The days are getting shorter and colder and it is clear that autumn is coming to an end. Trees are shedding their leaves and the bright colours of the past month are becoming more and more difficult to find. I always have regrets this time of year, wishing that I had gone out more to enjoy the fall colours. But, it can't be helped, really. I don't think one ever goes out enough when enjoying nature is involved!
These photos were taken at a local park last week. Ah, those colours!
On the weekend, my husband and I made a rare visit to ATC on one the man-made islands linked to Osaka. ATC stands for The Asia and Pacific Trade Center and it was built during a time when Japan was flush with money and had dreams of a booming economic future. For many years it was full of interesting shops and restaurants and was a popular date destination. When we lived in closer we often visited ATC since it was one of the few places in Osaka where you could enjoy the ocean waterfront.
Sadly, much has changed since then. We were struck by how empty the place was - both of shops and restaurants, and of people. The waterfront is still beautiful but on that evening there was hardly a soul around - only a few people on their way to the ferry terminal next door.
Photo 1: Heading to ATC via the walkway from the Hyatt Hotel at dusk.
Photo 2: Part of the ATC waterfront area looking towards the overnight ferry to Kyushu.
Okay, so I'm a little late with this image but it can't be helped. Life has been a bit all over the place and better late than never, right? (^.~)
This is the bridge at Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine) in Osaka on January 2nd, 2020. Sumiyoshi Taisha is the head shrine of all the Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan (there are over 2,000 of them) and was founded in the 3rd century. This makes it one of the oldest shrines in Japan. If you get a chance to visit, make sure pick up an English pamphlet - it will explain the unique layout (the 4 shrines are set up in an unusual configuration) and architecture which is thought to be free of influence from other Asian countries.
Personally, my favorite part of this shrine is the bridge. The official name is "Sorihashi" but it is more commonly known as the "Taiko (Drum) Bridge". During the first 3 days of the new year, close to 2.5 million people cross this bridge as they head to pray at one of the 4 shrines on the grounds. While the bridge may not look that steep from here, you need to watch your step as you walk across it - especially if there are thousands of people coming up from behind!
And don't be fooled into thinking this is peaceful, quiet scene! The grounds of the shrine are crammed full of food and games stalls during the first few days of the year and there is hardly enough room to move through the crowds. Ah, for me, Sumiyoshi Taisha is what spending the New Year in Osaka is all about - the noise, the people, the bridge, and taking this photo from the same vantage point every year...
Happy 2020! \(^.^)/
Wishing you many blessings.
The new computer has arrived and it's a joy to behold! Setting up is proceeding smoothly but it will take a little more time, I'm afraid.
So, until I'm up and running as usual, here is a photo from several years ago. It was taken one beautiful April evening while cherry blossom viewing along the river in Osaka.
Ah, April is such a lovely month here. I never get enough of cherry blossom viewing. Who does?
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May 2019 be filled with love, laughter and joy!
We woke up the first day of 2019 to gorgeous weather - not a cloud in the sky and highs of +10C. As usual we spent the morning with family and then went to visit a local shrine - one I have visited almost every year since I came to Japan over 30 years ago. I always feel nostalgic when we visit as the sights and smells bring back memories of my very early years in Japan. There is also a welcoming familiarity as we make our way through the grounds and festivities in a route we have perfected over the years. First the back entrance, then the open area to check the children doing the lion dance, then the bridge, then the shop selling "baby castella" (similar to doughnut holes), and then... Ah, the list goes on. It was a beautiful day to be out and about and a great day to begin a new year!
I took a few photos while we were there only to discover that my camera battery was on its very last legs and I, of course, had left everything back at the house. Ah well, isn't that the way! I did manage to eek about a few more photos from that dying battery and here are the results.
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.