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Views of Kobe Port Tower in the fading light

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The red lattice of Kobe Port Tower stands above people walking along the dockside

Every Friday I go to Harborland in Kobe and meet my wife for after-work dinner. There's no set time, and I often wander around with a camera in hand, snapping away. It's something to do while I wait for the text telling me she's done for the week and on her way.

As much as I love Harborland and the delights of Meriken Park, it can get repetitive. If I sense that happening, I set a challenge. It's how I shot a dozen alleyways in Motomachi around New Year. This time it was capture Kobe Port Tower.

The Tower was constructed in 1963 as a sightseeing observation deck. It's become something of an icon for the city and often appears on promotions and websites. It's even been featured in Godzilla and Ultraman.

My challenge was to photograph the tower as the evening light faded.

I walked a circuit, always keeping an eye out for the tower. As darkness set in, it became easier to pick it out. The illuminations were quite striking following their recent renovation. The shots and angles also became more obscure.

Sometimes, only a fleeting glance of the tower is visible, or it's obstructed by surrounding buildings.

An idea has formed to repeat this process in the autumn, though with more rigor and planning. Just as Hokusai created 36 views of Mouth Fuji, I wonder if I can collate 36 views of Kobe Port Tower.

The skyline of Kobe across Meriken park - dark against the purple of twilight sunset. On the left is the green glow of a Ferris wheel. On the right the Kobe Port Tower stands in silhouette. A long figure is barely visible in the foreground.
A purplish twilight sky serves as a backdrop to the red lights of Kobe Port Tower, with the green lattice of the Maritime Museum roof in the foreground
Kobe Port Tower almost entirely obscured by trees
Kobe Port Tower stands bright above a dark side street, partly obscured by the buildings on the right.
Kobe Port Tower looms red and large over the surrounding roads, which are dimly lit in comparison.
A lit walkway winds off in to the distance under the dark slabs of an expressway running left and right. Peeking out between the two decks is the bright red top of the Kobe Power Tower

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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