Just a few photos I took in Ueno when passing through a couple of months ago. The weather in Tokyo recently has been quite bad, so posting these winter photos is not a crazy as it seems. It sure feels like winter right now! Hopefully the spring will come for real next week. Have a great weekend everyone!
Few temples in the Japanese capital manage what the grand Gokokuji in Bunkyo ward manages – it gives its name to a subway station: The Gokokuji Station on the Yurakucho line. Exiting from the station the temple is right in front of you and it is hard to miss either of the grand gates leading up to the main temple building. As usual with these huge temple compounds, a big part has been given over to more modern endeavors, offices and car parks, but the upper part remains impressive. The temple itself was founded in 1681 by the fifth shogun and is one of the few temple buildings in the capital that survived all earthquakes and bombing raids unscathed. The temple compound might not look like much in the winter, but come summer the whole compound looks much better with trees full of leaves and life. More images to come, and more details on what is found here.
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!