lunes, 31 de diciembre de 2012

Nishiki Market (Kioto) Irashaaiiiii!!

Nishiki market was the first shotengai I entered in Japan, shotengai is an arcade or roofed street, long and full of shops and restaurants. It was a friend from Kioto who brought me there. Thousand of colours and flavors exploded in my head, dry fish from all kind of shapes and many tiny shops and shopkeepers screaming Irashaiii!!!, Irashaii!!! the japanese word for welcome!, welcome!, as an european my brain became a bit frozen, because our mind in the old continent are not designs to think many things at the same time, we go to the market, or we go to the restaurant, but in Japan everything is mixed up, in the shotengais, restaurants, markets, fisheries, fruits shops and also pharmacies and supermarkets, everything is together, and that It's why enter in a Shotengai is fun, because you never know where you are going to end up. Irasahiii!, from that day I never forgot this magic word that tells you that you are in Japan, irasahaii!. For people who visit Kioto you cannot miss the amazing Nishiki Market, located on a road one block parallel to Shijo street and west to Teramachi street. Irashaiii!!

miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2012

Poza del gobion

En el principio el mar lo abarcaba todo, poco a poco las aguas cedieron al poder de la tierra y fue entonces cuando aquel enorme pegnasco surgio de las profundidades, los pueblos de aquel lugar fundaron un pequeno poblado, erigiendose sobre otras gentes hispanas, entonces llegaron los fenicios y con ellos el almendro, comerciaron con los locales, instaurando minas de sal, mas tarde los arabes desembarcaron desde las tierras del otro lado del mar, tallando aquel castillo desde la misma piedra, trajeron la cagna, el tomate y la canela, ochocientos anos estuvieron senor mio, ochocientos anos de moreria. Los cristianos regresaron asediando el castillo, encerrando al rey moro en las entranas de la roca. Luego las guerras y los lustros se sucedieron, quinientos anos en los que el azucar de cana se cultivo, mozarabes, judios y ricos comerciantes con ella comerciaron, finalmente la fabrica se erigio, familias adineradas de Granada la manufacturaron, finalmente aciagos politicos y nefastos gestores esquilmaron tan dulce cultivo, quedando solo la fabrica, descuidada, oxidado testigo de tiempos mejores,ay madre como me acuerdo de aquellos gobiones en la poza, tan gordos como anguilas, donde estan madre? acaso se los trago el mar??, no, fue el hierro y la frente el castillo y el mar, el mar que lo abarcaba todo y que ahora cede ante el poder de la espada.

jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2012

Bentencho: Iron and dust

Bentencho is a dark area in the south of Osaka, the last redouct of civilization before the deserts of polygon states. There, the locals survive comfortably among blocks of asfalt, iron bridges and a huge elevated road that divide the area in two. This area is one of the most poluted in Osaka, due to the small factories of carbon and metal, not very good for asthmatics like me, flowers and tree always are covered by dark dust. The place looks totally stuck in a more flourishing past, where all those arcades and metallic structures one day were part of the biggest market town in Japan, Osaka, today replaced by Yokohama. In those days, nobody knows how, Bentencho still working, who knows which telluric energy moves its rusty strings. Oxide bridges, arcades in older days vibrant markets, today fall apart, covered by dampness and metal corrosion, like the testimony of a wealthy past. Bentencho was my echo-system during my almost three years in Osaka, luckily, I found a guide, a comrade in this metallic, decadent science fiction city, inside another city. He showed me to appreciated the beauty among the buildings of this fallen and post-industrial place. After I started collecting stamps, I was wondering if Bentencho got any, and yes It did. After I found it, I saw the artist caught on the stamp the nature of the place.

lunes, 3 de diciembre de 2012

Hamamatsu no Hanko

I got this stamp during my incredible adventure by train departing from Osaka, through most of the island of Honshu and Hokkaido. Actually and unfortunately, I never visited Hamamatsu, I just changed my train there to continue to Nagoya. I said unfortunately, because even if I could visit just the station, due to the lack of time, Hamamatsu is a city with a long history, amazing landscape that includes sand dunes and a fantastic castle. But the best af all are its numerous festivals, the most important "Hamamatsu Festival", held from May 3 through May 5 each year, which is call Takoage Gassen or the kite fight, this festival originated 430 years ago, when the lord Hamamatsu castle celebrated the birth of his first son by flying kites. If you visit the city at the festival's time, you would enjoy amazing traditional music, the city full decorated, and the best, hundred of kites, fighting to be the last remaining on the air.

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2012

Osaka-Stamps: Bunraku national theater

Bunraku is a traditional theater performanced by puppeteers, who dressed in black on a black wall trying to not being seen, to focus the attention of the public on the puppets that they moved, the real protagonists of bunraku. Bunraku is also known as Ningyo yorure. and was originated in Osaka in the Edo Period. Osaka is indeed the main center for Bunraku, even if the troupe give shows in other places, Osaka is the place to see this tradiional art, at national Bunraku theater Kokuritsu Bunraku Gekijō. They make four or five shows a year in Osaka, just during few weeks, after they will go to Tokyo for a few shows and after they go also abroud, until the next year who will start the prformance again in Osaka. I had the oportunity to be invited in advanced for a japanese colleage at my school in Osaka. I have to say that I loved the show, even I couldnt understand very well the japanese speech puppeteers that were using, very old and kind of weird, the play was very visual, mostly I understood the story, love, romance, betrayal, revenge, death, and all those concepts that make the human condition, mixed of course with the delicated dramatism of japanese culture, I had the impression to be in the middle of something very old and deep, just the building transported you to an older age. I got the stamp in the hall of bunraku theater, they were showing a whole collection in the same stand, of course I stamped all, but I show here just one of them, is it cool, isn't?.

Osaka-stamps. 3-Umeda

Umeda is the central business area in Osaka, is located in Kita-ku, the north area of the city, the other part would me Minami-ku (the south area), where I used to live the harsh place, which nucleo is Namba. If Namba would be the tough area, Umeda is the chick place, where you can find all the branch shops and sophisticated cafeterias and Isakayas. Umeda is the place you want to go If you live in Osaka to buy the newest comic or book, go to cool museums, expositions or if you wanna go to discos and refined clubs. The stamp represents The Osaka City Central Public Hall, located very closed to the Dojima river, an excellent place to walk in autumn, when the yellow leaves of the maples are all around.

Osaka no Hanko: 2.Sakuranomiya.

This station is very close to Kema Sakuranomiya Tema Park, a perfect place for jogging or walk. It is known as a cherry blossom viewing for It's magnificent 4.700 cherry trees. The perfect place to celebrate the Hanami.

Eki no hanko. 1.Shin-Osaka

From today I am going to scan in my blog "Japon en bocetos", my collection of Japanese train station stamps. In a country where drawing is so popular, and specially drawing stamps, since Hiroshige and the mythical Hokusai, who produced their work carved in wood blocs, train companies cannot avoid that stamps are a big deal in Japan, japanese adults and kids are crazy about that, and each station has its particular stamp, in japanese Eki no hanko, which means Eki (station) and hanko (stamp), train stamps. If you visit Japan, please dont forget to ask to the train station officer 'sumimasen, Eki no hanko doko desuka', which means "excuse me sir, where is the train station stamp?, sometimes he will have the stamp in the ticket office, but in other stations will be in a stand, for everybody used, those stamps are in a way a kind of sketching thing, because you have to find with your own effort the place where they are hidden, thats the fun of it. There are thousand of train stations in Japan, and of course thousands of stamps that you can get in the places that you visit, bringing a lovely memory of every place that you visited. Each city has got their particular stamps, differing in colors and shapes from other cities or prefectures stamps, Osaka stamps are red and circular, and Tokyo stamps are squared and black. The variations It also depends of the train company, for example sotetsu company will have different stamps from JR lines, that means that the same station could have different stamps adding more fun to the whole thing. This Stamp represents is Shin-osaka, all the stations with the prefix shin, It is the abbreviation for Shinkansen, the bullet train. This was the first station I stopped in Japan, you have to take it if you want to go really fast from the Kansai airport to Osaka city center.