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The alleyways of Motomachi, Kobe (a photowalk)

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

An alleyway in Kobe, Japan. The darkness is lit with Chinese lanterns and the glow of signs calling people to go inside.

My wife was working late and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to keep a promise to myself. Camera in hand and night around me, I set off on a solo photowalk around Motomachi.

Happily I snapped away, using my trusty FujiFilm X-T20, a 35mm lens and settings suitable for night shooting by hand.

An alley way in Japan. At the end is a brightly lit store, on the left the dim sign of a Chinese restaurant.

Later, as I went through the images, I recognized a trend. About half the shots were of the alleys linking the main shopping street with Nankinmachi, Kobe's Chinatown.

An dark alley in China Town, Motomachi, Japan. There are two signs on the left, two more on the right. winding through the center of the image is a quartet of glowing orange lanterns

Something was compelling about these spaces. How they draw the eye through the darkness to the bright lights at their end. The way restaurants and houses conspire to tease what might be beyond.

A photograph of an alley in Japan. On the left a restaurant lights the darkness. Above, a snake of orange Chinese lanterns winds its way into the distance. At the far end a shadowy figure walks across the end of the alley

Whether I'm obsessed with alleyways remains to be seen. There's strong evidence to suggest it, and like any good addict, I made sure to "prove" my innocence with the occasional photograph of something else...

A Chinese pagoda is lit with lanterns and the residual glow of restaurants and mobile phones.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

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