Play: photography, road trips, art etc

Not everything has to be about my work. These are posts about my hobbies and interests beyond my professional life.

Photograph of a paddy field in Japan, drained, cleared and with the supports used to dry the rice still standing

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

After years of looking out my bedroom window at the empty paddy fields, I decided to track them down. [keep reading...]

Photograph of a quartet of red bicycles waiting to be rented.

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Kobe is a walkable city. If you don't fancy all that legwork, you could rent a bicycle. [keep reading...]

Photograph of the Port Liner monorail coming into the station at Sannomiya

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Every time I hear a claim driverless trains or monorails don't work, I roll my eyes. I take one regularly. [keep reading...]

Photo of a road station sign in Japan showing the services available - Toilets, disabled access, smoking room, food and also parking. In the background is the outline of a Green Suzuki Hustler Kei Car parked in a single bay all on its own.

Monday, September 11th, 2023

I always take a photo on my phone. It saves the GPS data, which means I know where I've been. Useful for later edits on photos. [keep reading...]

The digital tourist

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

Illustration of two people stood side by side. One is looking intently at a guidebook, the other is pointing at a tourist attraction. Both seem happy.

In my experience there are two approaches to visiting another country or city as a tourist.

In the first the trip is meticulously planned. Countless websites are visited, brochures bought and influencers inspected. The trip becomes a confirmation that what we saw in our research was “true”. Variation risks us feeling cheated.

In the second, basic information is gathered. We arrive with nothing but a phrasebook and a mental blank canvas. What happens does so by accident, not by plan. It is all but impossible to be disappointed because we have no expectations.

I suspect my approach to travel is closer to the second. Much to the occasional annoyance of Mrs H.

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