The other weekend I visited Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura City to the south of Tokyo. Despite the cold winds and the chilly temperature in the ocean there were lots of surfers – just as usual. It is always interesting to go down there with a longer lens, something you can’t really do in summer for obvious reasons. A curious gentleman crow tried to join but as any beach goes knows, one does not bring for to the beaches of Japan! The crows are not as bad, it is the kites circling above you are more worried about.
Winter time means fewer festivals and fewer events here in Tokyo, which in turns means that I have more time to just wander around. It is hard to resist the long beautiful walk from Tamachi station over the Rainbow Bridge to the artificial Odaiba island in Tokyo Bay. The beach might be artificial as well, but for inland city dwellers even this combination of sand and ocean is like balm for the soul. On weekends there are usually a few couples out getting their pictures taken, and I got one of them in my photos. From Odaiba beach I walked further on to Diver City and Venus Fort, two of the biggest shopping malls in Odaiba, and through to Aomi port on the ocean side of Odaiba, where the biggest and fastest cargo ships stop by. I am afraid I also bothered one innocent duck the stoically endured my photography. All in all a great day to spend a lazy day in Tokyo!
Going on a long walk in Tochigi Prefecture’s Nasu district I walked past a farm that advertised the feeding of donkeys, naturally I had to investigate. The feeding process was cleverly set up so that even clumsy children could safely pour good things down on the happy beasts. The donkeys shared space with a couple of hungry horses as well. I have a soft spot for animals and donkey are very rare in Japan.
Not all festivals in and around Tokyo are traditional religious or spiritual, there are also quite a few history festivals that give us a chance to enjoy the old clothes, costumes, arms and armor of the times long gone. Several of these festivals take place around the last weekend of October, throughout Japan, not least being the big parade in Nihonbashi tomorrow morning. I saw these mounted samurai warriors at the Kanda Matsuri a few years ago, just as they were exercising their horses at a local elementary school before the main parade. The rather intense rain was forcing us all to keep out heads down though. If you are in Japan today or tomorrow, I recommend looking around to see if there are any history festivals near you!