Last week I was in Japan’s Kansai region to explore and photograph Osaka again, along with a brief hop over to Hyogo prefecture. There was, however, also time for a short evening stroll in Kyoto, and despite the weather not being the best, we did manage to see a little of the old and traditional in some of the city’s lesser known areas. So here then is a small series of photos from the country’s former capital.
The full, unrestricted return over the weekend of one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals was a real sign that the capital is now well on the way to being how it was before the pandemic. A mostly maskless affair that was lovely to see for its many sights, inked skin and quieter moments on the sidelines.
Below then are a small selection of photos from Asakusa’s Sanja Matsuri. Scenes that are a little bit different from the usual stuff I focus on, but in some ways they also feel quite familiar.
This fantastically old and crumbling section of Tokyo’s subway system is a firm favourite of mine. It’s patched up beyond belief, there’s piping all over the place, and even if you don’t see them, you can hear rats running around behind the wall panels. Oh, and there’s that bit of protruding rock in the background too. A wonderfully unintended feature that was a key part of another kimono photo I took back in 2018. It’s here if you’d like to see it.
Opting to try and incorporate the mirror rather than an immovable object this time, I was lucky enough to witness a kimono wearer once again. A scene that, were it not for the mask, could arguably have been taken decades, rather than just days ago.
The hustle and bustle of Tokyo is often mesmerising, but every now and again, quiet moments are as essential as they are soothing.