Young, urban, connected. Tokyo, Japan. Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.

Tokyo, March 2006

In March 2006 I traveled to Tokyo on a business trip for Microsoft. Of course I packed a camera, even though my opportunity to photograph would be limited: it was a whirlwind trip: over and back in just a few days. Fortunately, I was able to arrange my schedule so that I had one morning free to photograph in Ueno Park and the surrounding area.

Ueno Park is perhaps the best-known location in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing. I was there at the end of the month, and the trees were already in full bloom. (The peak period usually lasts until mid-April.) Thousands of people pack the park during this time for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties.

Although the trees were indeed beautiful, I was as usual drawn to the people and the graphic compositions.  In the park is a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. A steady stream of people come to light incense and pay their respects, while nearby is an open-air promenade with food stalls and street vendors.

Wonderful stuff; I do hope to go again when I can spend more time.

 

A street vendor prepares a seafood delicacy in Ueno Park in Tokyo.
Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.
 

Cherry blossoms attract photographers at Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park. Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.
 

These chandeliers, seen from a glass elevator, dominate the lobby
of the Century Hyatt hotel. Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.
 

Escalator, Century Hyatt, Tokyo. (Okay, so I was bored.)  Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.
 

Visiting the Toshogu Shrine at Ueno. Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS..
 

Lighting incense at Toshogu Shrine. Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS.
 

A visual haiku.. Canon EOS 5D, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS.
 

Poetry in bloom. Canon EOS 5D, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS.