It’s very hard to keep an active and interesting life during this cold Tokyo winter! It’s cold in the morning, you’re cold when you go to work, it is cold at work and when you get home to a cold home, well it takes a lot of energy! To break this bad cycle I made an effort to visit one of Tokyo’s most beautiful parks, the Hamarikyu Gardens between Tsukiji and Ginza, at Tokyo’s waterfront. Today I just wanted to share these photos of a gardener pruning the pine trees. Having seen more about the pruning of bonsai trees in my life than the pruning of the real big trees I felt as if I was watching the world’s biggest bonsai trees! The gardens are famous for having some of the oldest and most well preserved trees in the capital, the oldest of which are over 300 years old, not bad for a city that has been destroyed a few times since its founding! I’ll post more photos later!
Here are some more photos from the greatest Tokyo park, the Shinjuku Gyoen. Most of them closeups, using my cheap, light weight and wonderful Sigma 70-300mm (the old tele-macro version). I think the flowers, which are very popular all over Japan, are called spider lillies, but I am not sure. I also managed to catch a couple of butterflies! If you are interested in photography I invite you to have a look at the last photos, the one with the bridge being the cheap 70-300mm Sigma and the one of the stone lantern a much more expensive Nikkor 85mm. Lovely lenses both, but quite different in terms of contrast and how the bokeh comes out.
These stone lanterns can be found all over the country, some very old ones are carved in stone but these days most of them are cast in concrete I guess. Like most stone monuments they probably come from a wooden model but I have never seen any original wooden “stone lanterns”. In Japanese they are called Tōrō.
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