In addition to photographing nature, temples and shrines, my favorite subjects are neighborhoods that are historic, have lots of character or are a bit run down.
Many mornings I walk the 3.3 kilometers with my husband from our Bohemian, but chi-chi, Shinmachi neighborhood in Osaka to the Nishikujo Station he takes to work.
We leave around 6 a.m. and explore different streets and neighborhoods along the way that are not filled with quaint coffee shops and boutiques my beloved neighborhood touts.
Then I take the train to an interesting station and just walk around taking pictures or finding a new tea shop to rest, eat and people watch.
Walking is such a great way to see things you normally miss zipping by in a car. The plethora of details of this packed city of Osaka expose themselves to the observant eye on foot.
As much as I love the awe-inspiring modern mega Osaka City Station or Namba, I love the authentic places where working class people live and work. Where the real Japan and its fabulous culture is witnessed and make great photographs!
One of my favorite places to roam around Osaka is the Tsutenaku Tower and Shin-Sekai Market neighborhood in the Naniwa Ward. I’m leading a street photography tour and workshop there on November 26 for the Community House and Information Center in Kobe.
After getting off at the bustling Tennoji Station in the morning, we will have tea or coffee and I will talk about how to take better pictures, be it with an I-phone (my favorite!) or a fancy camera (heavy but nice!). It’s all about seeing, and seeing light!
We will walk around photographing, then cut through the nostalgic Tennoji Park to Shin-Sekai,新世界, which literally means new world. It sits on the former site of the 1903, 5th National Industrial Fair and is replete with retro cafes oozing sizzling scents and folksy sites as far as the eye can see.
Tsutenkaku Tower, once the tallest in Asia, was erected in 1912 and was modeled after the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The area was heavily bombed by Allied forces during World War II. The tower burned down in 1943 and was rebuilt in 1956.
We will then walk up to that Mecca of pop culture, Nipponbashi neighborhood, with its countless games, anime, fan comics, cosplay, figure and toy shops. After lunch we will visit the eclectic Namba Yasaka Jinja Shrine, famous for its giant 12m tall and 11 m wide image of a lion.
We will finish at the back side of Namba Station, another massive hub of human activity and endless photo opportunities. Plenty of inexpensive taxis and subways (and great photo ops!) for transportation make it all so easy!
I love Japan. It’s busy-ness of design and tiny things, kawaii cuteness at every turn, clean and safe, and NICE PEOPLE make it so delightful! NICE PEOPLE. Can I say that enough times?
Join me for some great photo taking fun!