Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Osaka Harbour

Osaka harbour seen from one of the tall canal bridges.

Taishō is one of the westernmost wards in Osaka city. As it's by the sea, it's part of the Kansai harbour complex. The harbour itself (actually several separate harbours) is absolutely huge; the entire coastline from Sakai in the south, through Osaka and on to Kobe in the northwest is really all harbour, with terminals, piers, wharfs, warehouses, manufacturing plants and supporting businesses.

Cement Factory

Ishigawa cement factory out in the harbour. I guess the heavy raw materials can be shipped in cheaply by barge. In the far right, the Osaka Dome (actually "Kyocera Dome" nowadays).

This being Japan, it's not a pure industrial area, but thoroughly mixed, with middle-class neighbourhoods rubbing shoulders with city tenement blocks, chemical plants and harbour installations. Many Okinawans that came to Osaka settled in Taishō, and it's still noticeable in the area. It's also notable for being the site of Ikea in Osaka, a decent place for Swedish foods and ingredients, candy and other things you miss when living abroad if you happen to be Swedish.


Lunch at an Okonomiyaki place along the main street Taishodori, right where it turns sharply right in the south. I really like the atmosphere in this kind of place, and the food is usually way better than the low price would lead you to believe.

We've passed by the area a few times to visit Ikea. I always felt it'd be fun to come here for sightseeing and perhaps take some pictures. When Ritsuko was in Sweden last week I left for Taishō over a Sunday to explore the place. The weather was not good, unfortunately, with heavy clouds and occasional drifting rain (which save you from getting a sunburn; I'm still flaking as I post this). The weather was not good for photography, and I tended to choose subjects as much for whether I'd get rained on or not as much as anything. Worse, I had just gotten a new wide-angle lens, and I took every chance to use my new toy, even when wildly inappropriate. In short, I got a bunch of images that are grey and lacking in contrast, and with interesting features reduced to mere pinpricks.


Disused crane installation along a pier. A wide-angle shot isn't always wrong.


Meganebashi - "glasses bridge"- is a landmark here. The bridges have to be high to accommodate large ships, but a normal on-ramp takes a lot of space. So here they built two spiral on-ramps and a curved bridgeway in between, making it look like a huge pair of old-fashioned spectacles from above. The space below seems to be used for baseball practice and sports.

Ritsuko pointed out, quite reasonably, that we should go to the harbour area in the fall instead. The weather is much better after all, with high skies and cool air. By then I'll be over the lure of the 45mm and can go back to try for good pictures rather than wide ones. For more pictures I have a Flickr set here.

Flood Gates

Typhoons and heavy rains are a fact of life here, so the channels leading by the city all have flood gates of various types. This one apparently rotates down toward the right to close it.


Emma said...

Hej Janne! I heard from Birger about your blog and came to have a look. Lovely pictures! And you've inspired me to try the chilled aubergine too...

Janne Morén said...

Ah, you two have a blog!

Just be sure with the aubergine that you use Japanese-style dashi, not European consomme or anything. You get plenty of salt from the soy sauce so you don't want to use a salty or heavy broth.

Emma said...

Thanks for that, and I'll let you know about the results!