#16 Golden Week 2017

In Japan, April 29th in the start of Golden Week. A whole week (if you’re lucky) of national holidays / paid leave and mine and Yuka’s first holiday of the year. It was the first holiday of my first year in Japan and it’s the end of the longest holiday-free stretch I do at work. I love Golden Week. Maybe lifted by the weather I shot a lot of colour. I also made a zine entirely in black and white.

Friday April 28th, 9pmish. After three and a half months of busy days we were done, standing on the platform in Kyodo drinking beers John had bought in celebration. Not a big night, but a rewarding one none the less. The week started properly on Saturday morning (just about). Intending to go out around 10am, Yuka and I left home around 1pm for a day of errand running: getting new glasses, sorting out a sweet Matt Martin print for the apartment – still haven’t bought a hook to get it on the wall though. We got our glasses surprisingly quickly. Equally surprising is that I quite like mine. We finally have real art in the apartment, too. Cheers, Matt. Strong start to the week.

Nakameguro (2 of 2)
Nakameguro, 2017

Sunday, we did nothing. Absolutely nothing. According to my Fitbit I took 3000 steps that day. I guess we went to the shop. Sunday was the day I finally started trying to actually put my zine together. I’d got a big stack of conbini printed A6 prints I’d been messing with for a few weeks that I was determined to turn into something by the end of Golden Week. On the Sunday, I finally got everything laid out nicely in Lightroom ready to print the following day. Thinking I was done making my zine for the time being, we watched a couple of movies (inc. Zootopia for probably the 10th time) and went to bed. If it’s not obvious yet, the zine saga stretches out a few more days and I’ll write a whole thing about that this week. It was a great experience, just not one for this Golden Week post.

Shibuya Suitcase (1 of 1).jpg
Shibuya, 2017

Over the next couple of days I studied, hung out with some friends, went to two great exhibitions: Tokyo Photojam at Gallery Conceal in Shibuya and the Yoshiyuki Okuyama exhibition at Omotesando Hills – the latter of which is probably the real reason I ended up shooting so much colour over GW.

Miura Sleepers (1 of 1)
Miura, 2017

The highlight of the week though was mine and Yuka’s trip to Miura Peninsula. Miura Peninsula is in Kanagawa, about an hour away from Shinagawa Station where you can buy a ¥3000 ticket that scores you a return train ticket (on a train with real seats), bus travel, a souvenir or activity (we got neither… we’d left so late that the activities were finished and the free souvenirs all gone when we arrived; our bad) and a free meal in one of the participating restaurants. This is the second day trip idea we’ve taken straight from Maaike in Japan. Big thanks to her for being an idea mill. Being a small peninsula famous for tuna (the ticket is called マグロ切符, lit. tuna ticket), it’s all about the sea. We spent the afternoon hanging out by the water, taking photos of fishermen most of whom were asleep, drinking coffee because it was a little chilly, and waiting for our names to be called to get dinner. It never ceases to amaze me just how close Tokyo is to these incredible places. There’s even a sweet view of Mount Fuji over the water that we caught by chance when we went to watch the sunset. We didn’t get close to everything we wanted done – our plan had been to leave around 8am, we left around 11. Getting out late was a theme of our week. We’ll go back one day for sure.

Miura (1 of 7)
Miura, 2017

On Sunday, we went to Tokyo Pride. I don’t feel close to qualified to write about it. It was emotional. A wonderful event at the end of Golden Week. If you’re ever in Tokyo when Pride is on, I strongly urge you check it out.

Pride (1 of 1)
Pride, 2017

On Monday, Yuka went back to work. I spent my last day off wishing she was still off, taking pictures, and in true holidays are over style, spilling a fantastic cup of coffee fumbling with my camera in Shibuya.

I really enjoyed shooting colour over Golden Week. I’m never as happy with my colour shots as I am with black and white because I almost never manage to pull off what I was hoping to. I think though, from now on, I might try and push the colour boat out a little more. I’ve never considered myself ‘a black and white photographer’, just a photographer who prefers shooting black and white I guess. That’s still the case, but I want to keep improving. Colour is an area I can certainly do that.

Tokyo, May 2017.

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