Posts Tagged: Kyoto

25 Days in Tokyo—14 to 16: Kyoto the Human

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs. This series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching person or scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries.

Exactly one year ago, give or take a day, my wife and I went to Kyoto for three nights. We stayed in a traditional room at a ryokan in Gion. My wife had always wanted to see Kyoto, and I really wanted her to. But I’m a die-hard fan of Japanese pop culture as opposed to Japanese traditional culture, so I have always been ambivalent about going there. Now I’m glad I did, because it’s a lovely town and I’d like to see it again. Kyoto is smaller than Tokyo, and does not seem quite as frenetic and cramped. And the people seem friendlier, warmer, easier with a smile.

Perhaps they’ve been conditioned to be that way by the constant stream of tourists through the city. But my instincts told me that Kyoto gets so many tourists, at least in part, because its people are just that way naturally.

November 14th

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Shijō Dōri, Gion

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Issen Yōshoku, a restaurant in Gion

November 15th

  Hanamikoji Dori, Gion, Kyoto 2015

Rehearsing here on Hanamikōji Dōri for some kind of video shoot

  Gion, Kyoto, Japan 2015

Yamato Oji Dōri, Gion

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Togetsukyō Bridge, Arashiyama

 November 16th

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Firefighters, Gion (Gionmachi Minamigawa)

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Shijō Dōri, Gion

(Kyoto, Japan 2015)

Kyoto, in motion and at rest

I was wandering around Gion, Kyoto one morning last November, checking out what kind of activity beats in Japan’s cultural heart before the typical white collar work day begins. It was a Tuesday around 8:30 a.m. Most shops and restaurants in Gion don’t open that early so it seemed like only essential infrastructural stuff was happening.

There was this fellow and his crew, installing a new hunk of concrete among the paving stones on Shinbashi Dori to replace the frame around a manhole cover leading to a storm drain…

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Around the corner on Yamato Oji Dori, this fellow was taking a smoke break from unloading construction materials from the back of the truck he was in. One of his co-workers was slumped down asleep in the seat next to him. They were parked in front of a restaurant which looked like it was being renovated…

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And that was just a morning, in passing, in a city the definitely sleeps but also gets up early and ready to work.

(Gion, Kyoto, Japan 2015)