Title: Tartan Skylight
Location: Walton-on-the-Naze Pier, Essex
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MkIII / 50mm EF f/1.4 USM
Notes: I loved the light falling through this skylight, found during my trip to Walton Pier this afternoon. It reminded me of a tartan pattern.
Title: Sunshine After Rain
Location: At home
Camera: Canon EOS 7D / 100-400mm EF f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Notes: A view out of the same window, and in an almost identical direction as yesterday’s shot – but this time with the sun shining happily on the rooftops. What a difference a day makes!
I decided some of my final days in Tokyo would be spent relaxing after such a hectic trip around the country. Here is a flavour of each of the days which I’ve only written about in my September Photo A Day diary.
First full day at my Tokyo apartment. Spent the day relaxing in my cosy billet and having a little walk to Shinjuku. See Day #1721.
Toy shopping in Nakano Broadway! Then a little bit of planking in Sensō-ji. See Day #1723.
Back to Nakano Broadway to marvel once more at the never-ending toyshops! See Day #1726.
Grizzly old rainy day spent at the apartment sorting photos. I only nipped out to forage at the supermarket next door. See Day #1728.
A sunny day at last! Visited Yoyogi Park via the National Gymnasium at Shibuya, then onto the Shintō shrine at nearby Meiji-jingu. In the evening there was the first of the two Asia shows in Shibuya that I’d stayed on in Tokyo to attend. See Day #1729.
Day spent sorting and packing before going to the final Asia gig in Shibuya with Tomoo in the evening. See Day #1730.
Sad to be leaving! An early start to catch the N’EX service back to Narita airport, and homeward bound. See Day #1731.
Japan is a wonderful place to visit. It’s people are warm and friendly – even if you don’t speak their language. The culture and architecture are amongst some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and this trip was the culmination of many years’ longing to visit the country. And I can thoroughly recommend Inside Japan Tours who arranged my trip without a hitch.
So for now, it may be sayonara, but rest assured, I’ll be back as soon as I can! In the meantime, here is a selection of shots from my time in Toyko:
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Well, what can I say about Kyoto? We spent just over 48 hours in this wonderful city and it was nowhere near long enough. Here are the highlights:
Lunch in Nishiki Market
I didn’t eat these, but they looked amazing! Plenty of other lovely tasting food to sample though.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple Visit
Off to the north-east of the city in a taxi, and work our way through the many crowds. There were a few people wearing traditional Kimono dresses – apparently you get a discount on your entrance fee if you turn up in them. This shot nearly made it for Day #1717.
Walking The Backstreets
There are hundreds of little streets and back alleys down which to get lost! Great fun to explore on foot.
On The Trail Of The Geiko (Geisha)
Geisha are known as Geiko in Kyoto, and the trainees are called Maiko. We enjoyed a guided evening walk in the Gion district where the story of Geiko and Maiko was explained – we even saw a couple of Maiko on their way to work.
I had already just about walked myself into the ground, but managed to rendez-vous with the group for a great buffet dinner – and plenty of Asahi to lubricate the throat after a hot day. I think I checked into my room at the hotel about 11:30pm, totally exhausted – and fell asleep almost before my head hit the pillow.
The Morning After The Night Before
Up early for a trip to the Silver Pavilion – to view the meticulously manicured Zen Gravel Garden at Ginkaku-ji Temple.
Paying Homage To The Fox
The afternoon was free for us to explore on our own, so I headed to the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine just south east of Kyoto. It is famous for its statues of the Fox god (Kitsune), and its amazing avenue of Torii gates stretching up the hill. I wasn’t disappointed when I arrived. However, this little shot of the prayer Torii nearly made it for Day #1718.
I had hoped to visit the Zen gardens in the north west of the city, but public transport conspired against me, so eventually I retired back to the hotel for a well-earned rest, before enjoying a Bento Box dinner with friends – we were too tired to forage further than the local supermarket!
Sanjūsangen-dō Temple Visit
Another early start for those of us who wanted to make the most of our time in Kyoto – we bundled into taxis for a visit to the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple. It’s an amazing wooden structure, rebuilt in 1249 after a fire destroyed the original complex from 1164. It houses over 1000 Buddhist statues – the Thousand Armed Kannon. Just a great pity that photography was not allowed inside, but some of the external structure was still pretty special:
We made a final trip back to the modern station on foot, and as we had a few minutes spare before our luggage arrived from the hotel, I took the opportunity to look around. It’s a very impressive architectural design – 11 storeys in all – which even has a garden on the roof!
There is still so much to see and do in Kyoto – I will definitely be back – one day.
In the meantime, here is the huge selection of images I made whilst in Kyoto: