Foreign: Thoughts on traveling alone

I think any county with a sizable population becomes a shell containing different countries. What do I mean? Back in the states we have New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta which draw people from all over the world who, in finding equilibrium, create a culture different from those smaller cities, towns, parishes which house what we can call “Americana”. Said differently, Paris is not France and neither is Tokyo, Japan. I woke up to a dark overcast on Saturday which got heavier and denser until, by 9:00 a.m., the rains fell in… Read More

A strong foundation and open doors

Okayama castle courtyard

Japan has different classes of accommodation. There are elite hotels for the super rich (and weddings), 1-5 star hotels for traveling, business hotels, capsule hotels. For futons and home cooked meals there are Japanese inns and pensions. And if your traveling on a budget there are hostels, manga or Internet cafes (you get a partitioned space), and all night onsen (which come with reclining arm chairs for you to sleep in till morning) — and there are even more options, which is all to say that I knew I’d find someplace even though… Read More

Five stories and a twist

  Friday morning I woke up, did some house cleaning (before I passed my key on), and finished up the last of my summer work. It was three before I started looking for a hotel — and they were all over priced in Kyoto. I scanned the route in my mind. Okayama. I could stay the night there then catch the ferry over to Naoshima. It was five by the time I left with Hiro’s backpack and two pairs of each: shorts, t-shirt, over shirt, socks, Calvins. I packed one outfit for… Read More

Contrasts

    Elementary schools were given colorful streamers for children to write down their good wishes for the world. Phrases like, “I want everyone in the world to try hard with a smile”, “May good feelings and smiles all over the world increase”, “All the children of the world come together and make a peaceful world”. These were hung down different streets (from those on my previous post). Being of lighter paper they fluttered more in the breeze providing a sound like leaves and the reflected light of dozens of rainbows with… Read More

The bridge to the land which wasn’t there

  From the seventies Japan amassed much of it’s garbage into a landfill used to reclaim land from the sea. By the late 80’s the site was full and work began to turn this landfill into a new part of the metropolis — Odaiba. Before it was heaped full of excess and waste Odaiba used to be series of small rocky crags that housed the cannons which keep the West out of Japan. Of those original islets only two or three remain are filled in with the waste as people threw out… Read More

Great website with images and ideas I want to share

I’m doing my morning cruise around the blogosphere and while reading this new blog (with great tips and discussion) I’m redirected to another site with a click. Because I live in Tokyo the approach of how to represent it especially appeals. It’s inspiration and I wanted to share. For his salaryman images. For his Japanese home images/concept.       

Summer nights

When I was a boy I often went to Knott’s Berry Farm. There was a ride that took you though neon colored scenes, florescent nightscapes, and day glow characters. Those bright hues on black have always appealed to me. Vibrancy, I’m attracted to the energy and otherworldliness made from these kinds of colors.

Silent protest

Every town has someone like this. In a city of 42 million we have a few. What do you notice first? The thrilling fashion sense? The daring glasses? The perky breasts? It wasn’t until I came home and looked at the images that I noticed the decals. What I quickly dismissed as crazy — and tried really hard not to stare at — is actually a protest calling for the Abe government to not expand the military. How could I have missed such a clear message?

Selfies and haircuts

This is the before and after for my hair cut. I loved having long hair but when it dries I can’t do much with it, so before my holiday began I visited my カリスマ美容師 (they call top stylists Charisma Stylists) in Aoyama. I love my hairstylist and the salon: There are only two women working in the whole place — and 50 stylists. My stylist is awesome. His name is Fuyuki and I’ve been seeing him for a few years, but I stopped coming for about 10 months to grow my hair…. Read More

Small symbols

On long strips of brightly colored paper couples, parents, children write their wishes then tie them to long bamboo poles which hang in the breeze over several days or weeks, totaling in the hundreds of thousands. Imagine all the wishes in the world made visible. Walk along the long city blocks and stop to read them as you please. I feel quite blessed to live in a place and at a time that almost every wish I read is for the happiness of another.  

What it feels like traveling (sometimes)

I got back the other evening on a late shinkansen. I walked into my home, immaculately clean, lay fresh sheets on the bed, took and shower and slept for sixteen hours uninterruptedly. I had set 15 posts to upload here automatically during my holiday, expecting to chime in from time to time with “cellphoneography”, but they stopped self-posting. I apologize for that. Once I started island hopping keeping a charge in my i-devices became a battle, so I shut down all mail and anything push; used the cell camera when the taking… Read More

Cellphoneography: Kyushu is the best

My visual diary of Tanegashima.