Hina Matsuri Dolls
May 23, 2021
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I’m afraid I have forgotton exactly where I came across this display of Hina Matsuri dolls, other than that it was in a small temple somewhere in the North East of Tokyo. I have since read that these are displayed by families on Girls Day on the 3rd March each year to pray for the healthy growth of young girls. I believe that sometimes Temples take old, discarded dolls and display them for a while as a kind of memorial service for them before storing them away, or, in some cases burning them to release their spirits.…
Tower To Tower
May 05, 2021
Two of the most iconic sites in modern Tokyo linked by this line of sight. In normal times countless eyes on the viewing platforms of both towers cast gazes that cross over the buildings below as they wonder who is looking their way from the other Tower. This is a tiny area of the whole panorama visible from Tokyo Tower, and yet see what a variety of style and scale compete for ground.…
Apr 15, 2021
I am not enamoured of all things kawaii, but there is something intriguing about a door like this. One has to wonder what lies behind. Perhaps I have been watching too many Ghibli movies. This door was beside the Sumikko Gurashi store along 1st Avenue in the underground shopping mall of Tokyo Station on the Yaesu side.
Ningyocho Night Bars
Mar 14, 2021
There is something wonderful about the bright neon lights and other signs that beckon you into darkened doorways on streets all around Tokyo. They often appear intimidating, especially for those without any Japanses language skills, but I have never had a bad experience and always found both the staff and clientel to be welcoming and friendly. This is a short stretch of a small street in Ningyocho.
Feb 14, 2021
It is interesting to see how many of the buildings around Tokyo Tower are not as tall as you might expect. Here, looking closer along Sakurada-dori south through Minato City towards Takanawa, the apartment and business buildings seem to rise as they get further away. It may not be deliberate, but it does have the happy consequence of making for many wonderful views from the Tower. It was a lovely sunny day when I took this, making me want to join the pedestrians down on the sunlit pavement.…
Looking down on Zojoji
Jan 20, 2021
The viewing platform at Tokyo Tower provides an excellent opportunity to look down on the magnificent Zojoji Temple complex. Taken at the end of 2020, and a few days before I was standing in the Temple on a subzero New Years Eve, this is a view from just before the world changed and the travel options we so much took for granted were taken away. The narrow road on the left is a familiar route for me, being my approach of choice to the iconic Tokyo Tower.…
Nov 09, 2020
There is something special about a Japanese tour bus, and these from the 70 year old Hato Bus company, at the foot of Tokyo Tower, are a fine example. They carry you in comfort along the paths and between the districts of the city and beyond. The smartly uniformed staff keep you informed and entertained, and the views and sights are an endless source of opportunities to note for future exploration on foot.…
Tokyo Tower through the trees
Oct 30, 2020
Last Christmas Eve I approached Tokyo Tower from a new angle for me and saw it rising as if from a forest. The Tower really is the centre about which Tokyo spins. So long a symbol of the city and still, even with the modern prevalence of high-rise buildings, visible all over the city.
Oct 04, 2020
The Roppongi Hills Mori Tower is an amazing complex with one of the best observation decks in Tokyo. This photograph of the top dozen floors or so was taken from Tokyo Tower, and if you look at the full size image you can see people behind the windows of the 52nd floor looking back at you.
Tokyo Prince Hotel
Sep 22, 2020
This hotel, seen here from Tokyo Tower, has the feel of another era that appeals to me. Built in time for the olympics way back in 1964, it still exudes a restrained elegance echoed by what I have seen second hand of its interior. Whenever I have walked past it or looked down on it as here, I think to myself, “One day we will stay there”. Sadly too many such buildings are being razed and rebuilt, or renovated beyond recall.…