Jul 30, 2020
I am fascinated by the borderlands where nature begins to take back the works of man. In this photograph taken in Minamisenju at the south end of Arakawa City, nature seems to have approached from the right and is washing against the shores of human activity on the left.
Roof Tiles and Rain Chains
Apr 29, 2020
I love Japanese roof tiles. Their texture, shape, glaze and colours are a major contributor to the appeal of temples and other traditional Japanese buildings. Another fascinating element of such buildings are the rain chains, or kusari-doi, that so much more elegantly deal with off-roof water flow than the usual drainpipe. This photograph is of part of the Jyokan-ji temple near Minowa Station. It lies right on the boundary of the Arakawa and Tatio wards which is a fascinating area to explore
Apr 13, 2020
You do not have to travel far from the polished city centre before you start to see shops and stores that have been shuttered for the last time. Whilst it can be sad to see, and often fills my mind with the ghosts of happier days, the slow ageing of the materials is beautiful in its own right.
Mar 06, 2020
There is something tidy and considerate about the Japanese people. It is something I became aware of on my first visit and something that I feel has improved the way I behave. In this scene you can see that even on the edges of the big city the ubiquitous vending machines are used to a much greater extent than the provided bins can cope with. And yet the discarded tins are arranged as neatly as can be managed, awaiting collection and recycling.…
Feb 22, 2020
Rust is a universal sign of decay, and it may suprise some that you do not have to travel far in Tokyo to see it. Here, in northern Tokyo, two well rusted bicycles stand guard outside an apparantly abandoned store like the guardian sentinals outside a shrine. You can see rust stains on the road suggesting the bikes have been in situ for quite some time, giving the impression the road is rarely travelled.…
Feb 08, 2020
Not all buildings in Tokyo are big, bright and new. Some homes, stores and businesses really are from a different age, and it is suprising how little distance you have to travel to find them. This is an example from Arakawa.
Joyful Shopping Street
Dec 10, 2019
Whilst not necessarily “Joyful” as such, I always find it a joy to discover these covered shopping streets, or shotengai, that still cater for their local communities. There are numerous little stores selling all manner of produce and services. And above them are often the residences of the store owners. This one, actually called the Joyful Minowa Shopping Street, is in Minamisenju and my favourite way to get there is to take the Arakawa Tram to the terminus at Minowabashi.…
Apr 25, 2019
Around the back of the Jōkan-ji temple is a door behind which are stored the remains of a great many women whose sad story is well worth looking into.
Moss and Octopus
Apr 02, 2019
I was sad to pass this small bar in Minamisenju when it was closed, and have made a note to return during its opening hours. I cannot read the real name but have labelled it for myself as the Moss and Octopus.