Somewhere in Japan

About This Site

My name is David, and Somewhere in Japan is a long-term personal project in learning how to tell the stories I want to tell in the ways I want to tell them. Starting out, though, the first task is to clarify what that means:

  • What are the stories I want to investigate and tell?
  • How can I tell the most effectively, within the context of my personal creative style?

I must answer both questions through experimentation and exploration. This simply means that, while I don’t really have great answers to these questions at the moment, but I am figuring it out. In time, with effort, all will become clear.

I came to Japan to do my life’s work, and this is part of that. I came here to learn, explore, create, and share.

Topically, the site will follow the shape of my personal interests, which include but are not limited to: architecture, urban studies, food, design, religion, history, transportation, and urban infrastructure.

2021 was the first phase of the project, during which I produced two short essays a week. The goal was to reestablish the habit of writing through public practice.

In 2022, this project is moving into a second phase, marked by these changes:

  • The “dispatches” posts (the short essays) are reducing in frequency from twice a week to once a week, to provide time and energy for additional creative work.
  • There will be a greater emphasis on photography than there was last year, including the posting of photographs several times a week in the photos category of posts.
  • A new project is beginning: A Thousand-Meter Radius. In this project, I am studying a section of my city in as many ways as I can think of over the next year or two.
  • I will record and release a podcast version of the dispatches from 2021 over the course of the year. This is also a form of practicing in public, as I work to teach myself audio production skills.
  • Experimenting with new post types/topics, including travel-related posts and food.
  • Expanded overlap with my general photography work, so my activities here will be also integrated with my main photo site at (currently being redesigned)
  • Much-expanded activity and behind-the-scenes documentation onthe Somewhere in Japan Patreon, which will include not just activity related to this site/project, but also my greater efforts to transition out of teaching English and into doing creative work full time.

I will do my best with these things over the coming months. I sincerely appreciate your presence here, and as I figure out how to do what I want to do, I’m hoping you’ll the find value in it I hope to provide.

David R Munson is a US-born photographer and nonfiction writer based permanently in Japan. Now living just outside of Tokyo, he has previously lived in South Korea, Taiwan, China, and seven US states. 

Last updated 2022-01-26

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