Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nice bike

I love these old buildings which seem to be disappearing from many parts of Tokyo---or maybe it's just from my area. I have taken so many photos of this building and the small noodle restaurant, Eh-Wan, that the cops at the nearby police box are becoming familiar with me.

Taken in Yukigayaotsuka, Tokyo.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wha'cha doing?

Folks in Tokyo are not especially well-known for open friendliness toward strangers---especially when the stranger is non-Japanese.

However, sometimes when I am out with a camera, people who would normally never approach me will suddenly become very talkative. Usually they are older people, but occasionally even the munchkins can't resist:

"What are you doing?" he asked as he rushed over to the spot where I was taking photos.

"Taking pictures," I replied.

He watched me for a few seconds before running over to stare at the scene, apparently wondering what was so special about the bike that I'd be photographing it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Seseragi Park

The momiji--Japanese maple trees--are finally at peak color in this area of Tokyo. Taken on a nice cool Sunday morning which was a welcome break from the unseasonably warm weather we have had recently.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Neighbors chatting

While I was taking this, an old lady came up to me and said in English, "Old house." Then, apparently exhausting her English---or her patience with it for the day---she asked in Japanese, "Do you know it's a tatami shop?"

I did, but I was happy that she asked. Older folks often come up to me and talk when I am taking photos, something that ain't so common on other occasions in Tokyo.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Something to sing about

or not. She seemed to be enjoying herself on her walk through this part of Denenchofu. Maybe it was the end of the hot, humid summer?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sprinting for the line

Well, for the red light which had already turned red before he even started.

There has been a well-advertised cycling boom in Tokyo over the last year or so. Now many have taken their "mama-chari" riding "skills" (??!!!) to road bikes at higher speeds and the number of accidents has been increasing.

At least this fellow was not on the sidewalk...

That's an old tailor shop he's passing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Last days of summer

A relatively cool---for Tokyo---summer is coming to an end. That means flu season will be here early this year.

Tama River, Tokyo side. Shinmaruko in Kanagawa prefecture is in the background.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer break

School will be back in soon. Not sure many kids wanna see that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Winds

Rainy season is officially over, I heard. It seems to have be a bit windier than usual recently and it ain't even close to typhoon season yet. It has made for some very interesting skies and clouds.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kawasaki Station

From the police box behind Kawasaki station at Kawasaki city.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer in the long grass

A bit of an oasis in Tokyo---at least the more urbanized part. If ya can't get out, the river is as good a place to go as any. On weekdays it isn't especially crowded, but on weekends and holidays, things change quickly. Look for weather---cold, rain, very hot and humid days, snow, high winds all drive a lot of the more dainty-types indoors. Nights are nice too...

Fly over

Shinmaruko in Kanagawa prefecture from the Tokyo side of the Tama River.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bad weather brewing

You just knew that something was coming. One never bothers with weather forecasts when looking out the window is a more accurate way to tell the weather. Tama River, not far from Tamagawa Station, Tokyo side.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring monochrome

Like most places in central Honshuu above about 1000 meters, Nyohosan is still in natural monochrome in the spring. No cherry blossoms here. These were taken 24 April and it will be several weeks before much green returns.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Nyohosan late afternoon

On the way back down, not far from a some lessor visited shrines. The return to town is always a bit depressing, and the train back to Tokyo even more so. It had been a nice cool day with some snow flurries earlier in the day. I regretted not bringing my camping gear....

Not yet halfway up

but finally solitude---something not easy to come by so close to Tokyo. Nyohosan in Nikko Japan. Not one of the top 100 mountains to climb in Japan and thus fewer people normally around compared to more popular hill like nearby Nantaisan. That's why I chose it and this route. The first time, I did not encounter a single person. This time, only one and he was listening to a squirrel bark. I did find pheasant (unexpected in this area), and plenty of deer sign. I saw no bear tracks or droppings---never have around here, but I noticed the guy I met was wearing a bear bell.

Not a well-marked trail, either. Good.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chuzenjiko 11PM

On a cold, clear night in December. Nobody around, just the sound of the lake, the Milky Way clearly visible overhead, and...alas...the sound of an occasional car driving by.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No luck

There are always a number of fishermen along the Tamagawa. Some even fish during rare snowstorms in Tokyo. Some folks claim the fish are safe to eat as the river is claimed to be relatively clean, but others who live in the area cringe at the thought as the image of the river is anything but clean.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Nakimushiyama Trail/Nyohosan

The quickest and easiest semi-natural area to get to from Tokyo is the Nikko area. Since access is relatively quick and easy and since the terrain is not tremendously challenging, it is often best to go to the less popular trails there if one wants to avoid crowds.

A successful day for me is when I can avoid the sight or sounds of humans. I get my fill of that every single day in Tokyo. This wasn't entirely successful as Nakimushiyama (around 1103.5 meters high) is too easy of a hike and is too close to Nikko to avoid everyone---I met a lady who looked to be in her 70s coming down the trail---but it is about the best that can be done on a one-day hike.

The real mountain is Nyohosan (2483 meters) I believe. However, as my crude map was more for entertainment than accurate navigating, I can't be positive.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nakimushiyama Trail

Last Saturday when it was supposed to be cloudly with snow and -5 Celsius at the most. They got the temperature right.


A rare sight in Tokyo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A kiss goodnight

Fujisan can't often be seen from Tokyo, but on clear winter days it occasionally makes an appearance. On a spring-like Valentines Day, it became visible just before sunset.

Taken with a Nikon D300/Tamron 200-500mm (@500mm) from Tamagawadai Park, Tokyo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Orion, the Hunter

On a cold, windy night (for Tokyo) under a nearly full moon along the Tamagawa (Tama River). The lack of 4 real seasons in Tokyo makes cold, numb, fingers a rare, and pleasurable experience. One can even occasionally see stars, but that night the "cold" was the reason for going.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Off Camera lighting

A new group on Flickr has opened called Tokyo Strobist. Tokyo Strobist is based on the original Strobist Flickr pool and will hopefully give interested folks in Japan an opportunity to learn, practice, and show off-camera lighting techniques in either English or Japanese. If enough people are interested, there might even be some meetings in the future.

The photo above used off-camera lighting of a different sort. The dams were closed on the Tamagawa, the river that separates Tokyo and Kanagawa, making the river surface as smooth as glass. (They have done this for several weeks in a row now on Sundays.) It is of Shinmaruko in Kanagawa taken from the Tokyo side of the river.