Any and everything to do with Japan. From one-off photographs to blog posts and comments on things happening in this beautifully frustrating country.
A dancer performs with the Ukrainian flag, swirling and stretching in a street in Japan. [keep reading...]
A flight on the Pokémon Aircraft out of Kobe brought a little detail I doubt many others noticed. [keep reading...]
The walk from the end of this street to Sannomiya Station is about 2km. Apart from crossing the road in a couple of places, it's pretty much all under cover. [keep reading...]
I can cope with it for a few hours, but longer than that and it starts to get the better of me. The noise, the atmosphere, the sense of being crushed. Too much.
Don't get me wrong. There are some lovely places to visit, from the Statue of Liberty (no, honest) and its surrounding parkland to the various temples and parks dotted about. It's just to get [keep reading...]
I've often said the city of Kobe doesn't do enough to promote itself. Great city, loads to see and do, but sort of keeps a bit quiet about it.
We've got beaches, mountains, museums, parks, art galleries, hiking trails, a 2km+ long shopping mall, steam trains dotted about the place, a zoo, more temples than you can shake a stick at, loads of street art and one of [keep reading...]
Dinosaur fossils have been found in about three dozen locations in Japan. Wherever they pop up, the local city makes the most of the tourist potential. From museums to mascots, evidence of the country's prehistoric past is writ large for those who go looking.
For the most part these are aimed at the local tourist rather than those from foreign shores. Most of the museums I've explored around Hyogo and Kyoto have predominantly Japanese information with little in English beyond a few name plates. To be fair, they are way off the beaten tourist trail and are pretty [keep reading...]
While there's no official state religion in Japan, both Shinto and Buddhism cast a long shadow over the culture. The country is full of temples, shrines [keep reading...]
I've lost count of the number of times these have appeared in my shots. The dockside cranes at Kawasaki Heavy Industries are like old friends. They stand tall, often silhouetted against Kobe's rich evening sky, waiting for me to arrive with camera in hand.
Mostly they stand still. Occasionally I see them move, shuffling something weighty from submarine to dock. Once I watched as one of the mighty machines slid gingerly on its tracks. For a moment I had the impression it was about to rise up and transform [keep reading...]
Between the rain and work, I've spent too much of these past couple of weeks indoors. It's been tough, and I've slipped both mentally and physically. The aches are back. So too the melancholy. You should see my prompts [keep reading...]
Last time I was at Osaka Castle it was quiet. Really quiet. Early pandemic, keep the tourists out quiet.
I'd slipped into the country a few weeks before. Quarantine was over. A house in Kobe was making its slow and painful way toward me. Until then I was in [keep reading...]
I went nature spotting at the Kobe City Forest Botanical Garden. It's not the catchiest of names, but it doesn't disappoint.
Japan has distinct seasons. In times of old, a Japanese season lasted about a fortnight, and it isn't hard to see why. Sakura lasts about that long. [keep reading...]
Dotonbori, Osaka. Streets once bustling with tourists are silent. Unobstructed views of the famous "Running Man" sign wait for someone - anyone - to photograph them. Hustlers stand outside restaurants, as glad of the company from passing people as they are eager to welcome you inside.
This was my experience of Osaka in December 2020. A place once bustling with people so densely packed it could be hard to move, silenced by well-meaning and necessary measures [keep reading...]