Tag Archives: autumn

After the rain

Plans to walk in the park, always happily made, are often ruined by the kind of rain Tokyo sometimes to unleash without warning.  Even though I come from England I am still surprised at the weather here and how it manages to drop a month’s worth of water on my head in a couple of hours.  Still, we decided to brave it and were lucky as the downpour stopped right before we got off the train at Rikugien Park.

(click on any picture to start the slideshow)

Another perfect day under the trees in Tokyo, thank you Tomoka!

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Street Portraitist

Spent an afternoon in the park taking pictures with the Street Portraitist and this was the happy result.  It is always interesting to watch someone learn by doing it, figuring out what works and what they like as they go.  I was also lucky he is really patient as it was one of the first times I have been in front of a camera like this and so it could have been nerve-wracking!  Instead it was a really good day, at least until the chill winter air killed all enthusiasm for standing in a freezing park and we decided to go and occupy the nearest Thai restaurant.  Their bold yellow wall inspired this final shot, which is one of my favourites – after all, if you’re going to take something over, it is vital to make sure there is a good food supply handy:

Check out the Street Portraitist website here.

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Autumn in Tokyo

Yes, I know.  Another post about autumn leaves in Japan.  But it’s my favourite season and it is gorgeous.  And so sunny for November too!  Perfect weather for a day in Hama-rikyu onshi-teien, beautiful gardens set around two huge duck ponds, dating from the time of the 4th Tokugawa Shogun in 1654.

(click on any picture to start the slideshow)

The water is tidal, consisting of seawater drawn in from the Bay via a sluice gate.  It is very popular with ducks as well as human visitors, so much so that blinds were created so that they could be caught easily in nets.  And while I am very fond of both the roast and crispy varieties, I had to smile at learning of the animal loving owner of the lakes who created a duck grave to console the spirits of all the ducks that were killed here.

While central Tokyo’s skyscrapers and the landmark Tokyo Tower are never far away, the view of trees reflected in the water from the Nakajima-no-ochaya teahouse is so peaceful that you could be worlds away from the usual rush and grind of the city.  I still have a lot of the world to see, but I am willing to bet there are few things as heartwarming as red autumn leaves against the clear blue winter skies of Tokyo.

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Autumn leaves, autumn sounds

Leaves:

Sounds:

I love this time of year.

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Autumn

image

Japanese people love their trees and I love watching them enjoy their trees.  This time of year, my favourite back home, is called the change of leaves, when the colours turn from green to red and yellow and orange.  People have their favourite spots, either out of the city or in Yoyogi Park, and they drive there at weekends to drink in the colours and to mark another season’s passing.

Red and yellow and orange as descriptions don’t even begin to do the spectacle justice.  The oranges are burnished coppers, the yellows are really a thousand shades of ochre, while the reds glow like the embers of the fire that once fuelled summer’s heat.

An old couple come into the park near to where I am reading, she wears a face mask, he is in a powered wheelchair.  He rolls himself into position in front of the lake and she prepares to take his picture, as I wonder if he is sick, if perhaps he thinks it will be his last chance to enjoy this season.  I am sitting behind where she is standing and as I glance up – thinking should I offer to take one of them together or would that spoil it – I see him look at her with such love in his eyes and a beautiful smile for her picture that my heart stretches in a way that would break it into a million pieces, were it not for the agility exercises it has been performing over the last few weeks, since we walked in this park at the end of a late summer’s day.

Picture of Yoyogi Park by Julia

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