-A Saturday in Tokyo

All images © Spiral Light Photography

I’ve decided to re-blog a post from last year. It was one of my very first posts, so I feel it got a little neglected as it didn’t get a lot of attention. I’ve added some additional photos from the original post. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Back in 2006 I was lucky enough to enjoy a week-long vacation  in Tokyo. The first few days were spent exploring the various neighbourhoods, visiting temples, and sampling the local cuisine. Mid-week, I took a short Sumida River cruise to visit Tokyo Tower. As I was walking up the main street towards the tower, seemingly out of nowhere I came across Zojo-Ji Temple.

This magnificent structure has stood for centuries, and features a touching statue garden dedicated to the unborn children of Japan. Unfortunately, while exploring the grounds around the temple, I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. Then the following day, while walking in a torrential downpour through the Ginza district, I contracted a really bad cold. So, here I was half way through my vacation , itchy and sniffling, feeling like I wanted to stay in bed. However, I persevered, and took a Friday day trip to Mt. Fuji. This trip had been booked before I left home, so I couldn’t really cancel it. The heavy rain continued to fall throughout the day as my fellow day-trippers and I got whipped by the high winds and soaked from the downpour, and because of the cloud cover, we never got to glimpse Mt. Fuji’s iconic snow-capped peak.

But then on Saturday morning, I woke up to sunlight streaming through my hotel window. The weather had cleared up, leaving a cloudless blue sky. On top of the good weather, I was also feeling better. I took the subway to visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. I was told by a local that you really need to get there at 5am to witness the frenzied selling of the days’ catch. Now I’m not a morning person at the best of times, so getting up that early was never going to happen! However, there was still a lot of activity going on with vendors getting ready for the next catch, and numerous food stalls selling freshly cooked seafood dishes. The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography was the next stop on my Saturday wanderings. I got to see the incredible “Moments Eternity” exhibit by Japanese photographer Hashi. His stop-motion photography is incredible!

 

By late afternoon, I found myself at Roppongi Hills, a sprawling office, residential, and commercial complex. I purchased a ticket to visit the observation deck at the top of its’ Mori Tower. The views of Tokyo stretched for miles in all directions, but the most fortunate opportunity for me was that I arrived just as the sun was beginning to set. What an incredible view! Later that evening, I once again found myself strolling by Zojo-Ji Temple. This time there was a Saturday night jazz concert in full swing. People were dancing and clapping and having a great time. I stayed and enjoyed the music for a while before heading back to my hotel. As I was walking back to the subway I had a chance to reflect on the difference between the last few days and this one, and what a perfect Saturday it had turned out to be.

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