In Praise of Shadows : An Adventure in Niigata Pt 1

Four friends went to Niigata together.
We were seeking quiet and a sense of real Japan.
Such things can rarely be found within a bludgeoning metropolis.

Our time here was magical and unforgettable and Hiro and I will definitely return.

Niigata for me is the home of rice! It grows everywhere! I never realised how brilliantly green rice growing is. It quite literally took my breath away. Niigata produces the Koshihikari variety, widely considered to be the highest-quality rice produced in Japan. It is also my most favourite rice in the world, the Niigata food post will hit this page next week!

The way.

There are so many tunnels that cut through hills in Japan.

Rice, beautiful Rice. Bet you never knew it was so green!

One day, I would like to live in a house like this.

Endlessly green

Home for a while

Our dear friend and I investigate.
There is something about the countryside that brings out the child in me.

Resting within the branches of an old tree.
I felt as though I was in Totoro's world.

I felt a refreshing sense of peace.


Hiro is happy.

We played with fire......

...and marvelled at the poignant poetry that is senkou-hanabi

It rained the next day.
But not even rain can dull the brilliance of the rice fields.

"Such is our way of thinking—we find beauty not in the in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, the one thing against another creates."
Junichiro Tanizaki “In Praise of Shadows”

"a degree of dimness, absolute cleanliness, and a quiet so complete one can hear the hum of a mosquito."
Junichiro Tanizaki “In Praise of Shadows”

"Out beyond the sitting room, which the rays of the sun at best can but barely reach, we extend the eaves or build a veranda, putting the sunlight at still greater a remove. The light from the garden steals in but dimly through paper-paneled doors, and it is precisely this indirect light that makes for us the charm of the room. We do our walls in neutral colors so that the sad, fragile, dying rays can sink into absolute repose."
Junichiro Tanizaki “In Praise of Shadows”

Thank you Mappa & AZK for the magic.


  1. I love these photos, I feel like such an idiot because that's all I ever seem to say when I post a comment on here but it's true!

    The rice photograph is visually stunning and it reminds me of the fields I've seen in India. The house photo reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha as it looks just like the house I always pictured when I read that book.

  2. What a gorgeous share! Those pictures looks just beautiful!
    Haha~ I see how rice growing every day :P

  3. What a beautiful place. I can see why you will go back and Hiro loves it. Also wonderful architecture and great shots. Thank you for your lovely comments and for making me eat my words so soon and twittering about me ;-). Have a wonderful weekend sunshine. Xxxx

  4. it looks so traditional and beautiful! must have been hot?? it's a popular location for winter sports in the winter, must look so different!

    have fun in Brum XD

  5. AWWW GLOW...

    got rice, bitch? got rice?
    got food, got soup, got spice?
    got brains like us? got skills like us?
    got cars? got clothes? got girls like us?

    i have been waiting for your country adventure....this i see you here forever...hunting for frogs?! you look like a forest fairy....ughhh i can imagine how serene and calm this was....

    BTW the magnificent "rice" haiku is from a song called "azn pride got rice"....one of the brilliant songs to define us


  6. Wow. What a peaceful and serene place.
    When I saw Jinja, I thought you were in Uganda! Ha! Then I remembered that you guys are our long lost 'cousins'...

  7. I really liked this post.
    Very serene.

  8. absolutely amazing...
    you under that old tree~ gorgeous shot!
    Enjoy your weekend beautiful!
    ps: adding you to my links pronto*


  9. Beautiful! When I save up enough to visit Japan, I absolutely need to see the countryside. It reminds me a bit of the rural Midwest, with rice instead of cornfields and more interesting buildings than farmhouses (though they have their own charms, too).

  10. Beautiful Pictures....
    I wish one day to visit this place..

  11. the rice field looks beautiful =D I love the photos. what dress were you wearing in the old tree photo? it looks perfect ^^

  12. this is why I love your blog, these photos are astounding.

    amazing, it just looks so peaceful and relaxing.

  13. All these images are simply beautiful, you are rather tall arent you Yasumi?? I was transported to a tranquil world when I was looking through all these pics. BIG love xx

  14. Wow hon!
    It's looks just incredible...sigh!


  15. Wow hon!
    It looks just incredible...sigh!

  16. Wow, what a lovely and peaceful place.
    It looks magical...
    Oh Glow, you're practically glowing just as brightly as the rice fields!! That picture with you standing between the trees has got to be one of my favorites of you. :) You look like you just stepped out of one of those trees. ^_^ Wood nymph? :)

    You know I had to youtube the senko hanabi. Oh one day I'll go to Japan and experience their magic. :)

    Thank you for this wonderful post... Left me with a serene feeling. :)

  17. wow...it's sooo green and clean!! it looks very peaceful...very serene...i would love to go to a place like the someday :)

  18. Breathtaking!! And Nigita is soo known for the rice! The fields look so serene!!

    GORGEOUS pics of you!! Like a forest goddess!


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