Hi there! My name is Shun and today I gave a tour of Omori to 趙慧穎 and her friends from Hiroshima University. While the fall foliage has mostly fallen to the ground, there are still plenty of places to look at and to take pictures of in Omori. I think one of the main reasons that the town is so photogenic is that the people of the town take the time and care to maintain the townscape. Some clean the streets, take care of the old houses, and plan various events and exhibits. On this day, we decided to take full advantage of this and took a photogenic tour of Omori!
We first took a photo stop at the entrance of the town where we took photos of the famous vending machine of Omori. This vending machine has a case around it which is made from this weathered looking wood. The reason for this case is to maintain the aesthetic of the town without sacrificing convenience. Imagine taking a picture of the townscape but having a visually loud vending machine taking up the photo. Not only is the vending machine covered, but also the air conditioning units, electricity meters, and even the gutters as well! There is a lot of care and effort put into this town right down to much of the minute detail making the traveling experience that much more cohesive for those visiting.
We then visited the Gungendo store to look at the art exhibit produced by an iron sculptor called Yoshida-san who is a resident of Omori. He had his friends send their sculptures which were all so unique and thought provoking. 趙慧穎 and her friends were surprised to find such a modern looking exhibit being opened here in Omori. We all enjoyed looking at all the sculptures and trying to figure out what the artist was trying to make or express through their work. While the townscape looks vintage, there are many efforts being made to not simply rely on that but to do something interesting within that environment. We all stood in front of our favorite sculpture and took a photo next to it in this group photo. Hard to imagine being in the countryside just from looking at this picture!
As we walked through the town we came upon various red photo spots as well. The first is a post box that is still being used by the post office, it’s not just for decoration! I find it nice that these “decorations” we find in the town are used by the residents for utility purposes. Many times, in touristy locations things tend to be just for decoration, having no purpose for the residents. Yet here in Omori they are great place for taking photos for tourists while being useful for the people living here. The second photo is a Kappa mailbox which is used by the people of this house. Both are a nice pop to the scenery of the town as well!
One of the last spots we visited was the Kawashima Residence, where the past lifestyle of the family is but on display. Usually the guests are impressed by the Japanese garden or the samurai armor, but 趙慧穎 and her friends seemed particularly interested in the “storage” being put on display on the second floor. They found the stacking of boxes, plates, and lacquerware very beautiful and were taking lots of pictures. I definitely agree with them with all of the items being stored in aesthetically pleasing ways where the boxes were stacked perfectly on top of each other. It reminded me of certain scenes from Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli. Sometimes on tours we find hidden treasures like this and I was glad that my guests were so pleased with finding this.
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