I recently got three rolls of film developed and one of them ended up being this set of black and white photographs I took while in Japan...back in 2007. I took these on a trip my friends and I took to more southern Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, etc); we were living in Sapporo. On one day I wanted to go to a shrine that was supposed to be really beautiful but it was outside the city--after a bit of convincing my friends agreed to accompany me. We got off at the wrong train station on accident and wandered around in the hot sun for a couple of hours trying to find our way. It was rather hopeless so we decided to ask for directions and the only place we could find was a little store that sold alcohol. The shop owner was rather thrilled to have three American girls come in and speak Japanese to him--so excited in fact that he closed his shop and insisted on driving us to the shrine in his car. We of course were a reluctant to get inside a van with a stranger, but ultimately he won of over and drove us to the shrine chatting the entire way. Then we walked us in and kept introducing us to people as "very nice American girls who speak good Japanese." There's a story like that attached to each one of these pictures and it makes me desperate to go abroad again.