Haruka and I met in Kyoto train station. I’d been alone for a little over a week traveling in Tokyo and Tsumago. Having a companion was a relief, a Japanese one even better. No more language barrier, no more silence. The silence of traveling alone in a country with a significant language barrier took me by surprise. I’m an avid traveller, generally preferring to go it alone, but usually I can either get by in the language or I encounter a few denizens of whatever country I’m in that can get by in English. In Tokyo, I didn’t encounter that and in Tsumago even less. It was a solitude of a different variety. I’d text my then boyfriend and now husband every little thing I saw, photos & thoughts. Due to ravenous love sickness, that didn’t stop when Haruka joined me. I was as irritating as they come, I’m sure, but she graciously tolerated my incessant boy talk as we explored the country together. Our first two stops were a little machiya in Kyoto & a temple stay on Mount Koya. Following is my photo journal & a portrait session I did with Haruka in the temple, perhaps my favorite session to date.