A pleasant enough day for a picnic in the park, and an opportunity to ponder a predicament or problem that has possibly already been pondered plenty of times in the past.
With its conspicuously empty corridors,
and truly awful exhibits,
the Japan Snake Centre’s staggering abundance of ashtrays at least offer the smoker some sort of respite from the almost overwhelming miserableness of a barely-functioning-but-somehow-still-open-for-business facility and the horrible plight of its poorly housed alligators, wild boars and of course snakes.
But amazingly even this pales into insignificance when one enters the parts of the place that have actually stopped being used — as opposed to just appearing that way. And in particular, a room where, at least according to some of the letters left behind, a Mr Toba once worked.
A small, rather dark area that, despite its confined nature, is home to an absolute multitude of horrors, namely jar after increasingly sickening snake-filled jar.
In which some of the specimens are packed in.
Whereas others are left to lie alone.
With what relatively little light there was sometimes contriving to clearly display the containers increasingly disconcerting contents.
Samples that, despite the slight distraction of scientific stuff,
of some form or another, were simply impossible to ignore.
Especially as not only were they everywhere,
but some of them were quite a size too.
And yet even this nightmarish scenario wasn’t as bad as the room next door. An even smaller space stacked to the ceiling with unsealed plastic containers.
All full of the now horribly familiar.
Even the sink contained them.
A sight that whilst unpleasant, was nowhere near as repulsive as the smell — a stench so overpowering and putrid that I actually came very close to vomiting, making the return to Toba-san’s old room almost pleasant. Although not pleasant enough to consider a couple of cute-shaped cakes,
or, regardless of its apparent tastiness, some coffee.
For fans of horrible things in jars, there are other haikyo/abandoned building explorations on this site that feature a similarly contained brain, or, for the (arguably) slightly less squeamish, a mouse.
When it comes to the street photography seen on so much of this site, I generally have no qualms in quite often surreptitiously snapping people as they busily go about their business, but in regards to Tokyo’s increasingly visible homeless, picture taking seems somehow exploitative, or at the very least invasively voyeuristic.
And yet at the same time, with the number of those living on the streets rapidly growing, combined with very little support or assistance — and sometimes even a hindering of what help there actually is — it feels like to not photograph them, and therefore their plight, is to be equally culpable in what could easily be classed as a cruel and uncaring cover up.
So here, for what they are worth, are a few,
of the unfortunately not so very,
It’s difficult to know whether the owners of this restaurant were looking to recreate some sort of roman-esque banquet space, or the lounging noodle lover is a nod to something I simply know nothing about, but either way, as far as promotional pictures go, it’s arguably not particularly appealing.