Japan: The Basics
Photos taken by the author that are in the book



Figure 1.3 – Modern and Traditional Side-by-Side. A variety of trains passing in between the skyscrapers and a shrine in Tokyo.


Figure 2.1 – The Shibuya Scramble Crossing.


Figure 2.3 – Space Pressures. The lack of space in homes has led to the development of cat cafes where people can go to play with cats.


Figure 2.3 – Space Pressures. The lack of space in the city leads to some very small parks being squeezed between buildings.


Figure 2.3 – Space Pressures. The lack of space and thinness of walls has been amongst the factors contributing to the development of ‘love hotels’, such as these in Shibuya, where rooms can be rented by the hour as well as for over-night stays.


Figure 2.3 – Space Pressures. A multi-purpose room that can be used for socialising as well as a bedroom, whilst outside a very narrow garden separates the house from the wall of the neighbour’s house.


Figure 2.3 – Space Pressures. The lack of space and opportunity to access nature elsewhere has led to the development of a fishing pond in central Tokyo.


Figure 3.1 – A Shinkansen Passing Mount Fuji


Figure 3.2 – Manga in the Skies


Figure 3.3 – Akime. Inset shows the memorial stone which was established in 1990 overlooking the bay close to where some of the shots which were used in the film You Only Live Twice were taken.


Figure 4.1 – Mount Tanigawa. In the foreground a school trip approach the towering Ichinokura-sawa face of Mount Tanigawa, towering some 330m above them.


Figure 4.2 – Bathing Macaques Surrounded by Snow


Figure 5.1 – The Osutaka Pilgrimage. The focal point of the flight JL123 crash site on Osutaka-no-One


Figure 5.1 – The Osutaka Pilgrimage. The memorial post for Hisashi Oshima (a.k.a. Kyu Sakamoto).


Figure 5.1 – The Osutaka Pilgrimage. The toronagashi.


Figure 5.1 – The Osutaka Pilgrimage. Memorial service at Irei-no-Sono.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. The lava spill on which Aokigahara has grown can be seen coming down to Lake Saiko with Mount Fuji in the background.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. The sign for Aokigahara Jukai


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. A sign calling upon those considering suicide to think of their family first.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. A rope with signs saying no entrance and that there is CCTV (despite no visible signs of any, or even electricity) block a track into the woods.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. A sign providing details of a help number for those with financial problems.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. Flowers left on a moss-covered rock.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. Drink cans and empty packets of pills.


Figure 5.2 – Aokigahara. Do a blue sheet and bags mark the spot where somebody tried to commit suicide?


Figure 5.4 – Omotenashi. A shinkansen driver points to acknowledge the change in speed limit as it approaches a station stop. Note also the space in the dashboard for the traditional pocket watch.


Figure 6.1 – Daisen Kofun. This burial mound (kofun) is apparently for Emperor Nintoku and measures some 486 long and 305 wide, with the highest point being 35 metres. Despite its area being nearly three times the size of the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza, this and other kofun are not well-known outside of Japan.


Figure 6.2 – Right Wing Protests. To mark the anniversary of the invasion of the Kuril Islands a protest group is allowed to make it way through Kasumigaseki, where many Ministries and the Diet are located. Despite the riot police, the protest is non-violent are relies on shouting statements over loud speakers on the vans.


Figure 6.3 – Yasukuni Shrine


Figure 6.4 – The A-Bomb Dome. A constant reminder of the horrors of nuclear weapons. Today Hiroshima faces the challenge on ensuring the ruin is preserved and resistant to further erosion or damage from earthquakes without changing its appearance.


Figure 7.1 – Hachiko.


Figure 7.2 – Hello Kitty. A mother and children interacting with a Hello Kitty model in a Japanese tea ceremony mock-up at Sanrio Puroland.


Figure 8.1 – Rebuilding Japan. The government’s Jumbo Jet prepares to depart Haneda Airport to take PM Abe to meetings including the one to decide the host city for the 2020 Olympics. Haneda Airport, and the multitude of companies that serve it, will be looking to benefit from Tokyo’s successful bid. In the background, about 18km away, Tokyo Sky Tree, another symbol of Japan’s continuing modernisation and advancements towers over the skyline.


Figure 8.3 – The Night View of Hakodate. The spectacular night view across Hakodate is ranked as one of the best views in Japan, together with Kobe and Nagasaki, and as one of the best night views in the world alongside Hong Kong and Napoli according to Michelin.



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(C) Christopher P. Hood, 2003-18.

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