This is one way to tell a story.
Four women, eight dogs. Top of Omote Sando (Collins St, Fifth Avenue) in Tokyo.
The information desk Aqua City shopping mall, Odaiba. And, yes, she is a robot at work.
The owners/operators of Hop Frog, Matsumoto. Providers of beer, coffee and sandwiches extraordinaire. Lovely people.
The Spring basho (national tournament) was on while we were there. Bouts were broadcast every night on NHK between 5.00 and 6.00. I learnt that there are 96 different descriptions of ways you can win and saw perhaps 20 of them. Hakuho, Mongolian by birth, won with a utchari backward pivot throw, his 37th championship title. Wildly impressive the whole business. (This shot is off the TV. Look at the crowd.)
60, 70 and possibly 80 year-old climbers with their ice axes, crampons and helmets who have just come down off the 3000 metre peaks of the Hotaka Range.
Chaps sitting on a bench getting their photo taken by young people in the Kanazawa gardens. A moment after this there was a gigantic explosion of laughter from all concerned. No idea why.
Generational symmetry. I think Starbucks, but maybe a Cafe Excelsior.
Girls walking round Gion dressed in traditional dress so they get their photos taken. Actually at Nanzen-ji (temple): in Kyoto.
A remarkable encounter on the top of Mt Daimonji. She arrived with a flourish and began by offering us honey lollies to keep us going after our big climb. Then told us she had walked from Inari, about 30 km away with some big hills between here and there, among other things picking up rubbish that people had left behind. ‘There hasn’t been much.’ She was on her way to Ginkaku-ji (the ‘Silver Temple’) still a few km away down a very steep hill. Then she revealed she had been in Brisbane the day before and that she was an air hostess. Then she told us a lot of other things about living a healthy and somewhat forceful life. Then we spent quite lot of time trying to take good photos of each other and failing. She wanted Kyoto in the background but the position of the sun rendered this unlikely.
Aux Bacchanales. True, but a misnomer. Anything but. Salads and good French wine. We decided that if you hadn’t been brought up on dairy the true essence of French food would probably always elude you. That’s stopping no one having good time. Downtown Kyoto.
‘In the spring of the year 74 AD, the Emperor Keikō put a few carp into a pond, and rejoiced to see them morning and evening.’ From the Nihon Shoki, the first chronicle of Japanese history, published in 720 AD. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing going on here. They were big fish and actually climbing over themselves to be fed. We are at Ryozen-ji, Temple no. 1 of the Shikoku 88, and they’d had plenty of practice. It took a good three minutes for the bigger girl to get the hang of things.
Hiro and Kaoru at Tairyu-ji, the fifth time we had met on the trail over three days, never intentionally. It was just one of those delightful things. Hiro had completed the trail previously and Kaoru was collecting her last stamp. We would like to see them again very much.
I have dropped cameras down cliffs, let them slip into a rocky slit 10 metres deep, bashed them against walls of all varieties, scratched a lens with a knife, filled the body with so much dust the shutter wouldn’t work, had them fall out of my pocket through a drain grate. But I have never had one stick on full digital zoom so that I could take excellent pictures of carpet fluff but not much else. This disaster happened on the walk at Shiromine-ji. The next day we were due in Kotohira and I thought maybe there might be a camera shop there. And there was. Interestingly all his good cameras were film cameras. They spoke no English but sweated blood to make sure I got something I wanted at a very reasonable price. Bless them. In the meantime Myrna and her phone were taking first class pics.
This could be the only young person in Japan who doesn’t want her photo taken. She succeeded close to perfectly in thwarting my intrusion, importantly with a soft serve (softu crema) covered in balls of some description, tasty for a millisecond before disappearing into the digestive ether. Softu crema were omnipresent rewards for a good day’s walking (and almost anything else). I’d counsel ordinary rather than premium and double flavour if available. Stay away from green tea. What’s the point? You’re after the big sugar hit.
They do have their pilgrim staffs but they’ve only got up 785 of the 1368 steps to the Kompirasan shrine at Kotohira. There’s another hour to go and they do mostly look satisfied with work to date. (Those steps … bloody hell…)
Out of nowhere, in the forest, very early morning. We were coming down from a night in Mountain Top Temple, Senyu-ji. He was amazed that we were Australians and really keen to talk. We took photos of each other. Look at the lens shell of his film Nikon. Battered, I am happy to report.
And, by comparison, look at this gear. A small sample of what this group had. Might have been a photography club with, as a membership requirement, spending a year’s salary on gear. We’re on a ferry between Takamatsu and Naoshima where, of course, the most common activity is to take photos.
‘Flamboyance Vanity’, in wood but I can’t tell you the sculptor. Sorry. Matsumoto City Gallery.
Two gorgeous gals at the Starbucks in Shimokitazawa with Forever My Lovetoxic Style bags. That’s what it was like. Fun of the highest order.
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