This is the 3rd and final post about my trip to Japan. I'd just like to thank those of you that have read and responded to my previous posts, the response has been amazing!
For those of you that haven't read the first two posts, here are links to them:
Anyway, let's get to the post! It's going to have some pretty "touristy" sections, and then some much more serious, thought provoking sections. Hope you like it!
I just want to get the ball rolling with this photo. This one one of my favourite street shots from Japan:
Tokyo is probably more saturated in markets than it is Anime. I swear, you could close your eyes, spin in a circle, walk 100M any direction and find a market within 10 minutes. And they sell everything at these markets. Clothes, food, perfume, sex toys (yes really), and even fresh fish. What's also pretty fascinating about these markets is that everything is 100% legit. The DVDs for sale at the markets are 100% legit, non-pirated DVDs. Same applies to the designer clothes, the perfumes, and I assume the fish as well (I had to).
The Japanese are tired people...
I've done some travelling in my life, and I've never, ever seen such a tired group of people. I've gone to South Korea as well, where the kids have school from 6am-11pm, and even there, the people didn't seem as tired as the Japanese.
The Japanese work really, really hard. They're not lazy like we are here in South Africa. They work. As such, they're generally a lot more tired than what I think they should be. I can't tell you how often I'd see people asleep on the subway. In fact, I often saw it in coffee shops as well. I'd walk through the shop looking for a spot and see a dude passed out, head hanging on his chest, at his table. This was not an uncommon sight, and it's not frowned upon or laughed at like it is here either.
I mean, seriously, look at this guy. This was right in the middle of a public walkway:
This is just a short segment. I saw a lot of Japanese people wearing masks (for pollution, I assume). I only thought on my last day to get some good portraits of people wearing these masks:
Full Scale Gundam
So this is one of those "Really Japan?" sections. I visited a man-made island in Tokyo call Odaiba, and what did a I see there? I full scale, life size Gundam model. Gundam is an anime series, so, you know, let's build a full size model.
When I saw this thing, I could only think one thing: What the heck, Japan?
The island also has its own Lady Liberty. Weird. I saw this one by accident:
Some more of the stuff I went there for:
Man, the Japanese love festivals. Holy SMOKES. I saw 3 different festivals BY ACCIDENT in the time that I was there. And they're totally ridiculous in how they dress as well. That's a toilet in the first pic:
The bystanders really enjoy it as well:
The cold, lonely subway...
I can't help but feel like the subway in Tokyo is the loneliest place on the planet earth. It's a stack of people crammed into a box, and none of them say a word to each other, but bury their faces into their phone, checking tweets, emails, and playing countless hours of games. On the one hand, I understand social protocol, but on the other hand, it bums me out. So the next few shots just sort of illustrate that.
My Favourite shot:
So I think I have a favourite shot from my trip. Let me first explain why I like this shot so much before I show it to you (you just scrolled down and looked at it, didn't you? :P ).
So I was on the train, and there was a kid sitting on the opposite side of this particular carriage. He was looking at me, and he was making weird things with his hands, like little characters and stuff. So I picked up my hands and tried to copy him. He eventually showed me slowly, from that side of the carriage, one finger at a time. I felt like I really connected with this kid. I think I connected with him more than I did with anyone else in Tokyo, even though I never spoke a word to him. His nature was just so perfect. So after trying and failing miserably, I picked up my camera and gestured to him that he make the characters again, so he made one, and this is the shot:
So that's it. These 3 blog posts do a pretty good job at capturing my trip to Japan. You'll see that I didn't do much of the touristy stuff - I don't have photos of a million temples, I don't have photos of octopus testicles (yeah, that's a thing they eat), I don't have much of that sort of thing.
This trip was so good, and I'm glad I went. I got to shoot what I never get to shoot, and I got to see how I could never, EVER travel to a non-English country on my own again, purely because I'd get so lonely.
These aren't all the photos, nor are they all the stories. That's all stuff I'll still share here and there in the coming weeks.
I hope you liked this series. I really enjoyed putting this together for you, and the response has been amazing so far.
Like I said before - leave a comment, drop me a tweet, heck, give me a call and let me know what you think.