him, and initially, he took offense as if I was mocking him. That was a vulnerable position to be in, and definitely felt like plausibly risky behavior. Where is the safety here? Was it part of some con game or fraudulent behavior? At least I’d like to document the way he was living on the road. Adventure appears in many shapes and sizes, most often lurking in the unexpected. Julien and I, after connecting in Osaka and listening to him share his travel ideology there, agreed to do a bit of travel together. Our first destination became Nara. Today as I write this, my memory does not materialize full evidence that I knew much more than Nara was the “deer town.” Actually, the countries first permanent capital established in the year 710 is the area now called Nara. At the time, it was called Heijo, which could be taken to mean ‘a place of calm mind as usual when facing any situation.’ This seems an admirably balanced way to consider the location administering a whole country. The location served as the capital off and on for a solid 69 years. Today it boasts the Imperial Palace as on of many unique UNESCO World Heritage sites around the area. In 708, the Empress Genmei ordered the move and modeled it after the capital of the Tang-dynasty Chang’an. Heijō-kyō flourished during this era with much credit extended to the impressive gathering of merchants and traders from China, India and Korea who introduced the latest and greatest passing through the Silk Road.