Forsaken: First Look at Kyoto University’s Kumano Dorm
Forsaken -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl,
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 320 — full exif & mapnearby photos

Kyoto is a photogenic town, but it's not all shrines and cherry blossoms. Not far from where I live, somewhat hidden from the civilized world, is the saddest, most dilapidated, most forsaken place I have ever been in my life: Kyoto University's Kumano Dorm (熊野寮).

Last fall, on the same day I took the vine & bamboo photos in yesterday's post, as well as the photos that went into the awesome (if I do say so myself) fall-foliage desktop, I made a visit to Kumano Dorm to get a picture of a scene that I'd seen from the street while passing by: fall-foliage yellow leaves that had covered some abandoned cars like a fresh snowfall.

I ended up walking around the grounds, and had an experience like I'd never had before. The only word I can think that even comes close to describing this place is “forsaken.” It was eerie — I've been in poor third-world countries and in communist Eastern-European countries, but I never felt farther from humanity than at this little spot in the middle of Kyoto.

I'll show more pictures from that trip when I get around to processing them (UPDATE: they're here), but having run across them when processing yesterday's vine & bamboo pictures, I thought I'd post at least one of them today.

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