Pursuing the Autumn Dusk: A Photo Essay

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. “I wonder how life is like in those neighbourhoods,” I would muse over and over. Eventually, the houses disappeared, and we crossed over a deep gorge — the symbolic end of Tokyo, and the beginning of Kawaguchiko, with Fuji-san barely peeking out behind mammoth hills. 


Kawaguchiko

Arakuyama 08
A silvery autumn greeted me, flora sparkling under the late morning sun. See how they sway, like locks of platinum hair.
Arakuyama 02
Early autumn yields not a fistful of red, falling leaves, but trees like traffic lights. “Stop,” says Mother Nature to summer’s dying embers.
Arakuyama 06
In a flash, summer had come and gone, leaving nary a trace of its presence but bits and pieces — still-green leaves shielding the bounties of persimmon trees,
Arakuyama 04
and a sun-baked water wheel occasionally flinging tiny droplets around.
Arakuyama 01
With autumn, however, comes loneliness. Visitors no longer flock by the thousands. No crowd at the temple; no crowd by the ceremonial drinking pool. The scoop remains untouched.
Fuji 09
Fuji-san prepares for its annual slumber, plucking a wool-like blanket from the sky.
Fuji 03
Soon, that same blanket expands and drapes itself over entire towns. Warm orange lights begin to illuminate them, leading lost and weary bodies back home.
Fuji 05
As if on cue, Kawaguchiko, too, yawns a big yawn. Lakeside cafes remain near-empty but for framed summer memories — large fish and larger smiles.
Fuji 10
Through the isolation and the cold, I realise there is always a warm abode around every bend, and in it, I am able to look out into the cold from newfound comfort; into the setting sun under glowing tungsten fireflies,
Arakuyama 03
until morning comes around and the sun starts to shine again.

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. I no longer mused. Eventually, the houses gave way to imposing skyscrapers and flashy advertisement boards — the symbolic start of downtown Tokyo. If Kawaguchiko unfolded at a tortoise’s pace, Tokyo was the rabbit, except it never sleeps.  

Tokyo

Tokyo 01
The Yang to Fuji-san’s Ying. It became evident that I was in a different kind of jungle, one of steel beams and wire meshes;
Hamamatsucho 01
one of old electrical boxes, dirty pipes, and worn bicycles, propped in front of quiet shops with wooden fronts and not a soul inside.
Tokyo 02
The urban jungle bleeds black on top of black, as salarymen scurry to eateries under pitch dark autumn evenings, briefcase on one hand, emotional burdens on the other.
tokyo-09.jpg
Some eat and retire to their homes, another routine in a day of routines. Sometimes I catch a silhouette by the window.
City 04
If people were puppets, signboards would be their puppeteers, artificial lights guiding lost and weary bodies from office to establishment.
City 02
Before long, every signboard lights up, a mishmash of bright colours on a rapidly darkening canvas,
Tokyo 16
restless lights for a restless city. The day has only just begun.

Here are some of the other photos taken during the trip.

Meiji Jingu Shrine

 

Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade

 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

 

Rest of Tokyo

 

Rest of Kawaguchiko

 

 

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