British Columbia local, Mirae Campbell, is a self-taught photographer and outdoor adventurer. We chatted with Mirae to find out what paradise means to her.
I think the word paradise varies for every destination - I think it’s completely possible to find it wherever you are or wherever you go, it’s not so much a destination but a feeling that consumes you when you arrive. It’s the in between moments, or sneaky surprise when you didn’t intend to end up somewhere but it ends up being better than where you wanted to go. It’s the sensation of ‘awe’ you get when you’re someplace new and your environment makes you pause.
In Japanese, there is a saying when you arrive somewhere after traveling or perhaps, it was a bit of a mission to get there, or even just when you get home, we say ‘お疲れ様 / otsukaresama’ which is used as a phrase that kind of embodies just simply saying ‘welcome’ in an endearing way, kind of like ‘you have arrived, relax, you deserve to be here and to be present’.
For me, paradise is when I get somewhere and I get to exhale and allow a sensation of arriving and finding the moment to pause and take it in. It’s a feeling associated with welcoming the unknown and feeling really good about it. Amidst the chaos, Japan is paradise for me, it feels like an uncertain place that will always keep me safe and in a space to grow and learn.
Location: Japan (Tokyo, Hakuba, Myoko, Chiba)
Type of Camera: Canon 5D Mark IV
MC: Nobody is lying when they tell you about how incredible Japow is. It’s literally where all powder dreams are made.
MC: The smile is in the eyes. We rented a funny little 2WD minivan that definitely held it’s own and brought us to this tiny single chair resort still family owned and it had nuked so much that we parked probably 2KMS from the resort and were able to ride down the road that we drove up on fresh pow to the resort, it was surreal and definitely the best powder day of my life.
MC: There’s a walk to a temple in the centre of Tokyo (actually there are many), but this one is known for it’s barrels of Sake that have traditional art and kanji on them, it’s a tourist attraction but a very beautiful one at that.
MC: I personally love it when on-mountain crepe trucks match my friend’s outerwear. Don’t you?
MC: Perhaps one of the most iconic vistas in Hakuba of some classic Japanese spines.
MC: There was a spell where it was so hot and so warm and no snow was falling from the sky so we picked a random resort and spent the day going fast and carving hard in spring slush (although it was the middle of January)
MC: It continued to rain while we were there one week so we swapped our board sports and drove to Chiba and found the dopest little surf shack owned by the most amazing couple and we rented some buoyant ass boards and buoyant ass wetsuits and literally spent the whole day laughing in the ankle biting waves.
MC: The feeling you get when you reach the ramen joint you’ve been searching for.
MC: The trees are everyone’s favourite part - maybe I’m being presumptuous but being from the very wet and dense coast, dry pow and tree-well-less tree runs are where my dreams come alive.
MC: There’s a rogue run in Myoko where they have the dopest powder pockets and avy barrier hits but it requires a pass through a tunnel which sometimes has no snow in it or a single strip down the middle and it’s a gamble when you shoot into it because it’s pitch black haha.
MC: The onsen monkeys are just as funny as you think they would be, but FUN FACT: the alpha male has to be in the tub before any of the other monkeys can be in the baths. It’s completely possible that you’ll go to see the monkeys and the alpha male isn’t feeling it so the baths are completely empty. None of the other monkeys are allowed in unless he or his family are in first.
MC: I was raised spending my summers in Japan and we were raised to respect our elders, our ancestors and the spirits that live beyond our mortal bodies. There are shrines and temples (shrines: shintoism, temples: Buddhism) scattered a plenty in every community and city centre and at any point you are able to go pay your respects.
MC: We spent 3 hours walking around Tokyo trying to find Laurie the perfect hole-in-wall takoyaki joint, if we’re on the topic of paradise, you’re looking at it on Laurie’s face.
To keep up with Mirae, be sure to follow her on instagram. You can also check out her website for more of her work!