All posts filed under: Japan

Infinite Tokyo

What a view. Departing from Haneda Airport this March, you have a stellar perspective onto the worlds largest city. Was a beautiful sunny day, with first cherry blossoms appearing in all the parks. It just does not seem to end. And Mount Fuji ( 富士山) looks like it was almost part of the city (while being 150km outside). Advertisements

Walking the Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場) – by day

It took me about 8 months living in Tokyo to finally get see the infamous Tsukiji fish market near the Tokyo bay. After visiting it, I now know why everyone suggests this should be on top of your Tokyo bucket list. Take some time in the early morning hours to freely roam the area. Through all the small pathways with hundreds of merchants, each of them with different kinds of fish. You will see everything from the tiniest snails, to gigantic Tuna (really: you would not believe how huge they are. It takes a big Katana (日本刀) to get the soft red meat, so smooth it will melt on your tongue, out of this monster of an animal. One of them will cost a merchant many thousand ¥ to buy themselves, so you could see the pride on some of their faces when they had one of them in their tiny merchant booths.

Unkai (雲海) – the sea of clouds.

It was the third time that I visited the summit of Mount Fuji (富士山), Japan. But this magical and unique place has something new for it’s visitors. Each time they come back, each time they decide to overcome many hours of tough efforts, doing the climb to 4000 meters height in total black darkness: a new face of Mount Fuji presents itself. This time, Mount Fuji showed me what my Japanese friends called Unkai – 雲海 – “the sea of clouds“. You have hiked above the clouds, you have hiked above everything there is on this world. You are now in between. Beneath you, there are still some light visible that the gigantic city of Tokyo projects into the sky, giving it an aura like look. But above: The most crystal sky of stars and infinite clarity. And you’re in this pitch black surrounding – everything you see next to you is black rock, black volcano sand. This moment and physical challenge give you a humble feeling that everything beneath you just mean nothing – …

Tokyo Street (vol 5)

This time some more scenes and abstract pictures. Less portraits for now. Have only two days left in Tokyo, so there will probably be one more posting with pictures from here. Time just flies by here. Looking forward to see how my next travel destinations in the US: SF and NYC differ from the street experience of Tokyo. What I am looking forward as well is how the cities… sound different. I can only recommend to sometimes stop, or slowly walk, and actively listen to a city. Listen to it’s nature and soul. It feels like it was a huge animal that never ceases to grumble. It never stops. May these be some inspiration how Tokyo looks – and sounds like.

Tokyo Street (vol 3)

More days in Tokyo, more street photography. As usual all shots done with the Canon 135mm f/2 lens, my very favorite one for street/portrait so far. I feel that it gives this sense of distance and closeness at the same time, what is a good analogy for Tokyo somehow. Although people are right next to you, the distance between the two of you is usually miles away.

Tokyo Street (vol 2)

I went out to shoot some more street photography. Turns out to be really fun to do. Most scenes were shot in Tokyos ‘hip’ area Shibuya-ku (渋谷区), Yoyogi (代々木) and Harajuku (原宿). I tried to keep the tonal/coloring close to my first shots in vol 1, as this is what Tokyo feels like for me when wandering through the streets: A bit cold and anonymous, with lots of unique characters inside going their own ways.

First steps in street photography.

Tokyo is a great place for street photography. An infinite pool of styles, ranging from complete conformity to eccentric, colorful individual looks. So I tried to take my first shots, which turned out to be hard, especially with weak light and rain all around. We wandered through several streets and good spots where people would walk by and you might catch a good shot. The results is … a selection of umbrellas I suppose. First steps, lots to learn. :-)

The Fuji Rock Festival.

Japans größtes Musikfestival. In der bekannten Skiregionen Naeba. Als Location ziemlich schön, die vielen großen Bühnen sind von Wald und großen Bergen umrahmt. Für einen kurzen Moment wurde noch geschmunzelt, wie über-vorbereitet die Japaner mal wieder in kompletter Bergsteig-Montur auf ein Festival gehen, bevor wir, so musste es kommen, mal wieder eines Besseren belehrt wurden. Ja, in den Bergen schlägt das Wetter gerne um. Eine Wolke, ein Blitz, und schon schüttet es wie aus Kübeln. Großen Kübeln. Bedeutet: Tanzende Regenponchos. On the Bright Side: Wenn man erst einmal durchnässt ist mit den Beinen voller Schlamm lässt es sich ziemlich befreit zu den ganzen Bands tanzen. Und unser Zelt hat glücklicherweise (weitgehend) alles trocken überstanden.

Okinawa’s nicest café.

Sometimes, everything about a place is just perfect. While exploring the famous Tsuboya district (well known for it’s pottery artists) in the city of Naha / Okinawa, we stumbled upon this tiny little café. Half of the café was a small shop selling hand made mugs and other pottery, the other half was the café itself, with only 4 tables. I instantly felt in love with the place. Everything was hand made with an great eye for detail. No mug looked alike, all of them were individual pieces of craftsmanship. The single menus as well as the signs on the outside were hand written with small drawings and illustrations.