I just arrived back in Toronto for the holidays. I’m not sure how much riding I’ll get to do here since 1) it’s damn cold, 2) I’m stationed out in the hinterlands (suburbs), and 3) my mom is kind of overprotective. I will at least try to get my old Bianchi down from the ceiling in the garage, dust her off, tune her up and hopefully meet up with some friends downtown.
Until I have some Toronto winter cycling news to share, I thought I’d post some photos from a trip to Osaka I took a little while back. Before heading to Osaka, I read an article about Airin-chiku, a part of town that has historically been home to the poorest of the poor, and still houses a large population of aging male day labourers. This is not the article I initially read, but it will explain the situation there a bit further. I got really curious about this town and wanted to check it out. Contrary to what the article I have posted states, this was not a tourist destination. I didn’t see any other foreigners, or any other women for that matter. My usually laid back companion, who is a Japanese woman who had lived in Osaka for several year, but never visited that area before, was noticeably tense. Things I did see were: piles of garbage (a very rare site in Japan), stray dogs (also very rare), steel drums on fire in the middle of the street, makeshift houses, men laying about on the sidewalk, and men moving massive loads on homemade extended bicycle racks. I was really impressed by that. I took some stealth photography, which really made my friend nervous.
OK, I know I didn’t capture most of the exciting stuff I just wrote about, but seriously, we were scared. I do recommend going to Airin though because it’s a whole other world and very interesting, but be sure to go in the daytime, and don’t go alone.