Capturing Solitude: The Japan I Dreamed About……

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In another circumstance Miyagi Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, and the other areas of Tohoku would amazing places to visit. For those not familiar with Japan, Japan has prefectures which are much like states back in the U.S. As for Tohoku; it simply means North East. Although Japan appears on maps to be a very north to south vertical country.

We here see the country with two primary regions that are considered East Japan (Kanto) and West Japan (Kansai). The mountain range near Mt. Fuji on the main island of Honshu divides the country. In the east, Tokyo is the prominent city and in the west it’s Osaka.  Where the disaster took place in Tohoku is one of the most beautiful places in the country. The image above was taken in Miyagi prefecture at Futakuchi Gorge not far from both the Fukushima nuclear reactors and the coast where the tsunami hit.

This is just south of the city of Sendai and near the border of Fukushima prefecture. On the day I was heading back for Tokyo, I woke up at 5:00 AM to catch a few photos. If any of you have seem my photos you may notice that a large part of my photos don’t have people in them. That’s because I prefer shooting with no one in them. I like images of solitude. In these scenic images there’s such an irony as 12 hours before I was in a post apocalyptic scene. I’m an artist, I seek out visuals that I want to capture forever. This place, is one where photos nearly take themselves. In the early morning calm I came here to shoot, I’m a far cry from reality.

It’s the Japan I dreamed about when I first wanted to come here. It’s the unique scenery that draws many people to the east. In my time of travels I can say I get around to a few places here and there. This area is one of my favorites. Not far from here are snow capped mountains that overlook lush farmland.

Along the coast, the mountains empty to the sea and small cloisters of islands peer up from the ocean. Now and for a long time after nothing here will ever be the same. Many of the farmers near this region have been told not to grow crops and those that do will likely have to endure a lot of scrutiny and ignorance due to radioactive fears. Then there’s the tourism industry. It’s essentially been flat lined. Most resorts, hot spring hotels, and tourist destinations have lost all business.

I wrote tonight to impress a upon you a few visuals that may have gotten over looked when many in the world first heard of this place in the news. It’s more than just reactors and debris fields. It’s a place that’s full of incredible vistas. I’m not recommending people come here right now. I’m just highlighting yet another casualty of recent events. It’s going to be a tough year here. I think these days one may not have to wake up at 5:00 to have the place to themselves and capture solitude.

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