Northern Eyes #54 Discover Toyokoro

Photo & English Essay Northern Eyes

浦島 久浦島 久  Hisashi Urashima

1952年豊頃町生まれ。英語学校「ジョイ・イングリッシュ・アカデミー」(帯広市)を経営。写真家の父、浦島甲一(1924~2001)が中学英語教科書で取り上げられたことがきっかけで2009年より十勝の風景を撮りはじめる。これまでCDジャケット(The Grand Trio、千葉智寿)、電話帳表紙(豊頃町)、ポスター(児童英検)、映画(「いきものがたり」)などに写真を提供。Photo & Music DVD『Gentle Time, Gentle Mind』を2012年リリース。


November, 2017

 Discover Toyokoro

There must be some people who don’t know that I am an ambassador as well as an English instructor. Of course, I’m not a real ambassador working for the diplomatic relationship of two nations. Mine is an honorary position to help the promotion of tourism for Toyokoro. My official title is “Ambassador of Tourism of Toyokoro” and it was given to me in August, 2016. I don’t think I can do much but I’m pretty sure I can help the town through photography.

In Toyokoro, there are two well-known things to take photos of: the elm tree and jewelry ice. However, there are two more. For one, the wild birds around Yudo Lake are noted among wildlife fans. Personally, I’m not interested in birds at all. Another attraction is the stars. I have come across photo enthusiasts at the elm tree. They came not for the tree but for the stars above the tree. Dreams Come True, the hugely popular band, sings about Ohtsu Beach where they can see the stars on the beach. Again, to be honest, I’m not interested in the stars at all.

One day in October I decided to make a short trip to åToyokoro to find other attractive places for photo lovers. A worker from the Toyokoro Town Hall Tourism Bureau took me to several places, one of which impressed me a lot. It was a narrow, winding mountain road. There I found an attractive tree along the road. At that time it had already lost half its leaves. When it has full leaves on the branches, it must be a nice-looking tree. I think the area would be especially beautiful with the snow and morning glow. The only problem is whether I can get there by car in winter.

Believe it or not, Toyokoro has been used for shooting promotion videos, TV commercials, and movies, which not many people know. That is to say, some people have already noticed the possibilities of Toyokoro, which has flat land, hills, rivers, lakes and a seashore. If we could add a few more photogenic places, lots of people with cameras would come, not only from Hokkaido but also from mainland Japan. If I dare to say it, I wouldn’t be surprised even if people came from overseas. My dreams keep getting bigger!