I found Japan such a juxtaposition of old and new which somehow blended seamlessly. Everywhere I went proved such a contrast to all I thought I knew about the country. Here are some of my favourite signs I found along the way.
How could I not explore such a place?
The signs whisper of a world I thought vanished, of samurais drinking sake scented with orange blossom after a day of battle. Nothing ostentatious; only those who know where they are going enter such places.
This sign was on a shop-front near the waterfront of Sado, and island off mainland Japan. I felt I had stepped into a fairytale.
Common in many parts of Asia, their shape and buoyancy make basket boats perfect for skimming around a rocky coastline, whether fishing or with a few tourists in tow. The women steer them make the process look so effortless and elegant; I merely went in circles when I tried. Very splashy circles.
And the pink-faced crested ibis? Common to this part of Japan, he is a symbol of the island.
It can be next to impossible to know what these shops have on offer without wandering past. From side streets to arcades, so many street in Japan seem made for wandering and exploring.
Seems to me the perfect place to shop.
A serious choice lay before me, on opposite side of the street. A decent coffee, or time with a cat?
(Actually, the choice was easy. The search for the perfect coffee is a recurring theme in my writing, and I own three dogs. The coffee wasn’t too bad.)
If parts of Japan take me into a fairytale, the streets of Dotomburi in Osaka are a living manga, overlaid with anime. Anything goes — and these are just the signs for the restaurants.
In the foothills of Mt Fuji, a sign which is truly for our modern world, and which touches us all.
If interested, you can find more of my musings and photography at my blog, anneharrison.com.au