The Kenka ‘fight’ festival where traditional floats collide in an ancient rite. This is Himeji’s version.
Tiny spectators to the fight festival.
My English class students took me out for the ultimate sushi experience. The fish was still moving when it arrived. Uh…thanks I think.
Friendly competitors at the Kenka festival.
Plastic examples of the menu. A very Japanese tradition that is great for those who can’t read.
A short stagger down any street instead of a beer run.
Rice paddies instead of a front lawn.
The Japan on postcards. Himeji castle.
Typical street but yes it is two-way. I’m at left. I did a lot of long-distance bicycling. One trip was Himeji (near Kobe) down to Nagazaki.
Ringing the temple bell.
Despite the crowded streets cycling was so safe I did a lot of it on my time off.
Abortion is legal and very common in Japan and each of these dolls placed at the temple are either that or a miscarriage.
I believe this was like a coming-of-age festival. Just stunning.
Inside my apartment. Yes, that’s a turntable. It was the early eighties. It must have been winter because we’re partying at the kotatsu table. Heat lamp under the cover. No central heating except a kerosene heater.
Another party and oh there were many with my YMCA English students. The non-Japanese was a new teacher. Only three of us in town. I met a Catholic nun and an American at a Zen temple and that was it for English speakers.
During one of many earthquakes all those things on the kitchen wall fell down.
Christmas at a typical family house. The table gets rolled up for cards.
A typical o-furo soak tub at my place. Shower first, then each member of the family takes their turn. And the water is changed for the next day.
I spent many nights at Miki’s karaoke bar. This counter is the entire bar.
Filipino transvestite bars were quite common even in the early 80s. I believe this was the dildo act.
George, one of the transvestites, became a great friend. The entertainers spoke English. Rare for out of the way Himeji.
I must have taken my speed skates with me. Great outdoor rinks in Japan.
A typical Tokyo mall I took my mom to when she visited.
crematorium at temple
This is a hostess bar I worked at when I lived in Tokyo. Getting paid to practice my Japanese!
I did a trade with the shiatsu expert. He practiced his English while he taught me the craft.
Camel rides at the beach. The Japanese penchant for the exotic without leaving home.
This was a paid gig at some entertainment venue. I was the Dutch girl.
Japan’s love hotels, used in daytime by businessmen and their mistresses, were a blast as overnight lodging. One room had a creek running through it.
Uh, oh. Those darn school trips.
This was the sleeping area of an overnight ferry I took between Japan and Russia. Personal space is not a concept in Japan.
Hey…can’t possibly leave out the cherry blossoms.
And while I’m at it let’s get this shot of Kamakura out of the way. But I stop at Mt. Fuji. I refuse to upload those.