The Dark City

Yesterday I went to Fukuoka again with my housemate Preema. I wanted to shop and look around, plus I've felt a bit restless and anxious just sitting at the residency house, waiting for my prints and trying to think about what I should be doing next. Before coming here, I thought I could have a rest and maybe get rid of some of my stress but yeah, I really haven't done that. You can take the person out of the stress but you can't take the stress out of the person.

Well, I probably have gotten some rest, though. I can pretty much decide my own hours and all kinds of sleeping timetables are enforced only by me. I should just cut myself some slack! But I don't know how to do that!

Anyway, I needed something to think about and we went to Fukuoka. We went to Daimyo and Tenjin, this time I found all the - God forbid - hipster shops I could hope for. I just didn't realize hipster shops were so expensive! But I guess all that organically produced air is costly to breathe into the world etc. I'm sorry, you hipster guys. We all know that in the end only hipsters make fun of other hipsters. Please follow my instagram! I have many pictures of interesting doorways and graffitis!

We looked around some shops and just generally cool places, the area is really pretty and unique. In a way it reminds of certain parts of London, what with small, completely mismatched buildings and random boutiques. Plus electrical wiring you really would not get away with in Finland. I suppose big cities always share certain things with each other. Like the smell of piss everywhere.

But at night, after dark, Fukuoka is a completely different city. All the neon lights, all the local restaurants, the people heading off to have a dinner with their office mates or the ladies tottering to parties on their high heels, it's just like something from a movie set. For the next Batman movie, they really need to use a Japanese town for Gotham City. There's something very futuristic about Fukuoka but there's also this early 90's noir atmosphere going on too. With just a tiny whiff of danger

It's not a dangerous city, though, or at least I don't think it is. Japan, in general, has been very safe and kind to strangers, even if I do feel I'm often stared at and can't really hide to feel safer, if I'm feeling insecure. But maybe it just does me some good. I've always been in the majority, and God knows I've done some weird stuff as a photographer and haven't minded people staring at me when I'm focused on taking photos. I shouldn't mind being stared at now. But it's different when you're with a camera, though. It's like this invisibility cape you put on and then you're just the camera, you know? You're doing your job and you, as a person, sort of fades away. So you can't really be that ashamed.

We strolled around the Nakasu area until late, taking photos and just enjoying the atmosphere. Usually my favorite moments come after the sunset, because those moments tend to be a bit more fresh than the humid, oppressive heat of the day. We were so caught up in our photos that we almost missed the last train to Itoshima. After frantic ticket-buying and running down too many flights of stairs, we made it anyway and got safely back to the house. Walking back from the station in the balmy heat of the night, surrounded by the misty mountains and crickets all around us, it's quite an experience too.


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