One of the first temples I went to in Kyoto was Fushimi-inari Taisha which is the most visited Shinto Shrine in all of Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain named Inari. This shrine is known for having 10,000 torii gates. Inari is the patron of business and each torii was donated by a Japanese business. Inari is also the god of rice. This shrine has more than 32,000 sub shrines all across Japan. Today’s configuration: Leica M6 with various Leica lenses shot on Kodak Ektar film.
The shrine looked to have been recently repainted and was a bright beautiful red...
A fox with a grain of rice in its mouth...
These wooden boards are called ema. People write their prayers on them and leave them hanging up at the shrine where the spirits or gods receive them.
Often the pictures show the animal for Chinese Zodiac calendar. This year is Year of the Snake! Last year was the Dragon. Sometimes these are meant for specific purposes like success in school or work. In this case it was about success at work. I could spend hours reading these and sometimes you can find some very funny ones...
I am often look at what keywords people are searching to find ShootTokyo in Google Analytics. There are the usual suspects such as; ShootTokyo, Leica Photography, Leica M9, Shooting Tokyo and Japan Blogs. I have also seen a few interesting ones that I thought I would comment on:
#1 - "私 日本人 です よろしく" (translation: I am a Japanese person, be kind to me) - I have no idea why this would lead people to my site.
#2 - "ShootTokyo T-Shirts" - I had more than 100 of these in the past few months. I have taken a couple of stabs at selling T-Shirts and perhaps it is time for another try.
If you want to make your own t-shirts to sell there are a couple of options; 1. You can print and hold your own inventory and ship them out yourself. 2. You can print and have a logistics company hold inventory and handle pick, pack and ship for you. 3. You can use a print on demand service.
There are pros and cons for each type. With #1 you have the sunk cost of needing to buy all of the shirts and you need to store them but the upside is you can have complete control on quality of the product, packing and shipping. #2 is similar to #1 but logics companies have monthly minmums so if your volume isn't significant this might not be a cost effect approach. #3 is the lowest cost option but also may be the lowest quality as it typically isn't silk screened.
I did a test print with option 3 and wasn't happy with the results. The first batch of shirts I sold I followed option 1 and printed in Osaka and held inventory at my house and shipped out once a week. The quality was fantastic but the shirts are a bit expensive for most people and shipping from Tokyo isn't inexpensive. I sold a good amount of shirts but it was slow and steady. The ones I wear are all from batch 1. For the most recent shirts I was selling I went with option 2. It was extremely convient but the volume isn't there to afford the monthly logistics minimums and the quality didn't match was I was able to produce in Japan.
These are the things you think about if you run a blog. If I ever make shirts again I will make them in Japan. They will be a bit expensive, shipping will be a bit slow and a little expensive but the quality will be fantastic.
#3 - "ShootTokyo's Watch" - There were several versions about what type of watch I wear. I have two watches; a Rolex Milgauss and a Blanc Pain Aqua Lung Grande Date. I mostly wear my Blanc Pain now. It is a clean and simple looking watch with a rubber strap. I love the understated look, thin form factor and the rubber strap doesn't get hot in the summer. I love it. It is the same watch Putin wears!
#4 - "What does Dave from ShootTokyo do for a living?" - I work in Information Technology. You can find out all about me on LinkedIn.
#5 - "Excessive use of Cones in Tokyo " - Makes complete sense. Glad to see people are educating themselves on this topic.
#6 - "ShootTokyo "silly" camera workshop" - I have no clue what this one is. I don't run workshops and the only silly thing I wrote about was this.
Anyways, it always gives me a smile to read my Google Analytics.
More on Fushimi-inari Taisha and the 1000 torii in my next post. Thanks for stopping by today...