This is the second part to my blog about my 2016 trip to Japan. Being my second trip I was so much more confident and comfortable with the idea of being in Japan and exploring with no assistance. Just me and my wits. Oh and my camera of course. So I was well prepared. I have done this before. I got this!
The key difference this trip compared to the last was that I was visiting more than one city. In fact, I was visiting three. Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. So this time I brought with me a pre-purchased Japan Rail Travel Pass. This allowed me to use the interconnecting rail services between cities. Japan has a population of around 130 million people packed in tight. So they need an effective transportation method. And Japan’s rail service is amazing. Their rail networks are complex but accessible. And don’t forget the Shinkansen fast trains which are crazy impressive. Even just seeing one pull into and out of the station is incredible. The world needs to take note of this. Especially Melbourne.
So in case you missed the last blog about day 1, here is a recap. On my own. Kids at home with my family. Long flight. Hot. Wet. Spent the first full day in Osaka and was out day and night shooting street. Day 2 was here and it was time to mix a little sight-seeing with some street work. I was headed to Osaka Castle. I was up and about early. Osaka was only just waking up and there were still people walking out of bars after all-nighters. Who has the energy? A quick subway ride and I was on my way.
The camera gear, my 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. The XF 18 – 135 is a great and versatile lens but I was not that happy with its low light performance from the night before. It is still a good lens. But struggles compared to the F1.4 primes at night. And it is a heavy piece of glass. Not compared to other brands of zoom lenses but still heavy for a Fujifilm lens.
19 September 2016
Hey monkey chops!
Day 2 is well under way! Checked out early this morning after eating scrambled eggs with chop sticks. My beard caught most of it. Classy. Early stroll through town and then took the subway to Tanimachi. Then a walk through an impressive park (koēn) to Osaka Castle. Wow! Just wow! The outer wall and moat alone we just staggering in size! Then the inner ground and enormous iron plated gates were made as though for giants.
One block of stone was so enormous it was the size of two buses stacked one on top of the other. Impressive engineering and design. The castle itself is stunning.
Just grabbing some lunch now and then am going to the Osaka Museum of History before collecting my luggage and heading to Kyoto.
Have taken a lot of photos. Almost 2,000 already in RAW format – filling up a 64Gb card. Speaking of photos, I have made cameo appearances in dozens of shots with locals. They can’t get enough of this ginger ninja!
19 September 2016
Hi again. Sorry for the barrage of emails but not sorry! Will use these emails as my journal of travel.
Anyway, the Osaka Museum of History was amazing. Where a lot of museums are on sprawling sites, this one was in a skyscraper of ultra modern design! It was built on the site of a 600AD village. Preserved through impressive architecture and building processes. You can see the foundations of the village through the glass floor of the ground floor level.
Such an impressive snapshot of Japanese culture and history. Incredible really. They also had a special exhibition on about the Shogun that built Osaka Castle.
Whilst I was inside the weather turned foul! So I cheated and got a taxi back to my hotel where my bags are stored. But first…hanging out with two guys who run a teeny weeny bar/restaurant opposite my hotel. They are funny and once again find myself making connections through the common language of smiles and laughter. Oh, and they have, without doubt, the coolest toilet in the world!
G over and out! Peace! xx
One thing about this trip is that I struggled a lot with my feet being so sore. I had really good walking shoes on the whole time but I think a combination of the heat and humidity and the long hours of walking really took their toll. I found myself wanting to give up on the day much sooner than I had hoped. But, I turned this to my advantage. I would head back to my hotel, take a long soak in the bath with a beer, and then grab a nap before making the most of the evenings. God I sound like an old man.
So that wraps up my time in Osaka. At least until I return there at the very end of my trip as I fly out from Osaka to get back home. A huge city and I only got to see and experience a tiny little bit of it. I have often thought that I could spend a year in Japan and still not even touch the surface. Perhaps that is why I feel the need to return there on a regular basis. I have a taste for it, a hint of the flavour, but still crave more. Stay tuned for more blogs about my travels. Happy shooting.