Tokyobling's Blog

Yamato Awaodori – Shinbashiren

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on August 5, 2014

Possibly one of the greatest Awaodori festivals in Kanagawa Prefecture took place a couple of weeks ago in the city of Yamato. Unlike the shopping street dominated festivals of Tokyo this takes place on the wide roads and streets surrounding the main station, similar in feel to the mighty Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival in Saitama Prefecture. The festival start was severely delayed by massive rains that managed to soak more than one team. Fortunately in this kind of summer heat even a complete soaking is not likely be more than an inconvenience and the festival finished without a problem.

One of my favorite teams was the local Shinbashiren (新橋連) who put on a massive performance and were one of the big crowd pleasers with some very talented younger dancers. If you are in Tokyo or the Yokohama area this time next year, do not miss this great festival!

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Yamashita Koen – Winter Ocean

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 29, 2014

Summer is here and the temperatures are enough to damage my camera even. It is also difficult to take photos of objects far away as the haze of the heat and water in the air makes everything fuzzy around the ages after a few dozen meters. I noticed this especially when I was looking at these old photos from last winter, taken in Yokohama’s Yamashita Park permanent home to the gorgeous Hikawa Maru ocean liner. In these clear winter afternoons you can see for miles out! Although I love summer, every season has it peculiar ups and downs here in Japan.

If you visit Yokohama don’t miss out on a visit to this park, not only is the Hikawa Maru an interesting museum ship to visit, there is also a nearby tower, and the gorgeous piers around the harbor.

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Walking The Suburbs – Shinmaruko

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 5, 2014

The image of Tokyo that most people have is probably that of tall buildings, concrete and glass, busy subway stations and masses of people. But in reality the vast majority of Tokyo is covered in an even mat of low profile but by foreign standards high density urban development. Get up in any tall Tokyo tower or building and as far as the eye can see you will find nothing but rooftops, stretching out into the far distance.

Most of Tokyo looks like this, the little town of Shinmaruko, even though it is technically located in the neighboring Kanagawa prefecture’s Kawasaki City’s Nakahara Ward. Nakahara Ward is one of the 7 wards of Kawasaki city and it has a population density of 15,640/km2 (40,500/sq mi). The little neighborhoods around Shinmaruko Station is dotted with small business, workshops, clinics, stores and services, often not bigger than western one car garage.

I took these photos a couple of months ago as the sakura trees were still in bloom. Sometimes it is good to get out of the city center and explore the suburbs!

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Animals and Wildlife at Enoshima

Posted in Animals, Places by tokyobling on April 19, 2014

I took these photos while visiting Enoshima, a small island right of the Pacific Ocean coast in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture. Enoshima is superbly photogenic and I had enough photos just relating to animals that I thought I should make a proper post of it. The are tobi, squirrels, cats, dogs and fish! The tobi are the most majestic birds you are likely to see in the wild in Japan and they are everywhere. Normally when going birdwatching you need a really long lens for your camera but these tobi are so close that most average cameras should be able to get decent photos of them! Enjoy!

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