Hello there!

My name is Allison O’Connor. I live in Seattle, and I like to spend my days reading, writing, and going on adventures.

I started this blog a few years ago as a way to document my year-long study abroad experience in Tokyo, Japan, and haven’t yet been able to give it up.  I love to take pictures, and find that having a place to share my photos (and a wonderful, encouraging community to share them with), drives me to get out and explore more often, and to pay attention to the beauty in everyday things.

I have a small collection of old film cameras dotting my bookshelves, but mostly use my Canon EOS Rebel K2 (pictured above). I love the element of surprise that comes with film photography, and having only 24 shots at a time to work with forces me to stop and think carefully before taking each photo. I’m convinced it makes me love each and every one of them even more.

All photos that I post here are ©Allison O’Connor. Please do not use them without my permission, or without crediting them to me. Feel free to email me at allisonoconnor22[at]gmail[dot]com if you have questions.

Thank you so much for visiting and saying hello. It means a lot to me!


67 responses to “About

  1. alison,

    hey! i’m so glad you responded, i totally lost the address for this site. but, i’ve since added it to my blog and you should e-mail me when you get the chance jamesowenph@gmail.com, i’d love to know how things are going. hope you’re well!


  2. i came across this blog just last night when i was googling japanese fashion, i really like your pictures [being a amateur photographer myself]. its always been my dream to go to japan myself but reading your blog [don’t know the right words plz don’t think i’m a stalker or anything] its made me want to go to japan even more~~. i have a brother in the marines currently stationed in japan but he never shares anything with me :(. i think its cool to see/read your experiences and.. stuffs… i sucks at words.. >_<

  3. hey~
    yeah i love your blog!! i mean my brother sometimes uploads pics every once in a while but nothing like yours [scenery, people, friends etc.]
    i’m saving up to see him like maybe this summer or next winter when i don’t have school :).
    i need to add more to my blog, like pictures and stuff. i been kinda inactive in my blog recently :(

  4. Cool to find the blog- awesome photos, they’re pretty but not pretentious, and genuinely interesting.

    I’m also in Tokyo for the year, studying at Waseda. The above link is my blog, but dshack.tumblr.com mashes up the posts from it with my flickr stream, so I think you might find that more appealing.

    Cheers! I’ll toss ya on my blogroll.

  5. dude you’re awesome. keep up the good work at updating this blog. it totally helps me kill time at work!

  6. Really interessting blog!! I really like it, and now I want to go to Japan :D beautiful photos!!

  7. Dear person I don’t know,

    Your blog rules. Your photos makes me wish that I too was visiting Japan.

    That is all.

    -A stranger

  8. HI, i just found your site and am so excited about it! i am also from seattle, and work at a local sushi restaraunt. I am traveling to Japan in March and am so inspired by your photographs. can i ask what kind of camera you are using? i can’t believe they have a zokas there too! i want to ask them to give me a job there…

    • Emiko,
      Thank you! Which sushi restaurant do you work at? I worked at Shun this past summer- have you been there?
      My camera is a Casio Exilim 7.2–nothing special!!

      • i just saw you posted me back! i always check out your blog and I can’t believe what a tiny world it is. I worked at Nishino and Chiso, but am now trying the semi – starving artist thing. I just tried Shun for the first time a little while ago, the salmon croquettes were oishii.
        I was in Japan last March, and love seeing photographs on here of places I saw. I can’t wait to go back, and maybe even live there, but i have to learn more Japanese first. if you go to Hiroshima, you have to have okanamiyaki there, it’s so good!
        also, it was funny seeing your street art pics from seattle, I see a lot of those around all the time too! what a small tiny world : ) we must be crossing paths on opposite time lines . .

      • Allison,
        I love seeing all of your photos from Seattle and Portland compared to the ones from Japan. I’m still hooked on your blog, it’s so fun seeing the little things in seattle I never think about through your perspective. I live right down the street from the Giant Mugs house you blogged about!
        have you been to the new shun yet?

      • Hey Emiko,

        How funny that you live near the mugs house! I must have walked right past you. You’re lucky to be living so close to Whole Foods!

        I haven’t been in to the new Shun yet, have you?

        I’m glad you’re still enjoying my photos, it means a lot to me : )

  9. Uwa..

    Omoshiroi ne..

    I will visit your BLOG to update the newest info in Japan..

    Hajimemashite..Watashiwa bocahbancar desu..Douzo Yoroshiku Onegaiitashimasu..


  10. hey

    thank you so much for your comment!

    I really love e.e.cummings. I wasn’t really into poetry until I got to know his work.

    Wow Japan *___* how lucky, I hope you really have a great time there!


  11. Have you been to minatomirai? It’s very pretty, and you can walk along the harbour to yamate and see some of the most gorgeous buildings in Yokohama, boats and of course the night-time fairy lights.

    You can take a “sea bass” (boat) back to Yokohama station and enjoy the scenery one more time. They also have a very cute “Doll Museum” in Yamate, with a special Blythe exhibition on right now.

  12. Hey Allison!

    Thanks for the comment and yeah, you’re right it could’ve done without those scenes. The thing is I really kind of wanted it to be a proper and earnest romance, maybe like Before Sunrise/Sunset, but it ended up succeeding in this other way.

    Also – and this has nothing to do with anything – what is Uniqlo like in Japan? Everyone here in nyc is in love with it because we only have one (in the whole US), but I’ve been told it’s a really common there, true? (And do all the salespeople act like coked-out models?)

    Love your blog, btw! The PDX/Seattle pics just kill me, I miss it all. (And that’s crazy about tubs.)


  13. Allison, my love, your blog is #2 in my things to do after logging into the internet. I miss you! You make me want to be a better blogger, haha. Love you : ) Nico

  14. hi Allison,

    Congratulations, living abroad it opens your eyes. I can tell you are full taking advantage if it. Well done. Keep traveling, your young and smart. Until when are you gonna stay in Japan? My bf and I have the intention to go to Japan this year, since we’re so close!. Hope I can see you if your still there.



    • Thanks Heidi! I’ll be in Japan until mid-summer. Let me know if you’d like some travel suggestions! I’m not an expert at all but I might be able to help a little : )

  15. Kewll!!

    You know Allison, ever since I found your blog thru the keyword ‘monoral’, I visit here a lot and I can spend times staring at those pictures of Japan u’ve posted here. Make me want to travel japan soon. Ooh well, I have to save a lot first thou.

    Btw, how about come and visit Indonesia one day?
    You should try Indonesian train for a thrilling adventure ^^V

    Nice blog and keep taking cool pics and share here..


  16. Japan! the only place I want to be right now. Very interesting stuff, great photos as well. You’re a lucky girl I tell ya! Have fun…

  17. Hi!
    I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m in love with it.

    I studied in Japan as a high school student for 8 months, from August to March. I just got back to WI on March 31, so I’m terribly “homesick” for Japan!!

    Your blog makes me so happy, but it also made me cry. I fell in love with Japan, Tokyo in general…so it’s wonderful to read about it. I can’t wait until I can move back, and I’m just so jealous of you for having all these amazing experiences!

    I just thought I’d say hi and tell you I love your blog.

    • Hi Chelsey! Thank you I’m glad you found it! Since you lived in Tokyo do you have some recommendations of places I should go or things I should do? Do you plan on living in Japan after high school? I’m impressed!

      • I actually lived in Tohoku, northern Japan. About 4 hours north of Tokyo.

        I’m sure you’ve been, but one of my favorite parts of Tokyo was Ueno. (:

        And yes, I can’t wait to get back to Japan. I’m planning on living there, teaching, whatever else I feel like doing, after college.

        I’m tempted to just leave now & go back, but I know that I have to be responsible and get my degree. I’m so jealous, though!!

  18. Wow! I’m loving this blog! Ive never actually felt compelled to comment on a blog before. Great that you are picking up on all the cool little bits and pieces about Japan and not focusing on all the major touristy things. Loving the Street Art. and things that look like faces. Also. Jellyfish. I think i might plan a trip to Japan for the start of 2010. possibly. hmm.

    p.s you are super cute.


    • Sam,
      Thank you! I just looked at your site and your artwork is amazing! I’m really flattered that you like my blog. I particularly like your “I believe in you” series. I like what you said about beauty being everywhere too.. I completely agree with that and I hope it shows in my photos – its often the idea I’m trying to get across with them.
      Japan is definitely worth visiting, make sure you do it someday!

  19. I feel inspired every time I read ur blog and flick thru the pics. I found ur blog a few days ago. Am pretty interested in analog cameras myself, I got a bunch of toy cameras already but thinking of getting more serious n buying an slr. I was eyeing on Canon A-1 for a few days now but seeing how your pics turned out, I was wondering how ur Canon Rebel 2k treating u? Would u recommend on it?

    • Hey Nano –
      thanks for looking at my blog! I would definitely recommend this camera based on my experience with it, but I haven’t tried any others so I really can’t compare. How are those toy cameras? I’ve never tried any of them and I would love too!

      • Toy cameras are fun! Haha. I got a Diana and Instax Mini 10 a couple of months ago. I’m not really good at taking pictures but they do come out great like those old nostalgic photos so I’m happy~ :3 I think I will get a Canon for an slr camera next month. Hee *excited* Thanks a bunch!

  20. http://www.pressedfor.wordpress.com

    Okay, so you needn’t approve this message.
    Here’s me in honesty today.
    I have waited to say something quirky enough to leave on here, days have passed me by and I have let it go. So now I decided I have no quirky saying or antics to place as a comment, just these words.

    I looked at your pictures.
    I looked at the About page.
    Your pictures of Japan are really cool, I love art, I’m an artist.
    The About page is also good because you are very beautiful, I love beauty, I’m told often that I’m beautiful or pretty or handsome, I am.

    And that is all.
    I hope things are good fro you in your part of the world.
    I’m not going to be in Japan anytime soon, I don’t think I’ll ever run into you or catch a show or coffee with you. But I guess in most things- it is the thought that counts.

    Thoughts to you.

  21. hi allison. nice blog you have. and i’m very happy to see that you’ve been enjoying yourself in japan. good luck with your photography as well.

  22. Pingback: TKO Stick Ups! — The PBLKS | The Publics·

  23. I’m a friend of James from BU, and he sent me a link to your blog. Aside from the fact that I am incredibly jealous of everything you guys get to experience over there, it makes me feel a little better seeing Japan through your awesome pictures. Keep it up, girl!

  24. hey there, i just wanted to come by and say thanks :).
    i’ve been following your blog for a long while now. i stumbled upon it at school when i was googling japanese fashion haha. reading your blog has really inspired me in life. i told you that now i want to pursue photography right? well i’ve changed my blog a bit. one can’t really tell in appearance since i liked the theme i had so i kept it the way it was but i deleted almost all my posts except two.
    the first post is now when i withdrew from school and i decided on how i wanted to live my life from then on and the second post i just posted.
    like your blog i want to showcase my photos and maybe someday i can get my own photobook like you did.
    thank you very much for having this blog it really helped me in my life :)

  25. Heya,
    I’m living in Japan for the last 4 years.
    Found your blog from Dshack’s post about no carb diets. Interesting argument.

    Also nice pictures here. Film looks gorgeous. Am subscribing to your feed and looking fwd to more stuff.

    So Yoroshiku!


  26. Hi, I just happened upon your blog and photos and I really love them! I work in cosmetics and your photos are really inspiring. Good luck and keep it up!

  27. Pingback: What Allison wore this week « BRINJA KØBENHAVN·

  28. I’m really enjoying your website. Your photos are gorgeous and are taken from an interesting and fresh perspective! Looking forward to more posts from you! :)

  29. Pingback: Árvores quentes « Mesa de luz·

  30. Pingback: Um passeio nos USA « Mesa de luz·

  31. Hi Allison,
    I just find your blog few days ago, and I found your pictures are very interesting and fresh. How long you’ve been in the street photography? Do you use any digital retouch?
    I currently use a Nikon DSLR, but now I considering to use my old analog Yashica into use, again.
    See you!

  32. Just came across your blog – awesome photos! Good luck in your travels, I look forward to seeing what you’ll post next!

  33. Hi Allison,
    I am a student and also take a lot of pictures. I’ve been looking for a good film camera. Do you recommend the Canon EOS Rebel K2? Also what film do you use for your camera?
    Thanks so much,

    • Hi Miranda! Thanks so much for stopping by :) The Canon EOS Rebel K2 was the first film camera I started using for regularly and it’s been consistently great. As someone who didn’t have a ton of photography know-how, I found it really easy to get started on and would definitely recommend it. As for the type of film, I usually go for Kodak 200. Fujifilm is easier to find but I don’t like the coloring as much–I feel like it’s usually too blue!

      Hope that helps, feel free to let me know if you have other questions!

  34. Pingback: San Diego – Instagram « urban research·

  35. I am interested in film photography too but just scared thinking that the photos would not come out the way i want. I don’t know how to wash the film so i can’t control for the most part of it. Your photos look lovely and i’ll be following your blog for some inspiration :)

  36. Really liked some [or a bunch] of your photographs that you took. I downloaded a few to use for my apple wallpaper, hope you don’t mind…?

    • I’m glad you like them so much! I’m fine with that, thanks for asking :) I only mind when people share my photos without sourcing or crediting them to me.

      Out of curiosity, which one is your background now?

  37. Pingback: Convenience store trivia « GaijinPot In Japan Blogs·

  38. Hey Allison, I love your entry on Natto and your pictures are great! I’m in Seattle too and love traveling to Japan. If you’re around South Lake Union and feeling like a craft cocktail or some yummy food, come to Row House (Republican and Fairview). It’s an extremely charming cafe built in the very last of the neighborhood’s ‘row’ houses where some of Seattle’s itinerant workers were housed during the early 1900’s. I work there!

    • Hi Mary, thank you so much! I would love to drop in but I just moved to the Bay Area–darn! I appreciate you reaching out :)

  39. Hey!

    I had to leave a comment here because we have the same last name! Anyway, I came across your blog amidst looking for a Costco in Japan, and I was so incredibly excited to see that picture of pizza! I’m actually going to be moving to Japan in a few weeks, and your blog seems like a great resource for sightseeing and what not. I haven’t fully checked out your whole section about Japan yet, but I was hoping that you might have some additional suggestions about what to see/do once I arrive?!

    Also, its funny that you have pictures of Yosemite on here, because I was just there a few weeks ago. Such a great place!

    • Hi Anne, thanks for commenting! I’m glad you like my photos. That’s so exciting that you’re moving to Japan! Perhaps you’ll have to start a blog, too :) Definitely check out the “Japan” category I made to see where I’ve been. One of these days I will get around to compiling a must-do list and will be sure to let you know about it. I hope the move goes well!

  40. Hi! Allison-san!! I’m a Japanese student myself. I have yet to travel to Japan. But I am always motivated when I see passionate people like yourself share your experiences. Might I ask if you are currently a student of the language and what sparked your interest in the country?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s