Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not Harajuku!!

Not Harajuku 1

Harajuku is a neighbourhood of Tokyo renowned for it's young Japanese cosplayers who hang out there. It has become one of the "must see" sights for tourists to Japan. I've never actually been to Harajuku. Never actually been to Tokyo. It is my intention to never visit Tokyo.

Not Harajuku 2

Anyway, it may look like these photos were taken in Harajuku, but in fact they were taken on Iwaijima, a tiny island of 500 souls off the south coast of Yamaguchi. And these boys are not cosplayers, but participants in a sacred ritual that dates back more than 1,100 years!

Not Harajuku 3

They are part of the crew of huge rowing boats that sail out to sea to meet and guide 3 boats that have come from Kyushu, bringing Shinto priests to the island for a week of ceremony and matsuri that occurs every 5 years.

Just got back from a fantastic 2 days there,... took 500 photos,... experienced some wonderful hospitality...... will post more later.....

Another post with video


  1. Iwajima. Wasn't a movie made about what happened at this place?

  2. Maybe, but I've never seen it or heard of it. This ceremony recalls the islanders giving shelter to travellers from Kyushu. Just off this island is also where the imperial sword was lost in one of the sea battles that led to Dannoura.

  3. Hi, Jake. This is Ken of Shinto-ML.
    Harajuku is in the midst of Tokyo, just between Shinjuku and Shibuya. And, more important, it is located just in front of Meiji Shrine.
    It's a pity that you don't want to visit Tokyo.

  4. Hi Ken..... I really hate cities :), and Tokyo is the biggest city in the world.....

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  6. je suis un fan de vos images ! continuez à nous montrer des images du Japon c'est magnifique

  7. hi, Jake san, its funny to see it's your intention not to visit Tokyo,lol.However i'm not much interested into the big cities like Tokyo,there are lots of "worth to visit" places around Tokyo. Have you been to Kamakura ? Anyway i like your photos which seems less photoshopped than many other photos shown everywhere.your photos are really charming and real. please keep it up.

    Kokoro, a friend of yours from Facebook.