The curvaceous De Beers building in Ginza, Tokyo

December 25, 2008

First off, I do not support the buying, selling or acquisition of diamonds, gold or any other kind of nonsense material that had arbitrary value placed on it by human society.  I knew diamonds were bloody even before I saw BLOOD DIAMOND.  I just happened to like the va-va-va-voom curves of this building in Ginza, Tokyo, and it just happens to be owned by De Beers, who I also make no claims on regarding the status of their diamonds (not slandering them).  

[Read more]

Daily Photo: Kendo practitioner stands guard

December 22, 2008

On a balmy December Sunday afternoon in Yoyogi Park, I rolled past a group of kendo practitioners going at it pretty aggressively.  I hoped off my Trek 7.3 FX and pulled out my Nikon D80 with Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8 lens.  This presented a good photography challenge, as they were pretty much standing in shade and moving very quickly.  Even when they stood still it was hard to get a shot as I had to switch between AF-C and AF-S, or rather remember to do that!  

[Read more]

Happy 50th Anniversary Tokyo Tower!

December 21, 2008

I will soon enter my sixth year of living in Tokyo, and before yesterday, I had never visited Tokyo Tower.  Amazingly, Aya had also never visited Tokyo Tower since perhaps an elementary school trip.  I had ridden in its general neighborhood on my bike once or twice, but that didn’t do it justice.  Now I can claim to not only have visited this Tokyo landmark on its 50th anniversary, but also to have walked up the 600 steps to its observatory decks!

[Read more]

Tokyo Christmas lights up-close

December 20, 2008

Holiday lights, or “illumination” as they are referred to by Japanese, are big in Japan.  I still think of them just as Christmas lights myself.  I live right in one of the largest concentrations of lights in the city.  Shinjuku has the illuminated windows of the Odakyu Department Store, the random lights amongst the skyscrapers, and of course all the light displays on Shinjuku Southern Terrace and Takashimaya Department Store.  Thought I won’t admit it, I like them all.

[Read more]

Daily Photo: Can she really see me?

December 16, 2008

I was walking over my favorite pedestrian bridge in Shinjuku with my D80 and Nikkor 80-200mm out when I saw this group of model-looking western girls, quite a rare site, even in Shinjuku.  I actually think I recognized two of them, or at least the blonde girl, from a few days earlier when I was walking to Shinjuku and passed them.  Naturally I paused and snapped a few shots.  Maybe I was taking shots of them for about a minute, waiting for people to pass by to get a good clear shot.  Now, does the blonde girl’s expression say I see you and let me make a nice funny face for you?

[Read more]

Faces of Tokyo Series: Country Line Dancers

December 12, 2008

The only reason why I know about the country line dancing scene in Tokyo (and it’s much bigger than you might think) is because one of my longtime private students is the Queen of Country Dancing in Japan (my given title for her).  The name she uses is Lily, which suits her well.  Another longtime private student of mine, Mami, is one of the stars of the country line dancing scene.  They run CLUB HOWDY, and on this past Sunday they threw their largest dancing event of the year, the Club Howdy Christmas Party (attended by 220+ people).  They hired me to take group photos of the dancing teams and other portraits.  This was my first official photography job of my burgeoning photography career!

[Read more]

Yellow Ginko Leaves Fall On Shinjuku

December 6, 2008

A majority of Shinjuku’s ginko trees’ leaves have finally turned yellow and begun their annual descent back to the earth, as all things do in time.  I just happened to be walking around with my trusty D80, and had enough time before an unwelcome downpour arrived, to take a few random shots of a rare thing that actually beautifies Shinjuku.  

[Read more]

Cocoon Tower Shinjuku’s newest skyscraper

December 4, 2008

I thought that Cocoon Tower was just a nickname.  However, when I saw “COCOON TOWER” over the main entrance, it hit me that that was really the name of Shinjuku’s newest skyscraper.  Thus the 17th tallest building in Tokyo (sounds sad) is named after something that could also be the name of Mothra’s egg receptacle.  Since I’ve lived in the heart of Shinjuku for over five years, such a radical change to my daily view of the city takes some getting used to.  The design of Cocoon Tower is not something one can come to an opinion on upon first viewing.  It is at once totally out of place among Shinjuku’s other more staid skyscrapers, but also maybe a welcome shake up to the skyline.

[Read more]

« Previous PageNext Page »