Tag Archive for sakae

It’s Golden Week in Japan. Enjoy.

It’s Golden Week in Japan, which is actually a few days plus a weekend of no-work. Golden Week is a collection of public holidays, and an agreement by companies to let their workers see their families. Right now, the highways and public transport systems will be clogged and backup for tens of hours as families try to get from city to city to see grandparents. This photo was take on Sunday, when Sakae closes off the main street that is lined with department stores in the centre of the trendy shopping area of the city. I missed the height of the day where there were stalls and shoppers moving freely between department stores. Japan is a very spending/shopping oriented culture. It is as if shopping is a national pastime. Update to the JapanesePhotos Instagram at: http://bit.ly/2qB1C5F. This photo, and others like it are available for sale in my Nagoya Gallery.

Art: New Religion

It’s not often I get to release a new batch of art photos into the wild. This collection is simply called New Religion. The base set of images are of Fushimi Inari Shrine and Daigo Temple in Kyoto, whilst the second are of commercial scenes including shops near Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Sakae and Osu shopping areas of Nagoya. New Religion, I hope, will have people pause and reconsider the things they worship, the daily and weekly rituals they have, as well as the intellectual and spiritual nourishment they get. Some of these images will be displayed at the up coming Foreign Artists Exhibition. Stay tuned for details.

All images are available for sale at the New Religion gallery. Available for download, and as high quality gallery-standard prints.

New Religion – Images by Andrew Blyth

World Cosplay Summit

The World Cosplay Summit (WCS) is this weekend in Nagoya. It’s an international celebration of the Japanese comic book industry. The cosplayers make their own costumes based on characters in popular comic books (aka “manga”). Usually, the fans will dress up and sport their best with other cosplayers, and the international competitors do a performance on a stage in front of a huge crowd of about 10,000 spectators, and perhaps a million on TV. A notable sponsor is Brother, the sewing machine company.

Portrait walk

I did what I’m calling a “portrait walk”, where I met a friend who agreed to be a model, and we walked from point A to point B in the centre of Nagoya. As you can see she’s looking great, very fashionable… but cold, and hence the puffy jacket (and I froze, too). It was a great chance for me to get a handful of photos I’d been meaning to get, including someone shopping; using a drink vending machine; a mobile phone used in the open; and expectantly, she is great with a spinning top!

It was interesting, she asked ‘why a vending machine?’. A natural enough question for a Japanese person; vending machines are everywhere, and they are so ubiquitous that they are nothing special. I pointed out that vending machines in Japan are as much of a symbol of Japan as Big Ben is to London, or the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. A point you might miss that is quite interesting. In winter, they change the settings of some some part of the machine to heat a selection of drinks. All the drinks with red price labels are hot, whilst all the ones that are blue are chilled. Most drinks price in the range of 110yen to 150yen.

The vending machine we shot could take money in four forms being of course coins, notes, Manaca card, and Waon card. Manaca is an embedded ic-chip card that just needs to touch a sensor surface for credit to be transferred. The Manaca is used mainly as a regular commuter access card, but can also be used in many convenience stores and vending machines in Nagoya. I don’t know if it’s usable in other places like Osaka or Tokyo, but I think they have their own systems instead. Finally, I have little idea of what the Waon card is. I think the Waon card might be connected to the Aeon shopping mall conglomerate.

New film images: City Cacophany

Spent a bit of time in the city looking for interesting things to contrast, and this is what I’ve found. Basically, a theme became apparent, that the city is noisy, busy, and any adjective to use is somehow an active one. These images are also available as prints, mouse pads, mugs, and so forth.

Poem of a Cacophonous City – Images by Andrew Blyth