Last days of Tuna Auction


Japan has been my favorite country of all time. It was rather accidental that I visited this amazing country 4 times last year, long boring story there, lets not get into it.

Tuna Auctions been a long source of fascination for a Non-Japanese like myself. Finding out Tsukiji Market was moving from its location soon in November 2016, decided  it was able time I should visit and headed there early for the Tuna Auction. Yes even at 12am, I wasn’t the first ones waiting, there was a huge line sitting down and waiting. Despite having been to Tsukiji Market many times for food shopping, I resisted going to the hyped up auction. Of course it was a let down, afterall, having to wait at the gates at 12am for a 6.30am, one does get disappointed. We were led like sheeps, for a 10mins, we stared far away from the actual auction on a thin strip of walkway, before being chased out.




The other Tuna Auction market I highly recommend is the Misaki Tuna Market, Kanagawa. I rather enjoyed this whole place more than the over-rated Tsukiji. The vibe was pretty chill, unlike the noisy and buzzling affair in Tsukiji. Misaki practises silent auction filled with hidden hand signals, wooden tags, and silent submissions to the board pricing. The highest bidder is sorted and the seller agrees to the price based on these wooden tags. The real action starts around 7-8am, much later than Tsukiji.

Should you visit, you would be the only tourists around, and require no queuing, just a simple registration at the office. There is a viewing platform on the second floor.

After the auction, head towards the fish market on the other side for fresh product, it is a little touristy but they cater towards the Japanese tourists. Around the sleepy Misaki town are rows of Tuna restaurants which are much more affordable than Tsukiji and filled with less foreign tourists.

If you have the time, head to Jogashima Island by bus for some sleepy sea side R&R

Getting there : 

Take the Miura Kanagawa train to Misaki-Guchi, from there take any bus to Misaki Port.  Keikyu one-day Misaki Maguro pass cost ¥3,060 from any Keikyu station. The discount ticket entitles you a return train ticket, and a free tuna lunch at any participating restaurants, plus you get a free tuna gift along with it, it also includes free bus rides around town and Jogashima island and free entrance to a cheesy old school marina park that was pretty fun.


Milkway in the SouthWest

And so it seems the Andromeda galaxy always been my home. Whenever I took up in the skies out in the dry aria SouthWest of USA, it always calls me.

Here’s some images from my trip out to the Southwest and beyond, no its not the Andromeda, but our very own milkway.


Milkyway in Bali

The dark night skies are rare these days, even in many parts of the remote world we live in. As more people start living in these parts, electricity follows, filling the dark skies with their bright orange light.

Became obsessed with photographing the Milkyway and the night skies. My first image of the milkyway was a mistake shot while photographing the landscape in the chilly nights of Bolivia Salt Plains. I never knew it could exist in my camera. It looked very much like clouds with naked eye. How wrong I was about the cloud that turned out to be the milkyway, and that cloud was seen through my camera yet I was unable to see it with my eyes.

Living in the city where it is bright at night has created a yearning within me. I loved the night skies and the stars. Light pollution is bad everywhere, night photography is not easy even in remote parts these days, where a tiny amount of light can affect the quality of star gazing.

Staring into the milkyway is mesmerising to think we are part of this awesome galaxy.

Bali, Indonesia became a place for me to experiment, especially at Jutiluwati Rice Terraces. Had not planned for a shoot, the moon was pretty bright and the surrounding villages were all lit up during a pretty windy and cloudy sky.

Death by Coconut water

Sitting here drinking a packet of coconut water in a hot summer day reminded me of Strange Tales of Tamil Nadu. It is a cautionary tale of excessively drinking this innocent fruit, it might turn out deadly.

Tamil Nadu – South Indian state secretly practices the ancient custom of thalaikoothal , an involuntary euthanasia of elderly dependents, sick children or the incapacitated who are deemed too troublesome to be taken care of by their family members.  This is common in impoverished villages where families can’t afford the cost of caring for their old or the sick. Sometimes as with human greed, thalaikoothal is practised when property or money is coverted.

Thalaikoothal means head pouring, involving slow oil bath.

The old man is presented with a soothing oil bath in the wee hours of the morning, and fed with large amount of young green coconut water. The high potassium content in the coconut causes renal failure in the poor victim and the victim dies slowly while his relatives will decorate his deteriorating body with flowers and dresses him. Sometimes the whole family or the whole village would gather to celebrate his slow death, to mark the occasion to his eternal peace.  Death, it seems is a blessing to his sufferings of old age.

So concludes my strange recollection. An cautionary tale of drinking too much of a good thing. Don’t drink copious amount of young coconut water. It is bad for you. But not when you practice Thalaikoothal.



Here in Sante Fe and around New Mexico

I have to return to Sante Fe and the other New Mexico towns. While I was spending quite sometime around the area, didn’t really take the time to visit this quaint town of Sante Fe or even the other nearby ones.

Here’s some random images while I was out on a day visit to this desert town and around the other areas.


When in Colorado, go meet The Nighteagles

“You have to meet one of the most interesting people in the world, when you head out to Colorado” said a friend of mine.

And so I did.

The Nighteagles built their own house out of recycled materials, much like the famous Earthship houses in Taos New Mexico. Always into wonderful and unusual construction, I couldn’t resist the temptation to drive a whole day just to meet them.

Nighteagle is part Native American and part Middle Eastern, totally unusual combination of cultures. Skilled in construction, he took a few years building his own house and while I was there, was building an extension on top of his pre-existing level. Its a never ending process, one of the best things about building your own home.

We went over to his neighbour’s where I was introduced to the best thing about being in America. Guns, and more guns, in a personal shooting range on top of a hill. This was my first experience with bigger machines and larger bullets, not something readily available anywhere else, unless you are in a war zone. It was great fun, and a great session. Shooting from a huge weapon gave me a huge adrenalin high, an opportunity that would be great to repeat one day.

Stilt Fishermen of Sri Lanka

The famous Stilt Fishermen of Sri Lanka, where they fish at the southern coastal region, standing for hours to grab that lucky catch.

The last post mentioned my encounters with the lovely people around this coastal region of Sri Lanka.

These days, most of the retired fishermen stopped fishing and would pose for tourists instead.

One of the fisherman, Julius only does this for tourists, he is retired from fishing and gets some money from the photographing tourists. His son had moved to Japan to work, and had married a Japanese lady.

The whole area was pretty popular with the Japanese, and many young men in this area often marry and have Japanese wives. It was not unusual to have a son within this community to be working in Japan or somewhere else.  Just like these two lovely fishermen sons.


Sri Lanka Stilt Fisherman

When I first saw these famous Sri Lankan Stilt Fisherman from Steve McCurry’s travel images. I wanted to visit and find out how they  fish from such waters with the mere tiny stilts,

Much has changed since Steve McCurry taken that iconic image. These days fishing is difficult as fish stock has almost diminished, many fishermen would venture out in larger boats and go fishing for days.

Most of the stilt fishermen are pretty old and have largely retired. Posing mainly for the tourists who have invaded and changed the whole coast line into spas and pricey resorts. I am quite surprised how shallow these stilts were.

It was the monsoon season, not really idea to do much fishing, most of the time it rained for the whole morning, a daily affair. I stopped photographing places after that.  I spent a week here, mainly to relax and meet up with various people around the area. The Sri Lankans are incredibly friendly and very inviting. As always when you spend more time around the same area, folks would invite you into their homes for great home cooked meals and tell you their stories. This was how I passed my time, visiting homes.

It has always my favorite part of the journey, meeting people, having them share a part of their lives with me, however short it is. That tiny moments in life.



Open your eyes : The Photographer’s Discovery

I’m not a street photographer, it takes patience and skills to be one.

Being a Travel Photographer differs from street photography. However the same skills has help trained me to be more aware, more conscious of life, of people, of unusual folks out of the ordinary. I love making portraits of people like that.

This gentleman stood out among the crowded masses in a busy train station. Normally I would walk off, unconscious of what is happening around me. This man seem quite different from all the foreigners around this busy place. This city I am in, has more than 50% foreigners living in it, so it was quite a common sight.  I found out he is Austrian, living in Langkawai, Malaysia for the past 4 years. He decided to move out of his country and never went back. He looked kinda lost and was given wrong directions to his hotel. I asked I could help and perhaps make a few images of him. Unfortunately I was in a rush, would love to ask him about his life and I bet he has tons of stories to tell.

Maybe I should get into Street Photography just as an excuse to meet interesting people and listen to their stories.

The Thai Medium and the tattoos

Yantra tattoos are one of the most beautiful art works I have seen. This is pure skin art with a religious focus. It is said that to have these tattoos are a form of blessings, the Yantra or Sak Yant  gives protection or even magical powers. This is typical Thai and sometimes Cambodia influence, a mixed of the local pagan rituals mixed with this form of mystic Buddhism.

The monk went into a light trance and wore his mask, invoking the spirit power of that mask’s being. He chanted while giving blessings to a patron, while the rest of the devotees awaits for their turn. Using the same bamboo stick that is used for his tattoos, he blessed each chakra point of the devotee. In exchange each devotee gives an offering to the spiritual being that was invoked.