I like this old skool Chinese restaurant in Nakano, with bar seating, fake brick, and cooks in caps and uniforms. Plus the hot guy turning to face the camera seems interested in my photography.
As soon as these workers finished chopping down a 10 meter tree and scraping a 30 year house to fresh soil, a sudden downpour appeared like a biblical reaction to the plant violence. Kind of hot, no?
It rained so hard that the demolition worker wrings out his clothes. The rain looks fake because it’s so thick.
On New Year’s day, beginning just after midnight, many Japanese visit shrines, provide a small contribution, pray for less than 30 seconds, and buy a fortune. My friend took me to Adachi in northern Tokyo to a famous shrine the evening of January 1. You can see above that if you don’t like the fortune you receive, you can fold it up and tie it on a special stand that contains all the bad and just mediocre fortunes.
I left my fortune. And, under the guise of being a foreigner observing local customs, I couldn’t help but take this image of a Tokyo yankii leaving his fortune at the shrine. His mane of distressed hair, the fake fur sweatshirt color, the glitter, lack of warm clothes on a cold evening, and exposed backside somehow all added up to a good omen for the new year and new decade.
Oh, and inside my fortune, I found a (fake) gold plated trinket. Mine is considered especially lucky, a rake that symbolizes I will be “raking in” the money this year. I hope so!
The solstice is past, and yet fall lingers in Japan. Today it’s about 60 degrees (maybe 18 celcius) and humid. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but the photos above and below were taken just a few weeks ago.
The first three photos are from my favorite garden, Sentou Gosho, in Kyoto, designed by the 17th century artist and garden designer Enshuu Kobori. His designs are masterful– wandering paths, reflecting ponds, tea houses, stone and earthen bridges, thousands of flat stones mimicking the ocean shore. For all the glory of the impeccably manicured trees, moss and structures, some of the most astonishing sites are at foot-level.
The leaves include (Japanese) maple and ginko. The colors and patterns are brilliant. Given the large gardening staff, even fallen leaves can be considered designed. Their ephemeral nature adds to the beauty.
Perhaps these photos can inspire some ceramic designs.
I have to add this bizarre photo below. Despite the glory of kilometers of mature ginko trees turning gold, the city authorities deem it important to mark autumn with these hideous plastic leaves. Why?