Near the Tokyo Tower there is a cool temple called Zojo-Ji. It was the first temple I have ever visited. Outside in the gardens you can find some very nice views. In the background you can see the cherry blossoms in bloom! Tokyo is a wonderful place…wish I had lots more time to explore it!
Info from the web: With hundreds of statues and an elaborate golden alter, Zojoji Temple is dedicated to Jizo, the patron saint of travellers and departed children. The building is a 1974 reconstruction, the original was destroyed in the air raids of May 1945. In the garden look out for the two trees – one planted in 1879 by General Grant the 18th President of America, and the other, in 1982 by George Bush. The temple is set in attractive gardens surrounded by Shiba Koen (park). It offers some great photo opportunities with the traditional Zojoji temple in the foreground and the modern Tokyo Tower in the background.
Here is the Tokyo Tower in HDR via Fisheye. As my hotel was a 5 minute walk from here…I woke up early in the AM for sunrise and wanted to catch some shots of the tower. It is an interesting place. Not perfect for close up photography…at the base of the tower is this building. Kinda odd! I shot it for about an hour…walked around on all sides and tried to catch some cool angles. Very tough! It was cloudy this morning and early AM they still have the tower lit up partially…so a semi bonus there! You can buy tickets to the viewing deck…if I can recall $21.00! Ouch! …its not that high! I think Godzilla may be taller! =)
From my recent visit…here is a Cherry Blossom tree in near full bloom from Tokyo! This tree was the only one this far along at this early point of the spring…so a special tree! I enjoy seeing the Japanese architecture in the shot as well! There was a temple nearby…I will post a shot from there soon. These days there are Cherry Blossoms all over the US…Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco. Possible gifts from Japan! Arigato Gozaimasu!!! =)
Some info from the web: In Japan cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence,and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware. The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga.The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality;for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. The band Kagrra, which is associated with the visual kei movement, is an example of this latter phenomenon. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware. Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.
This shot was taken a week ago today. Amazingly from the window in my hotel room! I stayed at the Tokyo Prince Hotel. As you can tell it is right next to the tower. I have been to Japan many many times, but unfortunately my work comes first and I rarely get time to see Japan with my camera. I had a nite before my flight left to stay anywhere. I had seen the tower bunches of times heading back to the airport, but never have seen it up close. So I asked to stay near it and they booked me into this perfect hotel! When I checked in…I always ask for a high floor with a view! Most of the time I get lucky!
On our way to the hotel my co-workers told me that there is a new tower being constructed. It will be called the Tokyo Sky Tree. Here is some inof on the new tower from the web: The Tokyo Sky Tree (東京スカイツリー Tōkyō Sukai Tsurī) (originally referred to as New Tokyo Tower) is a broadcasting tower under construction in the Narihirabashi/Oshiage area of Sumida war in Tokyo, Japan. As of 29 March 2010 it is the tallest artificial structure in Japan.When completed, the tower will have a height of 634.00 m (2,080 ft). The present Tokyo Tower (333 m) is not tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage, due to the construction of many nearby high-rise buildings in the central part of the Tokyo Metropolis. The project is being led by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters (headed by public broadcaster NHK). Construction of the tower is scheduled to be completed by December 2011, with public opening from spring 2012. The completed structure will be the highlight of a massive commercial development around Oshiage Station. Check out a computer generated photo of the new tower here.. Tokyo Sky Tree Looks beautiful!
I was in Japan last week and had a free morning on Saturday before my flight left to take some photos. I was staying in Tokyo and was happy to get a chance to see the Cherry Blossoms just starting to bloom! It is a magical time in Japan. The next 2 weeks in Tokyo will be amazing! If you ever get a chance to visit this time of year…it is indeed special! This tree was going strong! A few others were not as far along as this one. There was a nice crowd around this particular tree as you can see how beautiful it was! I added a little diffuse glow to the photo to soften the look a bit. I have an HDR from here as well…will post it soon! Spring has arrived!