Friday photo essay on a Tuesday: The best photo you’ve ever taken

Eat Media has a post on simply posting the best photo you’ve ever taken and explaining it. I don’t want to wait until Friday to do this, so here you go — Friday on a Tuesday.

Shirahige torii on the water
Shirahige torii on the waters of Biwako in Shiga-ken, Japan.
Taken on: July 1, 2004 at 1.17pm
Taken with: Canon PowerShot A70

I spent the summer of 2004 on a life-changing semester abroad in the rural prefecture of Shiga in west-central Japan. My small class group and I often did field trips around and outside of little prefecture and one day we drove around the lake of Biwa that our hometown was named after (town was Biwacho, on the shores of Biwako!). We came across this amazing torii (a Shinto shrine gate, but it marks sacred land even if it’s not specifically ‘enshrined’) in the lake and our bus stopped so we could look. This site, Shirahige, is one of many torii in water all over Japan, it’s not the most famous one, but it certainly is somewhat famous.

I snapped this photo of my classmate taking it all in and just enjoying the sights. Later, some of my classmates hopped into the lake to swim out to the torii in the water and touch it for good luck.

Often when I think about the simple but amazing times in life where you’re taken aback by completely unexpected beauty, this time–and this photo–come to mind.