I’ve posted this up before I wiped the site and started over again. Time for a rerun.
The first year and a half in Japan was one of exploration for me. I would hop on my granny bike, camera bag in the front basket, and ride as far as my out of shape lags would take me. It was fabulous exercise and I did lose the weight I gained back in Seoul.
I’m still not thin. But the Seoul weight was gone. The Canada weight will probably be with me until it stops my heart.
I would take whatever road I came across that seemed to promise me out of the way locations. I previously mentioned the weird little corners as like exploring the unknown and it sort of held true in the smaller Japanese cities as well. Most of the development in Korea is recent and laid out on a strict grid. While you do still find neighborhoods laid out along the old footpaths, for the most part you have to hope the mystery nooks are accessible and not blocked by parked cars and hoboes.
Miyakonojo was largely suburban. More a bedroom type of place for the people working the farms the ringed the city and the people commuting to Miyazaki and Kagoshima. Homes and yards. Japanese yards were more gardens than the tedious expanse of grass we have here. Grass is for parks and baseball stadiums there. And fruit trees were almost a required plant to have.
The fruit were never picked. They would rot on the vine. Or hit the ground to be gone over by the insects. I passed this pomegranate during one of my bike rides on a back road that ran parallel to the main drag into Mimata. It wasn’t too far from my apartment.
But like all small cities and towns, you quickly exhaust all of the new. The second year I was there I started traveling around Kyushu to see what I could find. The third year I started looking at Tokyo and Osaka. Year four is when I started getting sick with the still undiagnosed stomach problem. I did visit the bigger cities again to see what images I could capture, but my mind was on other things by then.
Year five saw me leave.
Also, I lost the sense of new in Japan by then and was unable to look at it with fresh eyes. So if I saw something like this at that point, I wouldn’t have photographed it. It would have been just background to me. I think that’s a thing even hobbyist photographers need to work hard to keep alive. The sense of “neat!”