Tokyo revisited

posted on 20th of february, 2008

After spending the Christmas in London, we flew to Tokyo to visit my wife's family. We spent here about 3 weeks. In 2003-2004, I have spent one year as a master exchange student in Koganei, Tokyo, and this is my second visit since then. It is in Tokyo where I first came into contact with photography and where I have started contributing to Dreamstime. A big, modern city, Tokyo offers countless opportunities for photographers, specially travel photographers like I consider myself to be.

Even as I have spent a lot of time here, every time I find new places that I haven't visited, as the magnificent Hama-ryukyu (Detached Palace garden) in downtown Tokyo depicted in the right image.

Although I would have liked to shoot more, there were many family reunion meeting and trips that we have to attend, not to mention spending time with close family and friends.

As new additions to my portfolio here, I would like to present the Tokyo skyline from the Tsukushima island, in Tokyo bay, with a clear view of the loading docks of the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, separated by Tsukushima district by the Sumida river. Conrad hotel in Shiodome district, Tokyo Tower and even Roppongi Hills are also visible under the sunset sky.

Another landmark that I was eager to take at good picture of, is the European like facade of Tokyo Station, build as to resemble Amsterdam Train Station. Behind the face depicted in the right picture, the Tokyo Station developed since 1914 well beyond the initial plan. New high-rise buildings to host the railways companies headquarters and shopping malls were build around it, but keeping the old facade facing the Imperial Palace gardens. The boulevard linking the station with the Imperial Grounds is currently under re-design. Despite the reconstruction work visible in front of it, the Tokyo Station was superbly lighten-up the night I found the time to take some pictures of.

Shinjuku, the main commercial and administrative center of Tokyo was another subject that for long I yearn to shoot, but with no success without interfering logos and trademarks. Luckily, January brought the editorial licenses at Dreamstime and I could upload the right side image taken in the most popular district of Tokyo. Shinjuku Train Station (which is the busiest train station in the world) splits the Shinjuku district into 2 parts. The image was taken from the side hosting the commercial and red-light areas, looking over the train lines towards the business and administrative skyscrapers of the other side. The leftmost skyscraper is the latest addition to Shinjuku skyline, of original design, but not yet fully completed. The image sold 3 times already in the few days since it is on-line as an editorial image.

I also found the time to visit Odawara Castle, the closest Japanese castle to Tokyo, but only a replica of the original wooden structure.

My wife suggested sometimes last summer to take night pictures during wintertime, as the night comes faster, in retaliation to some of my attempts to hold her outside at late hours. Only this winter I have realized what great idea she provided to me. By the time it gets dark in winter, many of the offices are still working and one can find extra lights in the skyscrapers and extra activities at the street level. I just noted that most of my pictures taken this winter in Japan are night shots...

Beside Tokyo, we made some trips around it or further ahead. The most notable ones are to Matsumoto Castle (left image - one of the last remaining original Japanese castles of wooden structure and one of the most beautiful ones) and Kusatsu hot-spring resort. I still have to upload images from Kusatsu, and hope to write about them in a next blog post.

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Photo credits: Mihai-bogdan Lazar.

About me

Visited places: EUROPE - Austria [Hallstatt, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna], Belgium [Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven], Bosnia & Herzegovina [Mostar], Croatia [Dubrovnik, Zagreb], France [Annecy, Besancon, Chamonix, Colmar, Dijon, Grenoble, Honfleur, Loire Valley, Lyon, Nancy, Nice, Metz, Monaco, Mont St-Michel, Paris, Puy-en-Velay, Strasbourg], Germany [Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hohenschwangau, Lindau, Munich], Hungary [Budapest, Szeged], Iceland, Italy [Camogli, Como, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Portofino, Rome, Siena, Sirmione, Turin, Trieste, Venice], Luxembourg [Luxembourg], Montenegr... [Read more]

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