Thursday, April 24, 2008

Traveling Round Japan

As with everyone, I've long been digital, camera and every other wise. But have a few photos from when I first traveled overseas - after I left school and before I went to uni for the first time. And been scanning them into my puter.

And I've been very struck by those I took in Japan. I still have such vivid memories of my often unexpected and unpredicted experiences. Like running from a shoe shop where I was overwhelmed by the 10,000 styles to choose from. Squeezing into tiny and crowded 20-customer bars in Shinjuku in Tokyo. And spending the night in the vast mattressed sleeping room of a gay sauna ('Senja'), to be woken in the morning by a guy standing on his head wanting me to give him a blow job - no gymnastics at all were required of me. Do you fully get the idea?! A pretty great way to start the day - I recommend it!

So with all that, I'll try not to post any of the usual 'classic' travel shots I took - but some more off-beat things.

When I arrived, I stayed in a suburb of Tokyo with a great friend in what must be one of the very last traditional wooden houses in the capital. Beyond the sliding entrance screens was a stone anti-chamber platform centred by a well - living spaces to the left and right.

Then I was off to another good friend ... in Nagoya. To find this enormous symbolic straw horse, sheltered in its bamboo stable ...

... and some Sumo wrestlers, somewhat paradoxically contexted emerging from cars parked at the base of Nagoya Castle ...

... and, less surprisingly, a traditional raked 'stone' garden.

Kyoto was next.

I loved the electric orange accents everywhere in a temple complex ...

... and the more than accent of colour at the Golden Temple.

And finally Nara, the first permanent capital of the nation, which was founded in 710 and originally known as Heijo.

I was on my own here which may explain why I took one of the prayer spoons home rather than sacrificially burn it in the temple cauldron.

Nara is small and hilly. And one morning just after dawn I went walking. And came across a temple in a valley. Where in the first courtyard was a group of around 20 seated observers listening to an orchestra accompanying a woman dancing. The photo is lousy cos I didn't want to be the ugly tourist intrusively angling to get a better one.

This photo of Koi Carp inspired me ...

... to a similar set when I was in the Philippines last year, and which I posted at the time ...

Makati, Manila, The Philippines

... and again to further shots in Sydney, recently.

Billyard House, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney

Strange, the far-reaching influences of travel!!!

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