15 random shots, and 2 short vids, from Japan over the years . . .

I was just going through some old photos.  I hope you like these.  Every picture’s got a story, you know.  A few of these go back, way back for me, to 1984 during my first living experience in Japan as a college exchange student at Kansai Gaidai, a foreign language university in Hirakata-shi, about halfway between Osaka and Kyoto.

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Harvesting Rice. Tsuda (my little town near Hirakata, where I went to school). 1984. I lived with a "homestay family." Mom, Dad and Three Sisters. We stay in touch. Got an email from Yuko, one of my sisters, just last week. She was a just a kid way back then.

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Graffit on the big rock that tops Katanosan (Mount Katano). Katano, 1984. My little town, Tsuda, abutted Katano, which was home to Mt. Katano. It was more of a big hill than a mountain and a rigorous 30 minute hike would get you to the top. I hiked this many times, often with my friend Lori, from Mystic, Connecticutt, who lived nearby.

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The Maruyama River floods as typhoon sweeps through Central Japan. 1990. I took this pic in September 1990 when I was living in the community of Nii, town of Asago, in South Central Japan. My house was right near the river, but, fortunately, it didn't quite get to it. Twenty-one people were killed in this typhoon.

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Senjokaku Hall. Miyajima Island (just of the coast from Hiroshima). 2008. Just a few moments before, or after, I can't remember, I took this pic I made a short vid. You can watch that at the bottom of this post.

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Himeji Castle, Himeji. 2008. When I lived in Asago in 1990-91, I was only 90 or so minutes from Himeji, by way of the Bantan Line. I've visited Himeji Castle many times. This time, in May 2008, as guide for a group of history students from UAB.

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In 1986 and the first half of 1987, I worked for JVC Disc America Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I left to go to law school. In 1991, while I was again living in Japan I visited Kamakura, not too far from Tokyo, and met my former JVC boss, Mr. Hiramatsu, and Mr. Mochida, one of the Senior Engineers. We spent the day together, just whiling away the time. Wonderful gentlemen. And we visited the Great Buddha of Kamakura. I snapped this picture then.

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Lantern. Pontocho, Kyoto. 2006.

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Kinosaki Morning: A mom and baby. 2001. Kinosaki's a Hyogo Prefecture hot springs town up on the Sea of Japan. I used to go there quite often when I lived in Hyogo-ken back in 1990-91. This trip, in late September 2001, was with my then-spouse.

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Kinkakuji, "The Golden Pavilion." A slightly different view. 2008.

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Janitorial Workers. Shibuya Intersection. Tokyo. 2005.

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Old house in Higashi-Ikoma (near Nara). 2003.

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Shoes off before entering. Kurodani Temple. Kyoto. 2010.

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On the Eizan Line, nearing Kurama (30 minutes north of Kyoto). 2009.

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Girls on school field trip, Kiyomizu-dera. Kyoto, 2008.

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From our window. Hotel New Otania, Osaka. 2002. Osaka Castle, far left.

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A couple of very short vids I took in 2008.  I had been hired as “guide” for a Japan History Class trip for the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) for this May trip.

At Gembaku Domu (Atomic Bomb Dome), Hiroshima.  2008.

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Senjokoku (1,000 Mat Hall) & its 5-story pagoda, Miyajima Island.  2008.

  1. Although I know better (mostly from footage of natural disasters, the Winter Olympics, etc.), I am always surprised by the natural beauty of Japan.

    In my mind’s eye, the first image I picture is the crowded streets of Tokyo (that I also know only through news coverage).

      • letsjapan
      • February 18th, 2012

      That’s natural, Sheree, given the pop culture coverage in the West. But there’s so, very, very, very much more…
      I try to bring some smidgen of that to people through this site.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      R.

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