Tag Archive for japan

New shirts supporting environmental causes

I’ve been wanting to make these sorts of things for a very long time, and finally I have the opportunity to do so. I’m really excited to do two things at once: one, create something that people can use to promote protecting the environment; two, educate with a real example. A sample of the products:

ABlyth Art Series, Burning Skies & Yokkaichi Skies products

ABlyth Art Series, Burning Skies & Yokkaichi Skies products

This photo of the ventilation towers was taken in Yokkaichi Japan, which was once the most polluted cities in the country. The most prominent problem was in the 1960’s to 1980’s was “Yokkaichi Asthma”. The cause was SOx being released from the petrochemical plants at the harbour where this photo was taken. Today, Yokkaichi people enjoy cleaner air and water, because of a change in government and corporate policies; a change that can be done anywhere in the world. Japan’s major petrochemical companies, oil imports, and petrol refineries are still in Yokkaichi, and are still in operation, but with filters, cleaners, and improved operation standards. There were really three groups involved, the public, government, and corporations, and it was the public that forced the government and corporations to re-align their priorities.

The message has been made into t-shirts for both men and women, into bags that can be worn over your jumpers/sweaters, and with and without text. Consider getting the no-text version, and write your own message over the top with white paint.

Also, watch this space and signup for newsletters at http://ablyth-shop.com. Other things you might like:

ABlyth branded products

ABlyth branded products

 

Our Photo of the Year 2017

JPA Photo of the Year 2017

JPA Photo of the Year 2017

The JapanesePhotos.Asia Photo of the Year is this with Eri (model & actress), with makeup by Akiko. It’s been a busy year, and I wish I could credit everyone who has helped me. Among the many wonderful people I want to thank Ksara (MUA) especially for her fantastic work, energy, and enthusiasm. May everyone have a wonderful 2018. Also updated on the JapanesePhotos Instagram at: http://bit.ly/2BJTvZH.

10 Things Every Traveller to Japan Needs

What’s in the bag: Travellers’ edition

When you spend a day out in Japan, what do you really need to carry with you? What do other traveller’s themselves take? Here’s that video, and leave your comments below or on the YouTube channel.

Here’s the iHerb discount link for you: http://www.iherb.com?rcode=WZC316.

City of Ghosts on display at the Nagoya Foreign Artists Exhibition FAE2017

This is the first display by me for a few years. Please come and check it out, perhaps meet me, and see many other wonderful work by other expat artists. Details:

I’ll be there on Wednesday afternoon, late Friday, and some of Saturday and Sunday. This collection will expand in the coming year or so with more photos relating to this concept.

FAE2017 City of Ghosts exhibition panel

FAE2017 City of Ghosts exhibition panel

About the series

A film expert discovered the first colour footage taken of London. After reviewing this footage, he felt that whilst cities are permanent, in fact London has changed little since 1927, the people are constantly changing. Our lives are fleeting and transient, and so he said that people are like ghosts passing through the city. In fact, we live our lives, and carry out our affairs with earnest, energy, seriousness, and with hard determination. All of our struggles, achievements, disasters, love, loss, happiness, sadness, and more are lived out in these spaces called ‘a city’. However, what remains of our individual lives after we die? Very little. The architecture, the monuments, the transport spaces, offices, work spaces, the market spaces, the houses, and the culture of the people who survive today, which will be passed on and tweaked by each new generation. Otherwise, there is no memory of the individual people will remain, except for a few monuments. Even though we are alive now, we are already merely ghosts passing through the permanence of the city space.



Um especialista em cinema descobriu as primeiras imagens a cores tiradas de Londres. Depois de revisar estas filmagens, ele sentiu que enquanto cidades são permanentes, de fato, Londres mudou pouco desde 1927, as pessoas estão constantemente mudando. A nossas vidas são fugazes e transitórias e, portanto, ele disse que as pessoas são como fantasmas passando pela cidade. Na verdade, vivemos as nossas vidas e realizamos nossos assuntos com ânsia, energia, seriedade e com determinação. Todas as nossas lutas, conquistas, desastres, amor, perda, felicidade, tristeza e mais, são vividos nesses espaços chamados de “cidade”. No entanto, o que resta das nossas vidas individuais depois de morrer? Muito pouco. A arquitetura, os monumentos, os espaços de transporte, os escritórios, os espaços de trabalho, os espaços de mercado, as casas e a cultura das pessoas que sobrevivem hoje, que serão passadas e ajustadas por cada nova geração. De outro modo, não há memórias de pessoas individuais que permanecerão, com exceção de alguns monumentos. Embora estejamos vivos agora, já somos meramente fantasmas passando pela permanência do espaço da cidade.

 

ある映画専門家が、ロンドンを撮影した最初のカラー映像を発見した。この映像を鑑賞後彼は、街は永久不変である一方、―1927年からロンドンは少しだけ変わったと言えるが― 人々は絶えず変化していると感じた。彼はまた、我々の人生は儚く移ろうもので、人々は皆街をさまよう幽霊のようだとも言っている。事実、我々は自分達の人生を生き、固い決意とともに、熱心に、元気に、真剣に日々の業務を遂行する。我々のすべての苦労、成果、惨事、愛、喪失、幸福、悲哀といったものが、「街」という空間に生き延びている。しかし、我々の死後、個々の人生のうちで何が残るだろうか。ほとんど何も残らない。建築、記念碑、輸送空間、オフィス、仕事場、市場、家、そして今日生きる人々の文化は、新しい世代によって受け継がれ、改変されていく。そうでなければ、いくつかの記念碑以外に、個人の記憶は残らない。今生きているにも関わらず、我々は既に永久的な都市空間をさまよう幽霊にすぎない。

First Pateon-exclusive post gets published tonight

We’ve started our two Patreon projects:

  1. 52 Photos of Japan (weekly)
  2. Travel info, guide, travel photo articles

The first Patreon exclusive content goes out at 7pm tonight (Friday) Japan time. It includes a free photo normally worth USD$25/photo, for JUST $1 or $5/post. Find us at Patreon.com/ablyth.

 

A young Japanese lady in Asakusa, Tokyo.

A young Japanese lady in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Become a Patron!

New exclusive work on Patreon

We have published a lot of great travel articles, travel guides, and more here on our blog. However, we don’t get paid for it. A lot of people are able to benefit for free, but we struggle to afford the trips and the models we need. Consequently, we will be doing two new projects on Patreon.Com/ablyth.

  1. The 52 Week Japan Photo Project, a photo per week will be given for free to patrons.
  2. All new travel articles and travel guides will be published on our Patreon page; we hope to eventually do this monthly. Included will be large-sized photos that patrons can download and use without any watermarks. Patrons can also use these photos for their own personal use including blogs.

Become a Patron!

Various Japan-related scenes.

Various Japan-related scenes.

Become a Patron!

5 Times to avoid travel in Japan

Sadly, this is the last time we will publish a travel related article for free on our own blog. However, we have not given up, and we will not quit. We have lots, lots, LOTS more to write about, photograph, and share. All our new travel articles will be published on our Patreon page.

I’ve had models come from overseas and want to work with me, and I’ve had to give them warnings and advice on moving about in Japan. Generally, there’s a few key pieces of information that all travellers must have. You simply cannot just turn up and expect everything to work; in this otherwise well managed, smoothly functioning country.


 

Japanese get very few holidays and little chances of having time off. They are expected to work like slaves through out the year and their lives. For instance, even though legally maternity and paternity leave is generous, generally men can get only really the day of their child’s birth off (and may be a couple more days). That means, there’s just a few opportunities in the year to do things like head back to their home towns. Many Japanese were raised in a different city to where they currently work. Consequently the transport system gets very, very, clogged at the start and end of the holiday periods. Major companies used to coordinate their holidays to be held at the same time, so that it was easy for staff to know if another company is contactable on particular days or not. This led to Friday afternoon jams on public transport like the bullet train, airports, and highways. A two hour trip could become an eight hour ordeal. At the end of the break the so called “U-turn” rush is just as bad. Companies kept this schedule for decades, but only recently have they started to relent to pressure to stagger their holidays, or offer “flexible” holiday periods for their employees. Flexible in quotation, as their is still heavy restrictions on when they can start and end their breaks.

The major holidays

1. The Golden Week Break

This is a collection of holidays including Children’s Day that were bunched together because having a scattering of days off was too disruptive for companies. The GW holiday usually starts from the last few of days of April and ends at around the 5th of May. The exact dates vary from year to year, and depends on when the weekend is.



The bullet train is known by the locals as the “shinkansen”

2. The New Year Break

The New Year holiday replaces the family focused Chinese or Lunar New Year (CNY) that was celebrated until this post-war period began, and is now largely forgotten from Japanese culture. For European cultures, Christmas is the big family time of year, but CNY was that for Mandarin influenced cultures. Today in Japan, they have completely adopted the Gregorian Calendar, and so the European New Year is celebrated instead. The break normally starts at around the 27th December (depending on when the weekend is), and lasts until about the first weekend of the new year. Usually, you would have to avoid travelling on that first Sunday.

3. The Mid-summer festival break

This is also called Obon in Japan. In Mandarin influenced cultures, this is a mid-summer feast to celebrate the end of harvest. In post-agrarian Japan, it seems this is largely forgotten, and is known as a holiday to celebrate the ancestors. It used to be held according to the lunar calendar, but since Westernisation in the late 1800’s, the holiday was fixed to the Gregorian rather than the lunar Calendar, but is still a floating holiday. It generally runs from around the 11th to 16th August each year (depending on the companies). It’s not an official holiday, and so government offices are still open, and many services still operate on normal schedules.

On any given day

4. In the mornings

The subways can be crazy-crowded, especially in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. The times to avoid generally vary by station, by section, and especially by line. Generally avoid the main lines that connect to central nodes, especially between 7.30am to about 8.10am. If you take the train during this rush period, you won’t be standing only shoulder-to-shoulder (yes, let your imagination run wild). If you have a backpack, it’s best to wear it on your front when inside the train.

 



An office worker at a subway station probably wondering how to get home after an after-hours get together.

 

5. Late at night

Two things to be mindful of. The last subway train can run from around 11.40pm to maybe 12.20am. This means, if you miss it, expect an expensive taxi ride home. Check hyperdia.com for train times. The other thing is if there’s a special event or festival. Subway stations are not designed for big event crowds. So when a fireworks display, a baseball game ends, or even a town festival ends, crowds will generally descend on the closest (often only) nearby train station all at once. Don’t plan on any taxis being available, or even a way to drive anywhere between the event and the train station. Crowds can be so thick that even traffic wardens can keep cars at traffic lights waiting for over half an hour or longer, if the roads were allowed to be open at all.



Some festivals can attract crowds of anywhere between 100,000 for a small local festival, to many hundreds of thousands.

 

Bonus: Kyoto on any given afternoon

Kyoto residents are proud of their city’s heritage. So beautiful is it, that a captain in WWII in the US military who was tasked to choose bomb sites said that the city has such a cultural and architectural heritage that it should be spared from all bombing. Today, hoards of tourists descend on the city on a daily basis. Many Japanese and Chinese tour groups have their own buses, but North American and European travellers tend to find their own way about town. Consequently, when all the tourist places close at 4.30 or 5pm, suddenly, there are hoards of tourists all trying to cram onto buses or take taxis simultaneously. Consequently, the roads and buses are clogged with lots of very tired travellers and locals.



A Kyoto City bus in the afternoon just before tourist sites close for the day.

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