Tokyobling's Blog

Fairytale Forest – Yamanashi

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on January 25, 2013

I found this carnival ride horse in a forest in Yamanashi prefecture to the west of Tokyo. I love coming across little details like this almost everywhere in Japan.


Sasuke Inari Shrine – A Leash of Foxes

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Nature, Places by tokyobling on May 6, 2012

Most tourists visit the beautiful city of Kamakura, south west of Tokyo, alone or as part of a tour group. Kamakura is famous for its dozens of temples but not so famous for its smaller shrines (temples being buddhist, shrines being shinto, a good example of how two very different religions can coexist in one country). One of the least visited but maybe the most interesting shrine in Kamakura is the Sasuke Inari Jinja, and the holy grove behind it, where I took these photos of the many fox statues. The legend behind this shrine is that a man was visited by an Inari God (a God of fertility whose animal is the fox) who told him the solution of one of his problems and saved his life. To thank the Inari spirit the man founded a shrine in a remote part of the mountains in Kamakura, the old capital of Japan. The shrine itself is quite hard to reach and out of the way, but is part of the very rewarding Great Buddha Hiking Trail that goes from just south of Kitakamakura station to Kotokuin, the Daibutsu of Kamakura. On the way you will pass this shrine and the grove of foxes, after quite a lot of climbing and muddy mountain paths. The grove itself is an almost magical moss covered little patch of forest covered in hundreds and hundreds of fox statues and votive shrines, stones, engravings and cups and platters of offerings to the Gods of this place. If you visit off season on a weekday, you might be able to the place for yourself for a little while, and get a chance to really take in the place in peace and silence. This really is one of my favorite spots in Japan, and if I believed in that sort of thing, I would call it a “power spot”. If you want to visit, it might be best to make sure you have a map to the Sasuke Inari Shrine, 佐助稲荷神社, beforehand. The grove of foxes is above the shrine entrance, to the left if you come from Zeniaraibenten, or right on the path to the shrine if you come from the Daibutsu following the hiking trail.

Forest Kayak

Posted in Nature, People, Places by tokyobling on January 20, 2012

Here’s one of my favorite photos from last year, taken when I visited Chichibu deep in Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. I was walking up towards a small forest to take see the beautifully colored leaves when all of a sudden this lady comes carrying her kayak towards me. I just had to tell her to stop so I could take her photo in this gorgeous autumn forest! How often do you get to see a beautiful lady with a kayak on her shoulder in a forest? Actually she was on her way towards the Arakawa river for some kayaking. She must have been used to getting photographed by tourists! The second shot is just a bonus, a young tree for you to enjoy.

All Work And No Play

Posted in Nature by tokyobling on January 24, 2010

This last week has seen very little action here on Tokyobling. I’ve been flat out busy with work and on top of that my usually so generous WiFi connection (limited to a couple of square meters on top of my roof – not a nice place to blog when it’s minus -20 degrees with windchill) has been turned off. On the plus side I have been to some very interesting parties (no photography allowed) and have more lined up. I really need to do more shooting. Here’s a photo from back in the days when I had time to play around, a handful of leaves thrown up in the air, shot with my Nikon Prime 20mm lens. This week I promise to post every single day!

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