So today was my first day off and I took a long bicycle ride around the surrounding countryside. One can read about the decreasing population of Japan but to be here and experience it is really something else. The village where I am living and working has one retail business, a small grocery store run out of the owner’s home. I was told to phone and ask them to open. I pedal back and forth through the town and see almost no one. The elementary and junior high school were shuttered years ago. It seems as though as many as half the houses are empty.
About a half hour cycle away toward the city I found this huge, abandoned property and I poked around for a fair bit. It was surrounded by walls with gates front and back. I took the last shot in the family cemetery on the high ground behind the place. The large perimeter buildings I suspect were for storing rice. There are also two shrines on the property. My favorite shot is of a crumbling end wall which I think becomes an astounding piece of sculpture. This is truly a remnant of a feudal Japan, as this must date from the Meiji era and whomever owned this home probably owned all the farmland for miles around.