From June 2008 to May 2009 I lived in the middle of Japan working on some computer stuff. At this time, I didn’t have a DSLR camera, or anything fancy. In fact, I came to the country using my first camera the Canon Power Shot A430. But I wanted to record every aspect of this time period, so I had to make do.
Matsumoto-shi (松本市) is located in the center of Japan’s main island, Honshu. It is a castle city, which is what I think is the most beautiful castle in Japan. The city itself is relatively small, and coming from a big city, this initially annoyed me. However, I came to really enjoy living there, and the city has a lot to offer.
MATSUMOTO-JO (松本城) – Also known as the Crow Castle was built in 1504 and is one of the 12 original castle. It survived throughout the Edo period, and was never subjected to the World War 2 bombings.
TEMARI BALL (手まり) – A folk art form that is traditionally made with silk thread. It is created with multiple tightly wrapped layers around a noisemaker. If it was created properly, the bell or other noisemaker is loose, and able to bounce around.
KAERU SHRINE – Found along the kaeru (frog) street, students perform in the shrine’s courtyard.
YUKI MATSURI – The annual snow festival is a big event that brings a variety of ice sculptures to the castle’s courtyard. Due to the mild weather that year, the distinct layers of the ice blocks to form the sculptures could still be seen.
MURAI (村井) – Just 7km south of Matsumoto-shi. Murai is a small suburb mainly populated by rice farmers and employees for Seiko Epson. This photo was taken at dawn, above the Epson dormitories
OKONOMIYAKI (お好み焼き) – Directly translating to “what you like grilled”, this is a type of japanese food that is mainly associated with the Kansai regions. However, there is one awesome store right beside the Murai JR Station that provides very good okonomiyaki. It is mainly cabbage with a variety of toppings and batter, and a good store would cook the meal right in front of you.