Monday, October 20, 2014

Yanaka: Tokyo's Lost Nostalgia

Yanaka is just an ordinary town in Tokyo and there was nothing special about it 30 years ago. Though Yanaka does not have major tourist attractions, these days tourists come from other parts of Tokyo and even overseas, because of the nostalgic atmosphere that has been lost elsewhere.  It seems like the area has chosen to be left behind the rapid progress that Tokyo has been going through.
Since the area around Yanaka was not destroyed much during the war, a lot of old houses and temples still remain the way they were.      

A wander through small alleys off the main shopping street will take you back in time.  You may feel as if you had seen it somewhere a long time ago.     
 The silver grass by the temple reminded me of the season.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Tokyo Skyline over the Imperial Palace

There are not many places in Tokyo where you can view the entire Imperial Palace from above, but I  found one recently.  This photo was taken from a restaurant in Marunouchi.

The vast green area at the very center of Tokyo makes the buildings look so small, and keeps the air fresh. 

Hot Spring in Atami

Bathing in the hot spring bath under the sky and watching the fresh green of the mountains...

Atami may have an image of being an old hot spring resort for elder people, but recently there are some nice accommodations.  It is less than an hour away from Tokyo, they have fresh seafood, sea, mountains, and hot spring.  What else could I ask for?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flower Burst!

After a long cold winter, suddenly Tokyo is full of flowers!  A short beautiful season that cannot be missed.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ise Jingu at Dawn

One month after the New Year, Ise Jingu is still overflowed with visitors from all over Japan.  For centuries, the shrine has always been the destination of once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage.   The popularity is even more enormous this year because it is believed that the divine power is the strongest now.

The Shikinen Sengu ceremony just took place in October 2013.  In each of Naiku (inner precinct) and Geku (outer precinct), the buildings get demolished and reconstructed in the same form every 20 years.  It is said that when the god moves in to the new building, the holy power is renewed.  

The place is packed in daytime as more people try come to Ise Jingu to pray and be heard while the holy power is intensified.  If you want to appreciate the calm atmosphere of the shrine, go before sunrise.  In winter it is still dark as night (and cold), but when you arrive at the shrine, it is warmly lit up and welcomes you in silence.