Tag Archives: postbox

Postbox and Payphone: “daily double”, old pals like pretty standard stuff

Little slow to be an official #PostboxSaturday but here’s a daily double / “pretty standard stuff” for the both of them but still love a Postbox and Payphone next to each other like old pals here in Okayama Japan

Four views of a coffee shop (and thoughts about small places and tipping)

Four views of a cute / shabby coffeehouse noticed while waiting for the pharmacy to finish up (with what will be a suitcase load of medication for Canada trip)

The coffee shops name written in katakana characters above is “liberal“ as per the literal meaning rather something “lost in translation” and they liked the sound of it… But who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to make it in there and ask.

Semi-related: our “car guy“ company name is “Claudia“ and I asked him the reason, “My grandfather just liked the sound”

Vaguely related: In preparation for our “BC invasion” trip to Vancouver and Victoria, yesterday enjoyed an animated conversation with darling wife about the two topics of: zoning; and, tipping (and how group/chain companies swallow the restaurant/bar industry)

Still many tiny proprietor/owned and operated places in Japan. i.e. Less than 20 seats, short menus, odd hours sometimes a bit shabby & always quirky, scattered in mixed used neighborhoods… Just doing their thing generationally.

Wee businesses from bakeries to handicrafts to vegetable stands to coffee shops keep residential neighborhoods lively, convenient and enjoyable (& car, less)

What you see is what you pay (including taxes and the owner/employee living wages) / so such…

Semi-rant: I think in general going to very much avoid restaurants aside from Finches for a sandwich and then a secret deli in the West End that has pierogies and cabbage rolls, and another with tamales & I want to dim sum experience at a place where the Chinese ladies wheel carts around and get angry if you don’t choose their chicken feet or whatever.

Most of the time we’re staying with friends or hotels with a kitchenette and honestly, restaurants are total sensory overload for me anyway. We will do lots of picnics in parks instead, we’re bringing a little kit to just for that purpose.

I just don’t want to be part of the whole bullshit system and heaven help me if I’m going into a Brown’s, Cactus, Earls or any of those cheeseball places.

I will also drink Jj bean dark drip coffee and not buy 8$ lattes :)

Observations: poem, post box, bus stop, IV

was just waiting for someone to ask me the time so i could say “North by Northwest”
walked to post office

as rain fell

imagining Van and Vic

in April & May

writing new endings by 
crafting beginnings
with new cast of darlings

{mailed 4 packets of printed matter}
2 "forged" passports 
4 x postcards with dozens of stamps
1 portrait of young sailor

now a fire

Two observations outside of the doctors office yesterday / yes, can help me to locate myself when my head is spinning after injections

Continue reading Observations: poem, post box, bus stop, IV

Post’d: 3 views (pleasure & bizness)

Three views of mailing a letter (one for business, one for pleasure) and the broken vending machine on the walk to the box.

Kurashiki corner with postbox, phone booth + several bonus items

I love it when you find an “double“ with postbox and phone booth (with phone book) side-by-side / in this case in historic Bikan district in Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan.

For bonus is the logo of the fantastic “black cat“ Yamato courier service and an official post office mark + safety cone, duo-lingual stop sign, resto menu board, electrical box & weary potted plant.

Its all happening, here, now. Wait. Stop. Go anywhere!

(And yes, I have folders filled with post office and postbox and payphone photos just waiting for more purposes, meanwhile working on poetry projects)

Postbox poem needs a repaint (for impending tourist visitors to Japan)

Looks like this poem on a postbox at Rural Caprine (goat) Farm is going to need a bit of painting touch up one of these days… looking rather wabi-sabi :)

PS wonder who is going to be our next foreign visitor to Tsuchida Cottage now that Japan is opening* to foreign tourists {*= some but not all countries, some restrictions apply, yes you have to wear a mask, no whining}

And yes, I have loads of resources about traveling to Japan at this archive / both “practical/logistical” as well as lots of field notes from museums and outings.


  • bring slip on/off shoes
  • always carry a handkerchief/small towel
  • always bring a gift to your host
  • seriously, the tipping is completely unnecessary / offer a small gift is cool
  • always have your own trash bag tucked in your rucksack
  • hot springs and baths in general are one of the top five best things about Japan
  • JR train passes are great but can be complicated and you really don’t need a “super unlimited everywhere” pass
  • don’t read “gaijin Twitter” because mostly full of whiners wielding gripes and clichés + Watch YouTube very judiciously
  • sure Tokyo and Kyoto are filled with interestingness *shrug* but Japan is loaded with great minor provincial capitals/cities which you’ll have much more space to explore on your own / hooray Kanazawa, Toyama, Nagasaki, and of course Okayama – The “Goldilocks of Japan” which is a great base including also the jumping off point to the inland sea art islands and the “4th main Island” Shikoku / all of which are exceptional

Postbox / 4 views: Yumeji Takehisa home & atelier (for #postboxsaturday)

For #postboxsaturday comes 4 views of Japan pillar style at (one of several) museums for famed artist (painter, print maker, poet, writer, bookbinder and illustrator) Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934).

In the gift shop or a wide assortment of postcards and postal stamps design from the artists work. What kind of dream is this right?!

This dapper gent is noted for his modern approaches and expanding traditional techniques and representing – especially women & cats – through the “rather enlightened romantic“ Taisho era – which was sandwiched between the massive industrialization of Meiji era and the militarization build-up of early Showa era.

Continue reading Postbox / 4 views: Yumeji Takehisa home & atelier (for #postboxsaturday)

Postbox: Matsue, Shimane, Japan (for #postboxsaturday)

A very unique Japan PostBox for #PostboxSaturday

This black beauty is in Matsue, Shimane outside the former residence, next to museum of renowned international, multi-genre writer: Lafcadio Hearn.

He is a total hero for me and others – his roots and branches run deep and wide with roots in Ireland & Greece and sojourns in New Orleans and Caribbean before moving to Japan and taking a Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo.

{If curious, I have a dossier about Lafcadio Hearn with more snapshots and annotations}

Memo: As it goes, i have hundreds of snapshots of postboxes, post offices, and “postal still life” (meaning scenes of scattered pens, papers, postcards, stationery, stamps – all spread over a table while in a session) and i use these for Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast “episode art” and made a book from many of the artifacts.

Of late, some Instagram/Twitter folks have a #postboxsaturday campaign/project rolling so i’ve used this as encouragement to start trickling out my stash. Slowly and intermittently (because i have too many projects on the go!) with minor annotations.

Outing: bus to passport snaps, jazz & tea

The three of us, on the road by wonderful, air conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled, Uno bus service into Okayama city for passport snaps for Ichiro. His first time on the bus and he’s really into it, waved to the driver, of course, (yup, like his papa).

Evidence of the journey as he looks at the windows to endless possibilities

Lots of fun at the photo studio, serious face and a sailor suit for two passports, two countries, two sizes… Then and outfit change (jimbei & barefeet) for a bit of a commemorative studio photo / just like my Mom used to do for us boys.

After photo studio, caught street jazz / sort of informal part “Okayama Jazz Street weekend” (Including a tenor sax, followed a car and upright bass combo, the bass played by the chief of “Live House Bird” where we hosted our “foreigner welcome party” before the wedding.

Melodica, Tenor Sax, Bass combo afternoon in Omotecho shotengai

We’d never had a chance to thank him in real life – he was grateful for all the snapshots and awareness of our pals brewed up.

Stopped for tea at a place filled with older gents playing Shogi & Go + bought Ichiro a puzzle at one of those dusty forgotten stationery shop so I dig.

You can *barely tell* that we’re even related I’m sure

Oh, also bumped into several people we know, or wife knows… Starting to be a lot more action around the city, was also a sake festival and saw a gaggle of obvious foreigners, first time in a long long time, seem to be maybe a sports team?

[update: done-ish] All above unpictured for now, mebbe i’ll grab something from R‘s phone as my camera is broken but i did take the instax for 3 snaps.

Home now in the cool dark room with the little guy snoozing next to me.

Post’d: well-franked from Wales, Portugal and Gifu + India returned

Quite an assortment in the Post box yesterday:

that right there is a beautiful quartet

1) postcard of painting of a postbox from Wales with a commemorative Queen Elizabeth 2 Memorial franking & 3 language Air Mail seal

2) postcard from a dear correspondent in Gifu who’s postmaster always does a fantastic cancellation stamp (subject matter: motels around the world)

3) big envelope with collage art from Portugal with a fantastic oversize 4£ portfolio style stamp

4) a postcard i mailed to India that sadly, was returned because “mail to this region is not currently possible“ – keeping it on standby in the meanwhile