An illustration of the clock at the peak of Mt Kongo in Osaka, Japan.

'Mt Kongo' (金剛山)

This is an illustration based on a location in Osaka, Japan.
I watch a lot of Japanese television through NHK world; and one of my favourite shows is 72 Hours, a documentary series that spends 72 hours in a particular location as people come and go. A while back I saw an episode based at Mt Kongo in Osaka. At the summit there is a web camera that takes a photo on the hour, and this attracts a lot of people to climb the mountain and pose for the photo.

Some people do this because they have family abroad, and it gives them a chance to connect. Others who are just visiting, as well as tourists, like to be part of it too. On the documentary there was one guy who climbs the mountain everyday, and he poses in a similar fashion to the clock that can be found there. It seemed so important to him that, in a way, this is preserving him as a part of the local history.

I do love the idea as it seems to generate a lot of tourism, and I've since found myself thinking about similar ways that my own home town could introduce something to draw people in. I sometimes take a look at the live Mt Kongo webcam, but due to the difference in time zones it's usually around 2am when I do. This is represented by the clock in the illustration, though in reality it's normally 11am.

Most days are quite clear and when viewing the webcam you can usually see the Osaka city district in the distance, but due to the height it can sometimes be hazy. I illustrated the image this way so that the background wouldn't be distracting, and although it wasn't intentional I was pleased with how the colour gradients give it a slight look of a Ukiyo-e painting.