Number 3 Daiba

What looks like a peaceful Japanese garden is Number 3 Daiba, a fortification built in 1853 as a response to attempts by US Commodore Perry to open Japan. Beyond that is the artificial island of Odaiba, which was constructed after World War II and one of the planned sites for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Between the two high-rise apartment building on the left is Tokyo Gate Bridge, the furthest extent of the city into the bay. Number 3 Daiba was originally built several kilometers off the coast of the city in open water. This image comes from our book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscapes. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Kasai Rinkai Park

Kasai Rinkai Park is on Tokyo Bay. It is an artificial island built to preserve the natural habitat of Tokyo bay destroyed by development. The bridge in in the background is the main highway that connects Tokyo with Chiba, Tokyo Disneyland, and Narita International Airport. The loudspeakers on the post warn people of approaching tsunamis. This image is from our book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape. Click on the image for a larger view.

Photobook Showcase

The Griffin Museum of Photography will be hosting events around publishing and the photo book on March 26th. From 10 am to 1 pm, Viginia Swanson will be hosting To Be Published, or Self Publish? From 2 pm to 4 pm, self-publishers, including us, will be showing their work during the Photobook Showcase. We will have copies of our latest book Tsukiji: Tokyo Fish Market Suite available. We hope to see you there.

Schoolyard Nativity

tokyo_school_nativityA schoolyard nativity scene in Tokyo, with pink rabbits and Winnie-the-pooh. Note the shoe boxes where students place their footwear before entering the school building. This was one of the outtakes from Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness. Click on the image for a larger view.

Holiday Illumination

tokyo_holiday_illuminationIlluminations are part of the holiday season. These lights are in Tokyo where Christmas is less a religious observance than a time to have fun. This is actually a small family restaurant that is in someone’s home. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Moonlight over Tokyo Bay

tokyo_moonlight_over_tokyo_bayJonanjima Seaside Park is on an artificial island in Tokyo bay. When runway B at Haneda airport is open, photographers group there to photograph the incoming planes. The lights you see on the water are ships. Just above those are aircraft lining up for their approach. The constellation Orion can be seen above the clouds on the horizon with the pleiades toward the top of the picture. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Night Flight from Tokyo

tokyo_night_flightNaomi and I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Tokyo. This is the first time for us to fly out of Haneda airport in Tokyo bay—we have always used Narita, which is far outside the city.

In most respects, Tokyo is probably as far as you can get from a natural landscape—a large part of the land in this image was “reclaimed” from the bay itself. The rivers that at one point meandered across the alluvial plane the city was built on are fixed in their path. The twenty-three wards of the metropolitan area have an average population density of 13,913 people per km². When combined with the neighboring prefectures of Chiba (foreground), Kanagawa (just in the top left corner), and Saitama, the conurbation totals thirty-three million people, about the same population as Canada, the second largest country by land area. Click on the image for a larger view.

New Years Eve in Tokyo

japan_tokyo_new_yearsNew Years is a big deal in Japan. It is simply not a party during the evening of December 31st. It begins then, but will be celebrated for the next several weeks. January is a month of firsts—the first visit to a shrine or temple (hatsumode), the first drawing of water, the first calligraphy, the first day of business, and so on.

This is the main gate to Meiji Shrine, the largest shrine in Tokyo. In the first three days of 2010, 3.2 million people visited this shrine. When you think that most people leave a ¥100 coin (about a dollar) as an offering, New Years is an important time for these places. Click on the image for a larger view.