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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

[VIDEO] My New Year Trip at the Kansai Region Part 1

Beautiful girl in yukata

Phew. Been spending the past two days editing the video of my trip at the Kansai region during the new year period. Due to rustiness (the last time I actually edited something was for my short film, LOVE SUICIDES, and that was back in last October), I was slower than usual, and needed a bit more time to get into a groove again.

Anyway, I've decided to separate the videos into two parts because it's quite long, and I'm also doing this for, ah, narrative and dramatic purposes.

Part 1 of my video covers the first day of my trip, from going to Kyoto on New Year's Eve, to my countdown at Nara, and then my capturing of the festive atmosphere during Japanese New Year. The music I used, like the previous video diaries, can be downloaded from Jamendo.

The video's rather straightforward, there's not much for me to experiment with. The most I can hope for is that it can help you see what I saw during my unforgettable trip.

I've actually uploaded the video on both Facebook and Youtube. Youtube has annotations, while Facebook allowed me to tag friends who were either in the video, or were referred to in the video (mostly my old Japanese friends I met in Perth, who were in this cooking video, this heartfelt birthday party video and this impressionistic birthday party video. I forgot the fact that they had to return to their hometowns on New Year, so they couldn't meet me in the end, sigh).

Beautiful girl in Kimono 2The first two minutes are mostly about my train journey to Kyoto, and how I accidentally ended up at Osaka after oversleeping.

After that, the video covers my lovely afternoon at Kyoto, when my friends Alex and Nisha brought me to the famed Kiyomizu-deru Temple. It was my intention to visit one of those famed temples in Kyoto even though I've been there before six years ago, and also because I was hoping to spot some geisha or maiko at the nearby area. Unfortunately, no such luck. I guess even they need to celebrate new year.

Beginning from the 5:30 mark, you'll see my other friend, Lim, and I making our way to Nara for the new year countdown and our Hatsumode (first temple or shrine trip of the year) at Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple), which houses the biggest Buddha statue in Japan. We also went to the beautiful Nigatsu-do (February Hall, or Hall of the Second Month), a hall in Todai-ji that's located on the hillside of Mount Wakakusa, east of the Great Buddha Hall. And finally ending our Nara trip at the beloved Kasuga Shrine, where thousands and thousands of people gathered to pray and make their wishes.

Also, due to the fact that I can't multitask (as in, carry both a camcorder and a camera at a same time), I opted to only take videos during the trip, so there aren't any photos. Hence the random photos of beautiful Japanese women in yukata uploaded by Saladfreak on Flickr.

Anyway, enjoy the video.

I embedded the high quality version of the video, if it takes too long to load, go for the normal quality instead

On the 31st of December 2008, I suddenly decided to take a train to the Kansai region for the new year countdown. The...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Monday, January 5, 2009