More photos of the coast and ocean at Oarai Isosaki Jinja in Ibaraki Prefecture to the north east of Tokyo. The torii, the shrine gate, located on top of a rock in the ocean is especially photo worthy, and very popular with photographers from all over Japan. The waterfront is reached by just walking straight down from the main shrine building, passing the huge torii just before the stairs, crossing the road and then following a small path down to the water in between two buildings. If you are ever in the neighborhood I recommend it!
The great shrine of Oarai, the Isosaki Jinja start on a hill but goes all way down into the ocean, with the final piece of the shrine being the tori standing on a rock in the ocean. The torii survived the earthquake and tsunami perfectly and is as superbly photogenic as always. I googled images of it and found my own meagre snapshots amazingly lacking in doing it justice. Well, I will get more chances I hope! I love this particular piece of the coast, the Pacific Ocean is pretty powerful here and although it might now look too much on the surface the water is full of currents making swimming and surfing too hazardous to attempt. So most people come here to enjoy just looking at the ocean, or going for a swim in some of the more sheltered coves and harbors that can be found here and there. More photos to come!
While taking a walk in Ueno park the other day I spotted a small flock of Mejiro (Zosterops japonicas) scouring a flowering sakura tree. This the kind of photo opportunity I dream of every spring so to get the chance to see it in person was a great happy coincidence for me. The little bird is my second most favorite bird in Japan, and obviosly the pink sakura is my favorite flowering tree. The name of this bird, Mejiro, literally translates as White Eye, due to the white circle around the eye of the bird. It has also given its name for one of the train stations on the Yamanote circle line, Mejiro Station (目白駅). Right now is pretty much the peak of the sakura season here in Tokyo, but if you fear you might miss it I hear that is only just starting in nearby Odawara City.
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.