Photo stories 1

Shinjuku park, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo by night

The macro shots in my previous post came from a day in Shinjuku Gyoen. My Japanese teacher recommended it and as soon as I mentioned it to one of my new friends she organised a trip there. Or maybe it was planned already since it turned out to be the birthday party of another (new) friend. Either way, it’s definitely the most beautiful place I’ve been to so far.

Quite a few people here, but not as many as at Yoyogi Gyoen the previous week …

And the park itself is rather more picturesque than Yoyogi

It’s so cool that there are places like this in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world

And especially weird to see this much open space

Not the greatest lighting, but that’s a picture postcard right there

The day before, I’d been to a movie at Roppongi Hills, a fairly new district that includes art galleries, shops, restaurants and the offices of various big companies (Google Japan, Konami, Mitsubishi and more). The reason I spent an hour going there instead of ten minutes going to the cinema in Ikebukuro was that I researched the logo and branding of Roppongi Hills a couple of years ago for a design assignment. It was cool seeing the logo in context, and the buildings in Roppongi (which were designed at the same time) are some of the coolest I’ve seen.

I can’t get over how tall this is — especially since I was halfway up when I took this photo!

I then returned a couple of days ago to go to Roppongi Art Night, an annual event where there are artworks and performances in the streets and in the buildings from sunset on Saturday to sunrise on Sunday. Unfortunately I’d been to a party beforehand and missed most of the performances, but it was still fun to wander around looking at the installations with a few of the other partygoers. Incidentally, if you ever need character inspiration for a story, get yourself invited to a Latin dance party in the back streets of Tokyo. I can guarantee you characters galore.

Not an art installation as far as I know — just a random house near where the party was

Hordes of people, as usual. More curtains were being made out of patchwork as we watched

I’m not sure what was going on in here, but it was obviously fascinating…

Of course you can’t have an art show without product placement

Apparently hundreds of lit-up whiskey bottles constitutes art these days. It did look pretty darn cool though

You could feed handfuls of “winking leaves” (leaf-shaped cards with an open eye on one side and a closed one on the other) into the chimney and watch them burst out the top

The next day I looked around Gokokuji (the area surrounding a famous temple) with one of the same friends. It contains things like another beautiful garden, the largest cathedral in Tokyo and a random house with cool flowerpots outside, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

A random house with cool flowerpots outside

The largest cathedral in Tokyo — so large that it’s impossible to photograph the whole thing

Hey, it’s me looking slightly stretched by the fisheye lens

Every chapel should have this feeling of tranquility

And every cathedral should have this majesty. This one is a little dark for my taste though —it almost looks to me like they’ve set up a church in the middle of the Death Star

A lovely overgrown, Japanese-style garden

Apparently a single golden carp costs 1,000,000 yen ($10,000)

I wanted to play around with my camera settings to try and get a good shot from behind the waterfall, but there wasn’t really time …

And finally, to cap off this ridiculously long and photo-filled post, I’ll leave you with one final photo: Tokyo by night, from the 60th floor of the Sunshine Center in Ikebukuro.

Fuzzy, but you get the idea. And the idea is “wow”

Weird things (only one this time, but it’s one I’ve noticed a lot)

It’s … not actually raining

Posted on 22 April 2014
Share on