I know baseball is huge in Japan and in a few other countries around the world but I have never gotten the hang of it. It’s mostly a mystery to me and the few games I have attended haven’t made me much wiser, but it’s a totally different thing when you walk past a junior league game and see the kids really giving all they’ve got in a game! I saw this match in progress (I think they were only training, since there were no dads in the audience, mostly moms) and had to take a few snapshots. I took these with my 135mm lens but most apart from the first photo the others are very much cropped so it looks like I had a 300mm lens at least. Typically I never crop photos in post production or editing. I try to compose as best as I can before I take the picture but sometimes I use cropping anyway, even though it goes against my own artistic principles, as far as a mere blogger is allowed artistic pretentions! Still, if you’re interested in Japanese baseball, stop by a junior team practice the next time you pass one in progress, and enjoy. It’s far more exciting, and totally free!
This year’s Tokyo Marathon was the first that I have seen but certainly not the last. One thing I knew was coming was the costumes, the dress ups of some of the runners! I had heard about it but it was so many more than I could have imagined, and some really elaborate costumes! Unfortunately, as you can see, it was really hard to get the runners in focus, as I only had a split second to select a runner, get a focus and press the trigger. The road they ran on was so wide and it was so crowded I could barely shoot one tenth of the runners I wanted to! But I lucked out when it came to the best costume of the race, Jesus and his cross! I can think of few costumes that would be better for a marathon than this one, it was just a few degrees over freezing outside and this man ran a full marathon barefoot, in a loincloth while carrying a huge cross. That’s some real fighting spirit! Other great examples were the pink Hello Kitty Ninja lady, the men in suits with briefcases (I missed all but one, the man with the tiger mask), and any number of Mario and Luigi! Next year I’ll be better prepared and get a spot in a slight curve so that I can catch them running straight towards me. Shooting runners at an angle is pure pain. Enjoy!
Today was one of the most important sporting events of the year here in Tokyo – the Tokyo Marathon! These last few years the whole country has been in a marathon craze and the event just gets more and more popular! Not only are the people running putting all their effort into it, but also a lot of people going there just to support the runners are giving their best. Certainly I myself have never been interested in long distance running before but it is just contagious, and today was great fun to watch the thousands and thousands of people running past. I picked the spot just after Ichigaya station to see the race. In part because it was just about 5km from the start so I figured people would look a little bit fresher for my photos, but also because there is a long stretch of straight road there with no tall buildings to cast shadows over the runners – a good place to take photos! I noticed that the average age of the runners were high, I saw a lot more people in their 60s and 70s than I saw people in their 20s. There was also a few ladies running with full make up looking much more fresh than I did and all I did was stand around! Amazing. I didn’t see much of the first one hundred runners, but among the general bulk of runners there were also quite a few foreigners, a Taiwanese girl had her flag and camera at the ready. As usual there were a lot of runners in costumes, here’s two of the more “plain” costumes, the Tokyo Tower and Pikachu. I’ll post some other costumed runners later tonight! There were also police all over the place to make sure that traffic ran smoothly despite the marathon, including these two very cool motorcycle police guarding a road accessing the main marathon route. I don’t think I could ever run a marathon, but I really respect those who do. This was my first time to photograph a long distance race, so I hope I’ll get better pictures next year!
I passed the Wako department store window today and saw this clock counting down to the start of the Tokyo Marathon. I’m having serious problems deciding where to go and watch the runners. What would be the most scenic spot? Probably right around here, in the center of Ginza. If you’re going to cheer on the runners, let me know where you’ll be going, or where you’d recommend!