At my graduation ceremony, my family had a thing for photo-bombing, which wasn’t hard to do since it was such a crowded place (it seems wherever my dad goes he starts a trend). My brothers all started photo-bombing. Even the youngest one (6-years-old) photo-bombed who he could from three feet off the ground. Somehow the trend had also spread to my friends. What started as a picture of two ended up being a hilarious 10-person selfie (what happened to the conventional group photos at graduation?). Later we found out it turned into photo inception–but that’s a story for another day.
Kyoto, Japan was an equally crowded place on a sunny Sunday, but obviously on a much larger scale. Instead of just a building or campus quadrangle, it was the whole city. You know how you see those movie scenes of Japan and like a thousand Asians seemingly going nowhere but everywhere at the same time? That is what Kyoto was like, especially the train station. The place itself was massive, but it perfectly baffled me how people seemed to be coming from absolutely nowhere non-stop leaving no sort of space to walk comfortably. I expected the traffic to at least move in waves. There could be a lot of people, then there would be less, but that wasn’t the case. There were many people then more people constantly. I had been there twice now but this second time had been no less terrifying.
Our group started as nine with no real plans and a lot of hunger. We found a small ramen restaurant. There was nothing very special about it aside from the fact that the ramen was absolutely delicious. I had the cheapest thing on menu (I was too illiterate and too hungry to pick anything else), but it happened to be the best ramen I’ve had since being here.
After that our adventure really began. We started on a long walk. I didn’t know where we were going, but the crowds seemed to accompany us everywhere we went. It was uncomfortable and undoubtedly irritating, but I chose to enjoy the sunshine, the colorful fall view and the undeniably amusing company. We looked around and saw things. I think we saw some kind of temple, but I don’t know. I just followed and took pictures. Everyone was taking pictures (you know Asians take pictures of everything–I’m kidding… That’s a stereotype -_- some of you would have believed that). It’s really popular for people to go to Kyoto in the fall to take pictures of the scenery though–the colors changing, the beautiful leaves against the archaic Japanese background. It was actually a really great time.
As we got to our mysterious destination, people stopped to take more pictures and the crowds somehow found a way to grow. A couple of strangers asked us to take a picture of them. They were a couple of friends, excited to be a part of Kyoto’s autumn activities. I was glad for them. I wasn’t the one snapping the photo, but they were so adorable I couldn’t help but share their joy. I loved when people could also be in their pictures instead of just failing to be seen from behind the camera.
In my excitement I felt a strange feeling come over me, though, while surrounded by the crowds people. I found myself moving closer and closer to the giddy friends, leaning further and further into the shot of the photo as my friend took the picture.Surely, she wouldn’t take the picture with me in it, I thought. I had expected the strangers to turn around and catch me jokingly in the act or for my friend to pause and shoo me away, but neither happened. And then she took the picture.
I quickly shuffled away as the girl retrieved her phone, and my friends and I burst into laughter. “I can’t believe you photo-bombed them,” my friend’s co-worker said in shock. “Me neither,” I said, my disbelief matching his. Of course, my friend had gotten a picture of the two of them without me in it, but in that moment, I was really glad she had taken the picture with me in it too. We all needed the laugh. And with that, I knew it would be an interesting afternoon with us together. I was glad I had made the decision to join them in Kyoto.
Please check out Kyoto Solo to find out more about my adventure in Kyoto, Japan.