March 4: a birthday walk


img_20170204_172327_835img_20170208_174714_231img_20170304_144442_040img_20170304_151406_575img_20170304_171103_894img_20170304_153217_289img_20170304_154240_149img_20170304_154459_403img_20170304_170910_348March 4th was my birthday, and a completely perfect spring day for a walk. I decided to walk to two local shrines – Toyonaka Inari-jinja and Harada-jinja – mostly on a route that I had never taken before.

The first part of my walk was quite familiar and took me past the building that I always think of as Dr. Strange’s secret Toyonaka headquarters, and down a street that features one of my favorite older style Japanese houses. At Toyonaka Inari-jinja I met a friendly stone komainu (狛犬), who barked a birthday greeting at me.

On the way to Okamachi, where Harada-jinja is located, I stumbled across a sign advertising what clearly must be a tanuki hospital. Arriving at Harada-shrine I looked up into the beautiful canopy of leaves formed by the small bower of camphor trees that abuts the main shrine building. And then I looked down to find a magnificent utility cover featuring a fireman from the local department looking like nothing so much as an incombustible samurai.

Up the street from the shrine is a local park featuring a wonderful blue concrete elephant slide, with a mural on the nearby fence that depicts flower children and fairies. And then back home, through the maze of de Chirico water tower landscapes that somehow defines Japanese suburbia for me.

(All photos taken with an Asus ZenFone 3, Instagram filters in full effect.)


7 Responses to “March 4: a birthday walk”

  1. 1 annmarie214

    Happy Birthday from the island, Trane!

    Sent from my iPad


    • 2 Trane DeVore

      Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes. I miss Swan’s!

  2. 3 Sarah Creeley

    OMG! That is the COOLEST Slide I have ever seen! Great way to spend your day! I LOVE my daily walks with Benji!

    • 4 Trane DeVore

      There are lots of concrete animal play structures like this all over Japan. They’re super fun.

  3. Happy Birthday 🎂 I’m in love with the elephant slide. Wish they would make cool slides like this outside of Japan…

    • 6 Trane DeVore

      Concrete animal slides are a staple of the Japanese playground, and they’re all totally fantastic. I especially like the octopus ones.

  4. We saw an octopus slide in Shirahama, they are such a great idea, especially as they have several slides rather just one. In Copenhagen we stumbled onto one while exploring the town and it was the first I have ever seen outside Japan. My favourite ones though is a set of dinosaurs near Meguro.

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