Tag Archives: travel

#CaliforniaStrong

A  Californian beach.

Thinking of you, California.

Beach with a large rock and a tourist.

Morro Bay, 1995, further north of where the soon-to-be-fully-contained fire is at the moment. Bottom photo was taken by a friend of mine who also did the driving throughout our care-free road trip along the coast line. As you can see, she caught me in the perfect Kodak moment tilting the famous Morro rock.

Images were photographed with a single-use, most probably water resistant camera I used a lot in those days, and casually handed over for processing at local Target. Back then I didn’t think much of my creative inclinations, in fact I thought of them as the source of all my troubles and in most part I treated them accordingly.

Many years later in 2012, I decided to pamper my creativity with a high-end film scanner (rented), and discovered the negatives in progressed decay. Lines, scratches and uneven colors, they hinted at everything that happens only once.
Now, in December 2017, as California finds itself in flames again, I dug up the photos and gave them the suitable “vintage postcard” edit, then messed them up a bit, to near the creative disaster. Why, it’s a play, to be slightly off balance so your foot no choice lands forward. Well I was thinking of California I know, the foreign land always felt like a well worn pair, appreciating every minute I spent, submerged in the air of adventurousness and experimentation the land so eagerly, and effortlessly permits.

Dried persimmons from Sado Island made me think of.

Sea gulls over water surface.

Here’s a joke. Don’t feel offended.
A Turk
goes to see a doctor.
He tells him:
“When I touch my body with my finger, it hurts.
When I touch my head, it hurts,
my legs, it hurts,
my belly, my hand, it hurts.”
The doctor examines him then tells him:
“Your body’s fine
but your finger’s broken!”

    – Abbas Kiarostami, Taste of Cherry (1997)

Sea gulls over dark water surface.

I decided December will be a movie month. I’m gonna watch as many Kiarostami films. Maybe not all though, save some for later, ‘cause no more coming from the maestro.

Photos are from my trip to Sado, early August 2003. Shot, with a single use camera I got in a hurry at a kiosk somewhere, from the last ferry boat of the day, my way back to Tokyo. On the isle time passed like a deep sea current, with the kind of depth that does not weigh. I watched for a long time the fading silhouettes, its picturesque rocks and the dark sea widening between us.

Yesterday I closed my eyes and consumed a semi dried persimmon from the island. Sugar in the fruit spoke to me in Sado, and the characters I met there came to life again: silver-scaled sushi fishes in clear teal sea that gets cold at 3pm sharp, a crane with black and red design who had to nearly brush this tourist’s windshield, a coffee at the goldmine that came with a surprise gold flake floating.
Then I thought of the film, words between a man and his third passenger, the depth that doesn’t bind. And the director who passed last July, the way he used time as his medium, and the subtext that does not force meaning.

(The persimmon in question is sold under the name “Anpo”. Melty on the inside, look for the ones from the island.)

A hand crafted purse with waves.

Photographed and uploaded to Flickr on January 28, 2015, revised edit made on February 14, 2021.
The purse itself was created circa 2004, out of vintage futon fabric I found during my visit to the island in early August 2003. The peak season with very few tourists, I was often alone, the only car on the road.

The place has a unique history as an island of exile, “…was a place of banishment for those who had fallen out of favor with the rulers of the day. More than 70 people—notably aristocrats and artists—were exiled here” (within “” from Smithsonian magazine).

Strange, felt like home there. I wrote a bit about my visit on: Dried persimmons from Sado Island made me think of.

Published on February 14, last edited on February 15, 2021.

Shades of Holidays 2013

Christmas decorations in London.
Pheasant feathers.
Pheasant feathers.
Pheasant feathers.

On my way to apple store, London UK somewhere, fully lit and ready for Holidays (top), and macro shots of vintage pheasant, preserved perfectly, a gift given to me earlier this year (thank you).
Best Wishes for the last bit of 2013 and beyond.

Reflection of a photographer on a shop window, Brighton, UK.

Top: Brighton, UK, November 27, 2013. Posted the VSCO-edited version to VSCO on November 28, 2018. This here is the same photo recently edited with Lightroom.
Bottom: Beachy Head chalk cliff, UK, also on November 27, 2013. Posted on one of my Tumblr accounts on November 28, 2018. Edited with Lightroom. I used to tilt the frame a lot.

Film “Quadrophenia” reference:

Beachy Head is where the main character Jimmy, a “mod”, hurls, off the cliff, the flashy scooter that belongs to “Ace” the head mod – “face”, according to original mod glossary of terms.
 Not Ace, not himself, but the scooter – a symbolical gesture, my take anyways.

The film was released in 1979, assuming was shot around the same time. I found it remarkable that the place looked exactly as I’ve seen in the film. Kudos to the Brits for not messing with the landscape.

To those of you who made my trip possible-memorable; you have my gratitude.

Published here with text on March 28, 2022.

Beachy Head chalk cliff at sundown.

To West and Back


Sea surface with rocks.

This year summer arrived late. Right when it did, I headed west in my little Honda. Along the coast of the Great Channel of Far East (formally known as Japan Sea), until I hit the region called San-in, “in the shadow of mountains”.

I’ve taken city street, cutting through “Japan Alps” at midnight (not the smartest idea), so as to really hear cicadas sing, millions of trillions of them. Each and every mount tall and small buzzed like it is a space craft about to take off, sound that goes well with the blazing summer sun.

Mountain with green trees.
Clear sea shore.
Yellow summer daisies.
Sea surface at sunset.

Beaches of San-in have minimum dose of concrete holding them in. Mounds of thriving woods in sharp angles and rocky little picturesque islands grow out of glassy teal sea. They perch at the edge of water, appearing wild, but also somewhat reserved. Polite yet unrestricted, the harmonious anarchy.

While treading water impressed, ocean decided to rush into my snout, sending an army of microorganisms as plenty as cicadas in summer hills, on a mission to unlock my senses from inside out. Thanks to them the buzzing intensified, and for a few moments I felt I could almost ‘get’ what their song is all about.

From top:

1 and 2 – Tango Peninsula, Kyoto

3 – Yasugi Beach, Hyogo

4 – Aizu South, Fukushima

5 – Kasumi, Hyogo

All photographed earlier this month.
Heartfelt “Thank You!!” to all of you generous souls I encountered during my trip.

コンクリで護岸処理をしてある海岸線を通ると、セーラー服着用を義務づけられた6年間を思い出す。着たとたんに魂の電源が切れるというか、情熱に石棺処理を施されたような息苦しい感覚である。もちろん世の中には正反対の反応をなさる方もたくさんおられるようなのでこれはごく個人的な問題なのだけれども、不自由感を感じていないふりを自分にしないとやってゆけなかったから余計話はややっこしかったのだ。

新潟の海岸線はコンクリ使用量がとても多いようで、もったいない話だが制服トラウマの再燃に追い立てられる様にいつもあわてて通り過ぎてしまう。どこか影のある北陸を過ぎ若狭湾をこえたあたりで突然当方に変化が起きる。肺が勝手に深呼吸をしチョウチョの様にぱたぱたと羽ばたき始めるような胸いっぱいの開放感の発症である。

『山陰』という名前からはほど遠く明るくひらけた京都から兵庫、鳥取あたりのあの一帯には前述の護岸処理はあまり見当たらない。すくなくとも当方はもうそれどころではなくて、叫ぶような蝉たちの鳴き声にのって自らが飛び立っていってしまいそうで、一杯空気を吸い込んで軽くなった肺胞が風船の様に勝手に空を目指してしまいそうで、そんななかば宙に浮いた視界に入ってくるのは、石庭のような波紋を描く水面から生える、みっちりとはち切れそうな緑に覆われた小さな山々や日本画から抜け出たような岩の数々から、発車寸前の宇宙船のように響き渡る蝉の声が太陽光線といっしょになってすべてを震わせ前述の生き埋め感覚を木っ端みじんに粉砕する、そんな一大事な真夏の光景なのである。

上から、
写真1、2 丹後半島 京都府
写真3 安木浜 兵庫県
写真4 南会津 福島県
写真5 香住 兵庫県

写真はすべて今月はじめ頃に撮影。
旅行中こんな当方に親切にして下さった皆様に心から感謝いたします。