The Osawa Apartments Haikyo in Sagamihara is a high-walled preserve for the recent past, shuttered in behind a plate-metal security fence 15 feet high. Outside the fence traffic races by on a highway slip road, and elementary school children play baseball in their school yard. Inside those sounds are deadened, and nothing moves but for the steady slow creep of vines, spreading like a green blanket over the cracked car parks and up the dusty building’s sides. Around the complex bicycles lie rusted in fallen racks, tangled through with weeds, and 6-mat rooms rest empty behind locked screen doors, their tatami mat floors slowly bleaching white in the pale autumn sun.
The Red Blossom Restaurant Haikyo on the Lake Tama ring road rests as a peaceful shrine to the yin and yang of Nature, showing in gentle tones both her power to tear down the old, and raise up the new. The restaurant itself sits on a small hill like a rusted old tank, off-kilter, gap-toothed, and leering to the side. Numerous small wooden dining huts ring its sloping hillside like sleeping tors, marking out the seasons’ passage as they slowly slip from their struts and descend in arrested free-fall to the earth. At their center, a beautifully twisted cherry-tree blossoms, splashing its vibrant red petals over the tumble-down roofs and drab rain-mottled floors of the dying dining huts around it.
HDR imaging is a fascinating sub-branch of photography that I just became aware of. HDR means High Dynamic Range, which basically means you have a photograph with a heck of a lot of information in it, spanning a range of lights through darks impossible to capture in a regular photograph. Here is my first HDR effort- taken from my 3rd floor balcony.
They love Sarah Jessica Parker in Japan. When Sex and the City came out in Tokyo the city was fire-stormed with an advertising campaign pimping the four women and their lifestyle everywhere you looked, in fashion magazines, food magazines, on buses, on big LCD-and-loudspeaker-packing humvees parading around Shibuya, on TV shows, in books, everywhere. Did you see Sarah Jessica Parker on a Coke can though? The chances are you didn’t, as to my knowledge these cans were never released for commercial sale- only used as giveaways and incentives for raving Sex and the City fans.
The Akasaka Love Hotel Haikyo reminds us of the importance of that old adage: ‘location location location’. Situated at the far end of a strip of Love Hotels on the lake’s ring road, it’s clear this place suffered for lack of passing traffic. Now its forecourt and parking lot are bouldered with rotten 80’s styled furniture, burnt-out cars, and avalanches of mounded pillows. Inside, its gaudy rooms still sing of forbidden pleasures, the walls plastered with bright helios, lurking cheetahs, and naked Bathsheba’s, though I doubt any lusty couples have joined in their bawdy chorus for some time. Cheetahs slinking on the walls, video-game parlor styled TV facing an air-hockey bed, great clashing wavy zebra lines on the ceiling.
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