Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Takashimaya Shinjuku Station

Takashimaya is one of the finest department stores in the world. It's always fun to wander its departments and admire the colorful displays. From the Shinjuku Station web site: "Takashimaya is a renowned Japanese department store chain that traces its history to the opening of a small kimono shop in Kyoto in 1831, and has a large outlet on the south side of Shinjuku Station."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

More Tokyo Subway Scenes

Whether it's crowds or individuals, subways are fun places for candid photography.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Old Tokyo Station

We went with Haruko to Tokyo Station, to get familiar with how to find the bullet train Shinkansen line that will take us to Hokkaido in a couple of days. It's the busiest station in Japan, with more than 3,000 departures a day, and of course is very modern. Surprisingly, however, its western facade and entry are the originals (rebuilt after WWII) from 1914.

Tokyo Station is also a big bus terminal, so — it being a rainy afternoon — we decided to take a bus tour of Tokyo Bay, which has been undergoing substantial redevelopment - some of it in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. I was unable to get many decent photos, given the speeding bus and the rain, but this one of a multi-story golf driving practice facility was interesting. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Subway Sculpture

Structural forms seen going to the track and waiting for the train on the Yamanote Line in the Tokyo subway.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Meiji Wine and Sake

Near the center of the Meijii Shrine are barrels of fine French wine and sake. The accompanying posters explain how they were donated to honor the modernizing, westernizing spirit of the Meiji Emperor and his consort. The Burgundy wine must be well aged by now, but the sake is apparently replenished every year.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Meiji Shrine

Just on the other side of the Harajuku station and tracks is the the Meiji Jingu, the Shinto shrine that was dedicated in 1920 to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. It is entered through a large and impressive torii gate, whose solemnity is somewhat diminished by the crowds of tourists passing through and taking selfies. But inside, the woods and bamboo fencing provide a peaceful respite from the Harajuku neighborhood.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Real Expressionist Art in Harajuku

Just down the hill from Takeshita Street and across the main road, a side street hides a very interesting gallery and cafe, Design Festa Gallery. (Free admission and free wi-fi.) In addition to the paintings on temporary display, there is a striking collection of large wall paintings and murals.