Japan Preview: Part 3
Since I had so many cool Japan pictures I wanted to talk about from my preview slide show, here’s another post with comments on preview pictures.
Above, I shot several families while I was there, most of them ex-pats with children being immersed in the Japanese culture.
This is the third day I’ve written blog posts about just the pictures in my preview slide show. If you’d like to read Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here.
Speaking of being immersed I really enjoyed my trip to Tsukiji, the Tokyo fish market. (Bad pun, I know!) More on Tsukiji in a future blog post. I got some awesome pictures from that morning thanks to Beth, my personal, Japanese-speaking tour guide!
Morning comes early in Japan. They don’t change the clocks so the sun rises in the summer around 4 a.m. It was pretty hard for me to get sunrise pictures. In retrospect, I think it would have been easier to just stay out all night. Still, the shot above by the headquarters of TV Asahi in Roppongi Hills came out nice. Good thing there are vending machines everywhere too considering Starbucks doesn’t open until the sun is way high in the sky at 7.
Beth, help me out — does this tiny little street near Shibuya have a name? I was telling the boys about the tiny restaurants on this street, and that one bathroom at the end of the street. It’s such an odd old place — for it to be situated in the middle of downtown Tokyo with all the high-rise modern buildings.
The Imperial Palace. This is as close as I could get. For some reason, the drive leading up to the palace was blocked off the day we were there.
This is the courtyard at the American School in Japan. Bradley has been studying Japanese culture and told me very specific things about the importance of the placement in a typical Japanese garden. His discussion led me to believe that the trees, rocks and grass all had a deeper meaning because of exactly where they had been placed.
Our trip to Mashiko, a beautiful Japanese town that focuses on pottery, was a beautiful drive.
As you know if you’re a regular blog reader of mine, I love Japanese red maples. To give you a sense of scale, this piece measures about 14 inches from base to top. Here, it is displayed in a window with a price tag of around $250.
I took this picture in Mashiko as well. What an amazing place for an artist to visit. I was especially pleased that no one seemed to mind my camera. This shot was taken in an art gallery. Lots more Mashiko pictures coming to the blog soon!
Another thing that I found interesting in Japan was the straw brooms. I saw them everywhere! I especially love this picture because not only does it capture a straw broom in action, it also captures a sweet smile on that man carrying flowers down a beautiful walkway.
Kim and I were visiting a park, and I was focusing on flowers when this couple approached and asked in broken English if I was from New York. After we got acquainted a little, I asked if I could snap a picture of them. I love how it turned out! I gave them a card so if they should happen on my blog and see this picture, I do hope they would contact me.
This little girl’s mom did contact me and I can’t wait to show her the other pictures I took of her and her two daughters. Beautiful.
Back at my host family’s home — I love the composition and contrast of this image.
Little did I know that Tokyo is a haven for French desserts. The routine seems to be: dinner at your favorite Japanese restaurant, then coffee and dessert at the French place down the street. I’m guessing that’s a neighborhood-specific thing though, and not typical of all of Tokyo.
In several restaurants that we visited, some dishes are prepared at your table by you. I’m so glad I was with Japanese-speaking people or else I would have probably starved rather than figure out how to order anything fishless. This dish is in the Sumo restaurant I talked about in this post.
This is another picture from our trip to Nikko to visit centuries-old temples. I love the moss-covered lanterns. The sense of history and the passage of time is great here.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, it rained the entire day we went to Nikko. I learned an important lesson that day though — how to hold my camera under an umbrella and keep the lens from getting wet. (See my rainy birthday for another awesome rainy day shoot, a shoot I was brave enough to try thanks to my rainy day in Nikko.) The camera-holding method worked great, but my forearm was sore for days after that.
I don’t know what flower this is, but doesn’t it look so Japanese with the red wall in the background? Looks like inspiration for kimono design to me.
Japanese red maples are beautiful when they first leaf-out, and especially so on a rainy day in Nikko.
Some of the pictures I’ve been showing here are not actually in the preview slide show. This one, for example, got cut at the last minute, but I do love the story it tells about water running down the mountain to a well. I am not certain if the water is intended for religious purposes or if it invites visitors to take a sip or cool their hands.
The subway station at Shibuya is so clean and so busy. Again, I was thankful to be with Japanese-speaking people. While there are signs in English, it is sometimes difficult to find them amid the signs in Kanji. I would have needed lots of extra time to find my way to the right subway, though I think I probably could have found it as long as I stayed patient.
It was chilly the morning we were walking in this neighborhood, but Beth said that in summer, people sit on the edge of this decorative creek dangling their feet in the water. It gets pretty hot in Tokyo in summer.
This large mural by Taro Okamoto in Shibuya Station depicts the moment of an atomic bomb. It was discovered in a warehouse in Mexico City in 2003, and was unveiled in its new location in Shibuya in November. The title, “Myth of Tomorrow,” makes me think about how precious life is, and again, how thankful I am to Beth and Rich for the opportunity to visit a place with such a rich and meaningful history.
Since I had the opportunity to meet several families for lifestyle photo sessions, I also got to meet several pets! She was curious about the shutter movement in my camera. So cute!
Here’s another of my photo session families. I love this shot! What a great Japanese unportrait!
Isn’t she adorable? She was a new member of one of the families I shot while I was there. More coming soon on all the families I was priviledged to meet.
Isn’t this one so sweet? He is so cute with those noodles!
Lots more Japan images coming soon! Thanks for visiting the blog and thanks so much for all the wonderful comments! If you missed the preview slide show, click here!