I leave the apartment in an hour, then leave the country 12 hours later. It’s been a great trip, especially as I wasn’t 100% sure about even making it right up until I boarded the plane in Glasgow.
Japan never ceases to impress and confuse in equal amounts. I’ve learned a lot this visit, about Japan and about myself, mainly because doing it alone has meant no place to hide… I’ve had no choice but to get stuck in, speak the language, and get involved. That part has been great.
I’ve had a few messages while I’ve been away asking “why Japan?”
After my first visit a few years ago I became fascinated with Japan’s cultural obsession with the changing seasons, something I’ve always been interested in as a photographer back in Scotland, so I decided I’d like to produce a book of photos of Japan in all four seasons, if I could. Since then that idea has expanded to include a comparison with Scotland’s attitudes to the changing seasons and how in many ways our seasons are similar but our attitudes to them are totally different.
I’ve been twice in late summer and, thanks to this trip, I’ve now been in autumn too, so I’m halfway there! Just winter and spring to go now 🙂
With every visit my plans for the book change, the ideas I have now are certainly different from what I had in mind when I left last summer and I’ve no doubt that they’ll change again next time I visit.
Winter will be interesting. Osaka is quite far south so to capture some truly wintery (snowy) scenes I may need to visit Hokkaido in the north. Moving away from my comfort zone here in Osaka will bring a whole new set of problems I’m sure. Spring with its fleeting Sakura season is famously brief, sometimes only lasting a week or two – and extremely busy – so that visit will require a lot of planning to make sure I don’t miss the cherry blossoms, but also, that I have a place to stay while I’m here! I’ll have to juggle probable dates for the Sakura several months in advance to have any hope of getting accommodation in what is arguably the busiest time of the year for tourism.
But that’s all in the future. Stay tuned to my facebook and Twitter pages to see the results of this visit over the coming weeks. Apologies in advance for the huge number of garden images, for the orange, red and golden leaves and for the moody cemetary shots!
I’ll leave you with an example of the confusion I mentioned earlier: