Situated about 11.6 km (by rail) to the South West of Nagaokakyo lies the city of Takatsuki (pop. 353,619 from Wikipedia). Normally when we want to go somewhere bigger (for better shopping) than Nagaokakyo (pop. 79,306 from Wikipedia) we end up heading for Osaka or Kyoto. Wanting to go somewhere with a little more choice in shops, without putting up with huge crowds, Ritsuko and I decided to head for Takatsuki. We weren't disappointed, within one minutes walk of Takatsuki train station there are three shopping centres (one of them is in this photo) each bigger than anything we have in Nagaokakyo. The strange thing was these shopping centres were almost devoid of people. It turns out that unlike Nagaokakyo where many people live and work, Takatsuki is more of a "dormitory city" for people working in Osaka. However later on, as peak hour trains from Osaka arrived at Takatsuki, the place suddenly got a lot busier. All together it was pretty fruitful little trip, I found some socks in my size (29cm, very rare in Japan), we got a new coffee pot, and we had dinner at a tempura restaurant. I hope to go back there in the near future and explore a bit more.
Our friend Yuko (the same friend from whose balcony I took this shot
) dropped off this classic Olympus OM-1 kit which, has been used by her family since new. It isn't in mint condition by any means but the most important two elements work: the shutter speed appears to work reasonably accurately and the aperture blades stop down properly on both lenses. There are a number of faults: The light metering is not working, wrong kind of battery jammed in the battery compartment (I can use either a hand held meter or my casio); Shutter button jams down after pressing sometimes, but I've figured out how to un-jam it quickly when it happens; Mirror is damaged at the bottom, but I can still compose; on the 50mm lens the depth of field preview is jammed on; on the 135mm lens there is a chip in the front element and it doesn't lock in properly on the mount, but I can hold it in place. I've not tested the flash yet.
If you're unfamiliar with the Olympus OM-1, it is regarded as one of the classic manual 35mm SLRs. Here are it's features:- Large bright 100% view finder; small compact size for 35mm SLR; easy to use mirror lock up and self timer; built-in centre weight light meter; fully mechanical workings of shutter, aperture, winder, so therefore works in colder conditions than electronic cameras.
I'm going to load a roll of film in and give it a test, but I'm still trying to decide what subjects to choose. Anybody got any suggestions? Now that the kindergarten work is back on after summer holidays, I haven't got as much free time, so it might take me a while before I finish testing this camera.
Well day of the historic national election came and went... If you missed the news the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was ousted by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ending 50 years of almost unbroken LDP rule.
Here is a photo of a poster showing the local candidates (clockwise from top left):-
Representing the LDP and current sitting member for this seat Dr Shimizu Kouichirou he came second in this election and lost the seat.
Representing the Happiness Realisation Party (HRP) Mr Kishimoto Kouichi he came last in this election.
Representing the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Ms Ishimura Kazuko she came third in this election.
Representing the DPJ Mr Izumi Kenta the new member for this seat.
I'm only reporting the facts of this election and I'm not going to give any personal opinions on what I think of any of the candidates or parties. I pray for the winners that they'll will govern the country wisely as there are many challenges facing Japan.
Trivia: The JCP is the world's strongest non ruling Communist Party (with about 4% support nation wide in the single member seats voting, and 7% support nation wide in the proportion representation seats voting), now that was something I didn't know until I moved here.
In August, all around Japan various business and organisations hold summer festivals (called "Natsu Matsuri") on an evening. These festivals are a little similar to fetes in Australia. There's food stalls, handicrafts, a few games for prizes (like air gun shooting, darts, magnetic fishing, etc.), live entertainment, lanterns and plenty of people. Actually the festival in photo is only a very small one put on by our local Kyoto Coop store. Two days prior I went to one about 20 times bigger at Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine, but because we didn't know about it in advance and we were brought there by one of our students straight after our classes (at the local community centre), I didn't have time to go home and grab the camera. So, when I heard the local Kyoto Coop was putting on it's own festival I brought a long the camera for some shots. Next year, I try to make it to some bigger ones, maybe even in another city somewhere bigger that Nagaokakyo. I might even wear my best Yukata there too!