A stony silence

For me at least, the more moss and stone a garden contains, the more fascinating it becomes, and even better if it boasts a tome ishi (止石) or two; a stone with rope wrapped round it that, whilst perfectly fitting its surroundings, is also functional, meaning ‘stop’ or ‘no entry’.

Japanese stone sign/tome ishi

The only trouble is that as it’s not a universally known symbol — and even when taking the picture above several passing couples voiced aloud their wonder about what it was — such stones are often saddled with a sign, detracting somewhat from their simpleness.

Japanese stone sign/tome ishi

Dyed diminutive dog

Japan’s fondness for dainty and diminutive dogs shows no sign of fading, with miniature mutts milling about all over the metropolis. But having a canine that is considered cute is apparently not good enough anymore, with clothes and carrying contraptions deemed de rigueur — the former, in particular, now so normal that it’s increasingly unusual to see a not so big dog naked.

And then even when one does, it seems natural colourings clearly aren’t cute enough.

Japanese dog dye

Scandinavian hotel haikyo

When it comes to hunting down haikyo/abandoned buildings, books and the web offer a wealth of information and photos, but the trouble is, the latter means that the surprise isn’t quite the same, as you’ve already seen at least some of the structure before even setting foot inside it. So, with this in mind, coming across a place that hasn’t been pictured before is a real treat, and definitely a real rush, as what lies behind every door is a new discovery.

Japanese hotel haikyo

A situation that fortunately arose recently when a friend and I were in search of a no longer in use love hotel, and instead stumbled upon an abandoned and luckily unlocked ‘Scandinavian’ lodge. A relatively small place that didn’t contain a great deal content wise, but it did boast that firm favourite of all haikyo, a phone.

Japanese hotel haikyo

Along with statues of what are presumably Scandinavian beauties.

Japanese hotel haikyo

With silent stares that were really quite unsettling.

Japanese hotel haikyo

Especially so when coupled with a less fetching figure.

Japanese hotel haikyo

A photo of which turned out to be my final one, as, totally unannounced, and utterly unheard, an irate local came barging through the doors behind me, and in no uncertain terms said I should leave — a man who sadly couldn’t be appeased no matter how much I apologised.

Meaning no more time to take pictures, and definitely no time for a cheeky cup of tea and a couple of buns.

Japanese hotel haikyo