Late Autumn Snaps from Japan

11 January 2008

Sincere apologies for leaving this space for so long, thank you very much for all your kind notes while I was away. I was back in the UK more than a month ago, but after being away for nearly two months I had so much to catch up on and we also had some very sad news (Matthew’s father died despite his fight against cancer), so I haven’t been taking very many pictures other than for work.

Here are some late autumn-y shots from Japan – as you can probably tell, I was rather drawn to the old things on this trip home. We had a great time there, but as usual it was extremely busy meeting up with friends etc (thanks again to everyone who took time to meet us) and for me, it was somehow quite an emotional trip. I guess I’m getting older… We enjoyed the wonderful food throughout the stay, and there was something we didn’t want to miss this time – Onsen (hot spring). We managed to stay at a couple of places to enjoy the open-air hot spring baths – you can’t beat relaxing in one under the stars, or the sunrise over the ocean :)

On a work side note, I’ve recently done some shots for a few stories for The Independent – the chef at Petersham Nurseries, Skye Gyngell, has been writing articles with her tantalising recipes for their Sunday magazine and I was absolutely thrilled to work with her and her team. As I’ve written here and here, I’ve been a huge fan of her cooking and it was such a privilege for me. The first article will be out this weekend (13th Jan).

I know it’s a little late, but I wish you all a very happy new year and good luck for 2008…!

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  • Thank you for the lovely, serene shots of Japan…they take my breath away!

    Posted by Eleanor van Overdijk | 11 January 2008 #
  • Wow! So many pictures! I’m glad to see the site has updated! I got worried… :-)

    Posted by Philip Chi | 11 January 2008 #
  • A Happy New Year, Keiko san!
    What a beautiful, uplifting gergenous photos!!!
    These photos are trully breath taking! Thank you for sharing with us :-)

    I wish you a happy new year, and hope many more great things will come to you and your husband!

    Posted by junko | 11 January 2008 #
  • Welcome back Keiko! Your beautiful photography has been missed…

    Posted by Morsels of Memory | 11 January 2008 #
  • keiko welcome back the photos are breath taking…
    will email you soon about perch hill…
    happy new year to you am posting this message fr harbor island eleuthera bahamas..

    Posted by shalimar | 11 January 2008 #
  • So beautiful! You really know how to capture beauty.
    My condolences to Matthew’s family.

    Posted by Olivia | 11 January 2008 #
  • Oh, wow! When I was little I dreamed of going to Japan. I still do but life’s in the way. Everything looks so beautiful!

    Posted by Manggy | 11 January 2008 #
  • Welcome back and Happy 2008!
    Sorry to hear about Matthew’s father, my condolences.
    Your pictures of Japan are wonderful!

    Posted by Kat | 11 January 2008 #
  • Glad you’re back Keiko-san. Thank you for the lovely photos. Which part of Japan is it ? Regarding Petersham nurseries, i look forward to the article. Also i didn’t realise its in jeopardy. I hope it survives and that i will be able to visit one day….

    Posted by Miki | 11 January 2008 #
  • Those pictures of Japan are breathtaking, Keiko!! And I’m so excited about the news that you’ve been working with Skye Gyngell. I visited Petersham Nurseries in April last year – mostly inspired by your two posts – and absolutely loved the experience. I bet you make a wonderful team!!

    Posted by Pille | 11 January 2008 #
  • have been here many times. love the pictures you took. will be here more often. :)

    Posted by jj | 11 January 2008 #
  • Dear Keiko, these photos are beautiful. I especially like the ones with the subjects of paper and prayer. You have captured an ethereal tenderness in those subjects. Thank you. – Lucy

    Posted by Lucy Vanel | 11 January 2008 #
  • These photos are truly beautiful! We’ve been thinking about visiting Japan since everything looks so delicate and artistic including delicious food. There seems to be a lot of tradition left intact in Japan too, unlike other Asian countries. Thanks a lot for opening a window into the Japanese culture for us.

    Posted by Singing Horse | 11 January 2008 #
  • Happy New Year Keiko San.

    The beauty of Japan looks even better through your eyes. Thanks for those pictures and welcome back!

    Posted by Malvina | 11 January 2008 #
  • Happy New Year to you Keiko and a Huge thank you for these very beautiful pictures. As shalimar, I think there are breath taking.
    I wish I could say more…
    [Comme “Elles sont d’une beaute rare”]

    Posted by g. | 11 January 2008 #
  • What a lovely way to get back to blogging, Keiko. The pictures are breath-taking, as usual.


    Posted by Pim | 11 January 2008 #
  • Keiko, all my love goes to you and Matthew for this hard time.
    Your pictures are gorgeous and I can’t wait to see the Independent article.

    x fanny

    Posted by fanny | 11 January 2008 #
  • your pics are so gorgeous !

    Posted by christell | 11 January 2008 #
  • ((((((keiko)))))

    welcome back and i’m sorry to hear of the bad news… still, a new, a beautiful beginning, and wishing you and matthew all things joyful for 2008…

    Posted by Lil | 11 January 2008 #
  • It’s good to see your new post. I’ve been coming to check for any update. Lovely pictures. That totally allured me to go on a trip to Kyoto soon, one of my favorite cities in the world.

    Posted by Mag | 11 January 2008 #
  • こんにちは。
    Kyoto is cool!

    Posted by y_and_r_d | 13 January 2008 #
  • Some beautiful shots as always! You should be working for the Japanese Tourist Board! I wonder how many shots were with that flash new lens I heard you picked up?

    One day, I will finally come round and pick your brains on how to use my camera properly! ;-)

    Posted by Mark | 13 January 2008 #
  • Welcome back and a happy new year to you.

    Your wonderful photos and words are both back! Yay!

    Posted by Linda | 13 January 2008 #
  • Your photographs are absolutely stunning!

    Posted by cinnamonda | 13 January 2008 #
  • keiko, a beautiful, unconventional look at japan – free of modernism and technology.

    Posted by eatdrinknbmerry | 13 January 2008 #
  • Keiko, As always lovey photographs….I really enjoy your eye on the world.
    I am also sorry about your very sad news. I hope you have a fantastic new year…continued success in 2008.

    Posted by hag | 14 January 2008 #
  • Happy New Year to you too, Keiko! Is great to begin it watching your wonderful and meaningful photos…

    As for the bad news, may sadness and pain dilute as soon as possible in loving memories.
    Best wishes,

    Posted by Marcela | 14 January 2008 #
  • merci pour ces belles images!!!

    Posted by lory | 14 January 2008 #
  • fantastic images as usual. You have captured the colours beautifully.

    Posted by Alpa Patel | 15 January 2008 #
  • beautiful photos of japan. all the best in the new year.

    Posted by buttaberry | 15 January 2008 #
  • keiko,

    What a lovely home-coming. Seeing Japan through your eyes is such an honor.


    My deepest condolences to you. May you find strength and light in your grief. My own grief has transformed me and I bid you a safe journey.

    Posted by shuna fish lydon | 15 January 2008 #
  • Dearest Keiko-san,
    Welcome back and sorry to hear of your loss. Your pictures speak volumes. Wishing you and Matthew a new beginning in 2008.

    Posted by Ilgin | 15 January 2008 #
  • I am happy to see you are back to blogging again – you have been missed.

    Your photos of Japan are lovely and take me back to my visits there.

    Posted by Alice | 15 January 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko ~

    Such stunning pictures! Was this Kyoto that you visited?!


    Posted by venus | 16 January 2008 #
  • My best regards to you Keiko-san!
    I adore your photographs and enjoy your views of the world tremendously.
    I am learning from you and my daughters too.
    Thank you so much!
    I wish you all the best in the future.

    Posted by Sophia | 17 January 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko

    A very happy new year to you. What beautiful pictures – they brought back very happy memories of a tour of Japan my husband and I took in 2005. We loved the country and its kind and hospitable inhabitants.

    What camera do you use to get such beautiful shots ?

    Posted by Fiona | 17 January 2008 #
  • 素晴らしい写真の数々、なんて素敵なのでしょう。

    Posted by moonisup | 17 January 2008 #
  • Beautiful pictures! Happy New Year!

    Posted by mycookinghut | 17 January 2008 #
  • Welcome back, Happy New Year and condolences!
    Can’t wait for more pics of food!

    Posted by Jeremy | 17 January 2008 #
  • Dear Keiko:

    Welcome back! As always, your photos dazzle and in my book are worth any wait to view! As always, thanks for sharing.

    On the more somber note, please give our regards to Matthew as we are very sorry to hear about his loss. All the best to you both.

    Are you heading out to L.A. again any time in the future?

    Posted by Kevin | 17 January 2008 #
  • hello keiko, happy new year! I’m very sorry to hear about the news, i hope you and Matthew are feeling better now (also very sorry for my slow email reply).

    I’m so glad you’ve now update your blog, i have been checking and hadn’t seen any update for a while. hope all is well.

    lovely pictures. i should really be more active in taking pictures, japan is such a beautiful country.

    Posted by shereen | 18 January 2008 #
  • Keiko I am so sorry to hear about Mathew’s father. My love to you both at this sad time.

    Your photos of Japan are inspirational. THey brought back memories of my visit there in 1991 for a friends wedding.

    I have discovered a cafe/art gallery here on the Gold Coast where everything is served in the most beautiful Japanese pottery. A chat with the owner and she told me she had collected them over the 30 years she lived in Japan.

    Posted by barbara | 18 January 2008 #
  • Welcome back, Keiko! :) Really glad to see you here and of course those images that I’ve been impatiently waiting for ;)

    First, Happy New Year to you both in 2008. Many successes, peace and happiness…

    I’m sorry to hear about Matthew’s dad :-( I guess it’s always helpful to think that things happen for reasons (the best) whether we understand it or not. Courage…

    Well-done, it seems like you’re getting into your own independent work quite successfully. You’ve done some great fun projects and your images are always the favorites (for me) :-) Good job! and more successes in 2008.

    You’ve been missed here :-) I hope that one day we’ll meet in person either in Antibes, UK, or else…

    Take care and ‘til next time again. Ciao Bella…

    Posted by Maya | 18 January 2008 #
  • Hello Keiko,

    So sorry for the loss that you and Matthew faced.

    Wonderful pictures of your home country.

    May you have a wonderful year

    Posted by Bea at La Tartine Gourmande | 18 January 2008 #
  • Keiko,
    My condolences to you and Matthew at this difficult time.

    I love your photos from Japan. They bring back great memories from when I visited last year. =) A belated Happy New Year and wishing you a fantastic and yummilicious year ahead!

    Posted by ilingc | 18 January 2008 #
  • Dear Keiko, I am really sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Lovely shots of your home country, as usual I am deeply moved by your shots. I am planning on going to Japan late this year.Shame i didn’t get the Independent last weekend. Missed the article. It would be lovely to see you sometime in this new year.

    Posted by valentina | 18 January 2008 #
  • hello.
    though i do not know you, i stop by from time to time. after reading your post this visit i felt compelled to comment and to send my condolences. also to mention how lovely your photos are!


    Posted by maggienikole | 20 January 2008 #
  • happy to see you again, wish you the best, from spain we also value your striking beautiful pictures and your love for food and cooking.

    Posted by rosa crespo | 20 January 2008 #
  • Just.Beautiful. I’m sorry to hear about the death in the family, and it makes such tender pictures of home and things past even more lovely to look at.

    Posted by Annemarie | 20 January 2008 #
  • Keiko, You have captured the serene beauty of Japan, and your photos move my soul. My condolences for your family. I am wishing you and yours a wonderful and happy new year with new beginnings. Thank-you again for some awe inspiring words & pictures.

    Posted by Videodrome | 21 January 2008 #
  • Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your kind notes (and Matthew sends a big thank you too) – I’m hoping to get back to more regular posts soon!

    Miki-san, Venus – I took these shots in Kyoto and near my parents’ place in Iwate.

    Pille – Skye is brilliant, and I really like the way she works with her team in the kitchen. Hope you can visit there again :)

    Singing Horse – I’m afraid Japan isn’t an exception, but I think the younger generation has been trying to preserve traditional values in a modern context, which is great.

    y_and_r_dさん, moonisupさん – いつもありがとうございます。ここに載せた写真の半分は京都、後は私の実家のある岩手で撮りました。日本で写真を撮るのは初めてでしたが、カメラを通して見る日本もいいなぁと思いました。また近いうちに戻れるといいなぁと思っています…。

    Fiona – I was using a Canon 350D for about 2 years, then recently got a 5D – it’s much bigger/heavier than before but I’m happy with it so far.

    Barbara – I hope you are settling in to your new place, maybe you can post about the cafe on your blog some time…? I’m rediscovering that the Japanese eating experience is about much more than just the food itself.

    Maya – thank you for your kind thought as always, will email you soon!

    Valentina – I hope you have a great time in Japan. I did a few articles for the independent so next weekend will be mine too :) Looking forward to catching up soon.

    Posted by keiko | 22 January 2008 #
  • Keiko,

    Your gorgeous site is my newest addiction. I also offer condolences on Mathew’s and your loss. Comfort each other and accept the warmth we (correspondants) offer.

    I have an idea for a sweet dish that you might like to play with. During a hunt for ingredients I discovered 4 full containers of raisins. Thinking to make something with them I threw them in a pot, covered them with beer added ginger, cinnamon quills and some Aleppo chile. I simmered the raisins until they began to break down. It was too sweet so I added some grapefruit peel that had been cooked in syrup. Finally I added some chestnut puree to give it some body and cooked it some more.

    I have done two things with the mixture: I have made some bar cookies with two layers of oatmeal and coconut dough sandwiching a layer of the fruit. Delicious!

    Also, I served the fruit as a chutney with a braised pork tenderloin. That worked well also.

    I hope you like to experiment and that you might try this. I used Red Stripe but I imagine a dark beer or stout might be deeper and more interesting.

    Cheers from North Carolina

    Posted by Chris | 22 January 2008 #
  • Happy New Year, Keiko! My condolences to you and Matthew on your loss.

    I absolutely adore your photos of Japan. Kyoto is still on my list of places to visit one day. I would love to visit those places you went to in person soon. :-)

    Posted by Karen | 22 January 2008 #
  • Keiko, I hope you can find support and love.
    Thanks for these beautiful photos.

    Best Regards from Brazil and have a happy 2008!

    Posted by Luciana | 24 January 2008 #
  • Thankyou for your advice Keiko, I will look into the pricing.
    I have put some Japan pictures on my blog, I thought you might be interested. They aren’t anything as good as yours, but I love them !
    Fiona x

    Posted by Fiona | 24 January 2008 #
  • I’m so happy to meet you here again. Even if you’re being rare I do check your RSS a lot. I’m always so delighted of your pictures, it’s lovely, it’s art.

    Posted by Babeth | 25 January 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko
    My first time really looking around here, I’m deeply inspired by your breathtaking photos. Food seems great, too, wow!

    Posted by kimmm | 26 January 2008 #
  • Your photographs are spectacular and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your talent and writing. We are in awe of your work!

    Posted by White On Rice Couple | 27 January 2008 #
  • わー!


    Posted by 発汗 | 29 January 2008 #
  • Your beautiful photos transport us not only to a geographical place but to an emotional place with you. So sorry to hear of your loss and may happy memories slowly and surely lessen the pain.

    Posted by Deborah Dowd | 2 February 2008 #
  • Oh myyyyy, what keen eyesight you have Keiko! Thank you so much for posting them! My condolence to Matthew on his father’s dismissed.

    ... and my very close japanese friend & family lives in Iwate too! At Morioka-shi… I promised to visit them as soon as possible.

    Your photos really made wanted to see Japan ever more.

    BTW.. I hope you will produce a coffee-table book of all your shots of Japan & food!!! Inform me first, ok! :-)

    I hope 2008 will bring you many happy adventures and many returns!


    Posted by pixen | 3 February 2008 #
  • I miss you Keiko! You’ve been nominated.. have a look on my blog :)

    Posted by tuki | 4 February 2008 #
  • けいこさん、こんにちは。
    Anyway, great to see you back blogging!
    t xx

    Posted by tamami | 4 February 2008 #
  • hi please writ what kind of camera are u using???? PLEASE

    Posted by Eve | 5 February 2008 #
  • my deepest condolensces to you and matthew’s family, keiko! i know how hard it must be for you both, as my family has been fighting for my mom to beat ovarian cancer for the past five years. it’s so difficult to see such a wonderful, strong person deterioate in front of your eyes due to such a malevolent disease. best wishes!

    and welcome back to your blog! we’ve missed you dearly and i can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to! beautiful photos, too!

    Posted by monica | 6 February 2008 #
  • I love your photography.

    Posted by Thip | 8 February 2008 #
  • You captured the calm and traditional side of Japan in a beautiful way. :) However I’m very sorry to hear about the circumstances of your visit. :( My lasts visit to Tokyo were as well due the passing of relatives (my mother and uncle in this case). Japan is a place that needs to be experienced with all senses. Im glad you were able to do that!

    Posted by noogies | 9 February 2008 #
  • nothing very original to say but your photos are just amazing !

    Posted by vanessa | 12 February 2008 #
  • Hi everyone, thank you so much again for all your kind notes.

    Chris – your recipes sound inspiring, you must be a great cook! I think I’m gonna try the pork tenderloin, hopefully I can find Red Stripe but I’m sure I’ll have many other choices for stout/ale even if I can’t :)

    Karen – I hope you have a chance to visit Japan one day…!

    発汗さん – 次回は麺三昧でいきますので、今度こそ!

    Pixen – Morioka is a beautiful old town, hope you can visit them soon….!

    Tamami-san – 私は実家が東北なので、今回は秋保と松島に行きました。やっぱり日本はいいですね、もっと頻繁に帰らないと…と決意しました(笑)

    Eve – hope you got my email, I was using a Canon 350D for about 2 years and recently got a 5D.

    Monica – I have lost a few of my family members from cancer and I know how hard it is to go through. Our very best wishes to you and your mother.

    Posted by keiko | 14 February 2008 #
  • Ah, the pictures remind me of my first trip to Japan. We visited some of the same places in your photographs.

    The trip was our honeymoon, as I went to Japan to marry my Keiko!

    I love the photo of the people taking in the rock garden at the one temple. When I saw it, it was nice, but I liked the mossy, shaded tree area that your photo highlights quite well. Must be because I am from the Pacific Northwest!

    I’ll try to get Keiko to look at your site, to get inspired with photography and web design — two things she is interested in.

    Thanks for the great photos and recipes!

    Posted by Greggle | 17 February 2008 #
  • Hi Greggle – thank you for your kind note, glad you enjoyed your honeymoon in Japan! Say hi to your Keiko-san :)

    Posted by keiko | 4 March 2008 #
  • Hey how do you get your pictures to be so clear and book like,unless of course you are also a photographer , respond back

    Posted by cheito | 28 March 2008 #
  • thankyou for sharing your photographs and this beautiful website, they render a smile in my heart which lasts throughout the day!
    i look forward to each of your extracts!

    Posted by sarmie | 8 May 2008 #
  • Hi Cheito and Sarmie – thanks so much for your kind notes.

    Cheito – I actually work as a photographer now :)

    Posted by keiko | 1 July 2008 #
  • I miss East Asia so much. Seeing those pictures just bring it all back. I feel sad actually.

    I went travelling there 6 months ago

    Posted by Seb | 18 March 2009 #
  • Hi Seb – oh don’t be sad, you can visit there again! I should be going back more often, I wish it wasn’t such a long way.

    Posted by keiko | 27 April 2009 #

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