My Street Japan. Day 46

My Street Japan. DAY 46. Tammy S. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 46. Tammy S. Stone

Autumn giving way to winter

Too soon – the sun has been

Guiding our days infiltrating our dreams

Inviting mountain views warming the skin

And then it rains

And then it rains

A sweet whisper about passage

And the view comes closer

We draw within, examine cold hands

Attend to shortened breath

See the tree in the foreground

Color clinging still

Life upon life upon life

– Tammy T. Stone 2015

My Street Japan. Day 43.

My Street Japan. DAY 43. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 43. Tammy T. Stone

Early morning. A schoolgirl, in uniform, on her bike, awaiting a day of learning, discovery … or socializing, or whatever it is she loves doing.

Where is her schoolbag? Is she going home to get it? Where is she coming from so early in the morning, in a uniform, no less? Delicious mystery.

Doing anything in autumn is magic.

My Street Japan. Day 40.

My Street Japan. DAY 40. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 40. Tammy T. Stone

Up ahead, just to the left, a daily view I rarely stop and attend to. You’ve seen a slice of this already, in the form of the Takeshi Kitano English school ad tucked into the teeny tiny alley to the right of this structure.

I think it’s closed down, but it’s hard to tell. Much of my stretch of this long street is in the waning stages of life. Many structure are, or look abandoned, doors gone to rust, windows boarded up, inhabitants aging, or perhaps passed. Such are the cycles of life, of a street, too. Maybe one day this small pocket within a small island in the world will gentrify, and we’ll see hip shops, and artists and as-yet-unimaginable goodies lining the streets. For now, we witness a state in-between, and wonder about the past, and fantasize about the future, and all of this mind-gazing is made possible by the living relics before us.

The architecture of the past is the seed of a future, even if it will be a future completely reborn.

My Street Japan. Day 37.

My Street Japan. DAY 37. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 37. Tammy T. Stone

Sometimes the words are hard to come by, and even a literal depiction, by way of the photograph, comes up lacking. So I play – I bring out colours, remove sharpness and clarity, do my best to evoke the feeling of the day, of the scene as I experienced it. A mama (or grandma) on her bike with a baby, weaving seamlessly between passersby on the street, autumn doing her dance in the sun and sky above …

My Street Japan. Day 36.

My Street Japan. DAY 36. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 36. Tammy T. Stone

The day I’ve been waiting for … we have an appearance by the Shinkansen!

The famed bullet train might be one of Japan’s most famous cultural phenomenon known abroad (after, what, geisha? Otaku (techno or manga-related “geeks” or obsessives)? Sushi-samurai-ninjas?

They’re already making a faster one, but for now, the Shinkansen reigns for the commuter and traveller alike. And we have a line mere meters away from our home!

I was a bit wary of two things when we move in: being on top of a steak house (cockroaches) and being so close to the Shinkansen (which you can make out as a white rectangle square windows top-frame), for the noise factor. After moving in, I would forget it existed unless I was either super-on-edge and irritable, or outside staring right at it. I have no idea how this thing manages to be so quiet, but Japan, even in the cities, can be a place fun for trying to hear pins drop.

Oh – there it goes now (just barely, because I’m listening for it)! This line is from Tokyo to Nagoya. On a local train, Nagoya station is one stop away, and is actually the largest in terms of physical size, in the country, from what I understand (Kyoto’s is much more architecturally interesting, though).

Like many of Japan’s old-new/modern-ancient duos, this bullet train, bastion of modern technology, also happens to look a little bit like something out of the 60s, but I say, “vivre la contradiction” (mainly because I don’t know how to say this in Japanese).