In September of 2016 I took my second trip to Japan. Seems to me that it is becoming an annual pilgrimage as I have just booked my trip to Tokyo for later in 2017! I was flying solo again. My children were in the safe hands of my family back in Melbourne. In 2015 I had spent a week in Tokyo (check out my blogs). But this time I intended to see more of this incredible country and to capture as much as I could with my camera.
After a long and hot flight I landed in Osaka on a wet morning. Once I made the journey from the airport to the city, I quickly parked my luggage at my hotel and wasted no time in hitting the streets. My camera was my trusted Fujifilm X-T1. Along with this I had the Fujinon XF 16mm F1.4 WR, the Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 and the Fujinon XF 18 – 135mm zoom.
It was hot in Japan and so humid that I often felt like I was struggling to get through the day. One of the things I regret about my first trip to Tokyo is that I did not keep any sort of travel journal. So this time I decided that whenever I stopped for a rest I would email my family and children with a brief summary of my journey.
I had recently re-read these and decided that I would turn them into a blog along with photos that I had taken at the time of writing. Below are my first two messages to my family to describe my first day in Osaka.
18 September 2016
Arrived in Osaka at 9am this morning after a very, very long flight. No sleep so currently running on fumes! It is a cloudy and rainy day but by no means a cold place as a result. Osaka is huge and walking the streets makes you feel like you are in the bottom of a very large canyon. Buildings everywhere. Twisty roads and over head walkways. And it seems like all their freeways are elevated at lest 30 meters above street level. It is all so intense.
I went to the Yodobashi department store. They sell consumer goods and gadgets… Except this store occupies a whole city block. Massive floor space and 9 floors of gadgets! Heaven.
I managed to find a Studio Ghibli store – the kids will be pleased to know. Just getting my bearings this arvo and then tonight I am heading to the big night life district – lots of restaurants and bright lights.
Hope all is well. Please give my monkeys a big kiss and squeeze. G xxx
The very next morning sitting at the table eating my breakfast I wrote to my family again about the rest of my previous night in Osaka.
19 September 2016
Good morning family. Squeezes to my babies.
It rained a lot last night. But I didn’t let that stop me. The beauty of my Fujifilm camera is that it and the lenses are weather sealed.
So with that in mind I walked through expansive and seriously long shopping precincts to the holy grail of gamers! Den Den Town. If it is a gadget then they have it. One street in particular saw store after store of gaming products. One, that has been on my bucket list since a young man, Mr Super Potato! Go figure! This 5 level store was packed floor to ceiling on every floor with Nintendo games, consoles and fan service both old and new! Keep in mind that Nintendo is a Japanese company with over a century of history. These guys had it all. Amazing.
And lots of brilliant opportunities for street photography with the masses all carrying their pearly white umbrellas and paying no heed to the weather. Although they all seem to take a double look at the ginger bearded freak walking amongst them.
Today I intend to visit Osaka Castle and some of the temples around Osaka. Have decided to leave Hiroshima until later in the week as my lengthy wait in the customs and immigration queue yesterday took a chunk out of my day. I can adapt.
The people of Osaka are beautiful. Peaceful, patient and willing to do anything to understand what I am seeking or need. I took a taxi home from Den Den last night as my feet were bloody stumps! The driver was so helpful in trying to first understand my poor translation of my Japanese hotel and then in getting me there. The people are in no rush. So nice to slow down and match their pace. Our own world has become too hasty and impatient and a bit nasty as a result.
Anyway, I am off. Places to be. Photos to take. Love to all. xxxx
So that concludes my first journal entry in Osaka. Hardly anything to it really. But when paired with the images from that day, they tell a story. And it was fresh and real rather than a recollection. I have decided for this blog series to post all of my black and white photos from this trip. Soon I will be posting further entries about this trip along with more of my photos. Happy shooting.