Harry's Travelogue in Japan - Part 1

Date Published 
Wed 14 Apr 2021

Yesterday we had Part 1 of Harry’s Japan adventures: we all had high expectations as we know how well he does these travelogues and we certainly weren’t disappointed. In spite of travelling with his wife Linda and 2 other couples (including our own Dave Collins, who chipped in with pithy comments from time to time), and “travelling light” with only one lens for his camera (plus his smartphone of course) he showed us a series of stunning pictures, accompanied by his customary humour and lots of fascinating information about the country and its traditions.

He started with an interactive map of their travels, with pop-up photos showing an aspect of each of their destination being an added bonus. As they’d started off in Tokyo he then took us on an excellent virtual guided tour of the city before “zooming off” on bullet trains to a variety of other interesting places.

As a brilliant interactive addition to the presentation, Harry gave the audience the chance to choose which topics they then wanted him to cover. Naturally we all wanted to see the geishas (or geikos as they are apparently known in some cities): we were stunned by the gorgeous clothes they wear and were interested to hear that the more senior they become, the more elaborate their attire. We were also assured that (at least in the vast majority of cases) they don't participate in the oldest profession in the world. Then the ladies were keen to see the Sumo wrestlers whose physique certainly left me feeling even more of a skinny weed than I am! As a true photographer Harry had braved being told off whilst walking round the venue to get the best shots, but it was clearly worth it.

Three sorts of “bums” came into the talk. Inevitably the Sumo bums featured in Harry’s photos there, as did a brightly coloured monkey bum when they visited the snow monkeys (sadly with no snow – you can’t have it all). Happily we were spared a photo of Harry’s multi-coloured bruised posterior after his unfortunate slip next to a hot tub but we did have a graphic description thereof in his reading of an entry in his diary. Which led in due course to the section on Japanese toilets – the mind wasn’t the only thing that boggled although we were disappointed when Harry confessed that they don't (yet!) actually respond to voice commands as he pretended to demonstrate!

Harry related their visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki with appropriate serenity and gravity, his beautiful monochrome photo of the only building which had been left standing after the bomb in Hiroshima being particularly poignant. The story (and photo) of the elderly survivor, aged only 13 at the time of the bomb, was both shocking and amazing.

Towards the end we were treated to some gorgeous photos of the early-November autumn colours which left us wondering how we’ll be able to wait until Part 2 of this trip which Harrys has promised us for his president’s night in September. Altogether a superb evening.