Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Meditation, rope and boats. Random photos from August 2022

Photograph of a statue of a girl dancing with a straw hat placed over it

Each month I take a few hundred photographs around Kobe and Japan in general. A few make it onto my photowalk posts, or more serious features. More get shared on Twitter and Tumblr. Most stay in my private collection.

These are a small selection of images I shared this month on social media, but which didn’t have a natural home on the site.


A time to relax

Photograph of a white woman sat in grass under a tree wearing a purple catsuit. She has her eyes closed, her legs crossed and a restful look on her face

Taken many years ago on a hill near Wembley. There wasn’t any purpose to the shoot, I just wanted some shots in the grass in the evening sun.

Nikki and I spent a couple of hours wandering the hills, ducking dog walkers and pausing as inspiration came. A bit of me misses the free-wheeling fun that came from these shoots. Anyway, this resurfaced during some filing and I felt the urge to re-edit and share it.

You can see more of my portrait photography in my portfolio.

Concerto arrives in Kobe

Photograph of a sailor throwing a rope to shore from a cruise ship

Pretty much every Friday I end up at Harborland, waiting for my wife to finish work. I’ll often go for a wander around the dock and watch the comings-and-goings. Concerto offers tours around Osaka Bay, which tourists and locals enjoy. It’s on my bucket list.

If you’re interested in seeing her coming into dock, 7pm is a good time to turn up. As busy as the crew are, they always seem to have a moment for a wave at we landlubbers.

And if you’re wondering what’s going on, he’s throwing a guide rope to a dockhand. On one end is a weight, on the other a heavy rope used to moor the ship to shore.

Extreme Branding

Photograph of the Miu Miu store in Kobe - a large green-grey slab that rises high above the pavement

I think we’ve all seen “brands” try to make their stores distinctive with unusual displays and interiors. How about the exterior?

Miu Miu, a sub-brand of Prada, have gone all-out on creating a distinctive visual style for their store in Kobe. Nestled amongst other high-end brands, their monolithic store stands apart. Whether its grey-green tones reflect the brand’s values is another matter. At least you’re not going to miss it.

Lost rope

Black and white photograph of a piece of multicoloured rope wrapped around a pair of logs

Seen in the Miki gardens while wandering around looking at the hydrangea. Just a few metres before this was a sign warning of snakes. It wasn’t the best placed sign.

Cacophony of cables

Japan’s streets are lined with power and phone cables. It might be easier to put them underground, at least that’s the suggestion often made. Opinions are divided, but in general it seems putting them out of sight is prohibitively expensive. It’s quicker and cheaper to string wires around the streets on poles.

I find them fascinating, and while I can see the arguments against keeping them, I think they’re as much part of the urban landscape as storm drains and narrow roads.

The spiral staircase

Black and white photograph of a spiral staircase on the outside of a building in Kobe, Japan

A companion photo, you can see the edge of the staircase in the previous shot. External staircases are a common sight in Kobe, a legacy of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The road home

Black and white photograph of a hexagonal link fence through which you can see an out of focus Japanese dual carriageway road

This is one of those “I don’t know why I did it” photographs. I was walking from the supermarket to the carpark and decided to stop and snap. It was taken on my mobile phone, and the sun was on the screen, making it hard to even see what I was shooting.

Heading out to the Inland Sea

Photograph of a small boat sailing out of a harbour with more boats in the foreground

When I was a bit younger I fancied owning a boat. The freedom of the open seas had an appeal, the ability to sail off into the sunset on a whim. It was a dream that never came to fruition.

Probably for the best.

This was the second time I’d seen this small boat heading out of the port. It brought home to me why that fantasy of freedom was really a nightmare of imprisonment. I wouldn’t be free – I’d be anchored to the marina.

Should an art gallery be a piece of art in its own right?

Photograph of the interior of a museum in Osaka with people gathered around under a bridge

From the Nakanoshima Museum of Art in Osaka. Rather than cram as many exhibition rooms into the space as possible, the architects created spaces to explore and admire and enjoy.

Dance like no one can see you

Photograph of a statue of a girl dancing with a straw hat placed over it

I often come across items of clothing left lying around for people to find. This statue in the middle of Kobe is one of the more unusual places used as a temporary clothes rack. But it did bring to mind a piece of advice from years ago.

And if you’re worried people will see you dance, put a sack over your head so they don’t know it’s you. Worked for this statue.

There’s more to read…

If you enjoyed this meander down the month, you might also enjoy July’s selection.

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. Find out more.