Tokyo Marathon was held on Feb. 23, 2014. Here’s a collection of the most outstanding and incredulous costumes. I was near Suitengu Station which was about 10 km from the finish line.
Two videos of some stage entertainment held during the Yushima Tenjin Shrine’s annual plum blossom festival (湯島天神梅まつり) in Feb.-March 2014.
Belly dancers from the Haruna Aki & Arabina troupe 春奈あき＆アラビーナのベリーダンス:
All-female Shiraume Taiko drummers were fantastic as usual 白梅太鼓 :
Video link: http://youtu.be/WKvSP9zmnb8
If you like lakes (especially very old ones), fish, plankton, endemic species, or fermented fish, this video is for you. It’s quite long at 1 hr. 6 min., but you can pause/resume at anytime. Or just watch the first 5 min. and then decide whether to watch it to till the end. Within 5 min., you’ll know if you want to continue watching it or not. It’s pretty educational.
Wishing you all the best in the Year of the Horse!
The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show was held at Tokyo Big Sight during Nov. 23-Dec. 1, 2013. No American car makers were there. No Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Ferrari either.
Went to Shinjuku Gyoen Garden in Tokyo in Nov. 2013 to shoot autumn leaves.
On Nov. 19, 2013, I took a friend from Hawaii around Tokyo and when we headed for the Imperial Palace, we saw this large crowd on the streets. Most were middle-aged and older people. The palace was closed off to tourists as well. Couldn’t see the famous Nijubashi Bridge.
I asked a bystander what was going on. She said they were waiting for “Caroline.” No mention of the last name. “Caroline” in Japan automatically means “Kennedy.” Although I always think of Neil Diamond’s song which coincidentally is about the Caroline they were waiting to see.
So I stuck around for about 15 min. and sure enough, at around 4 pm, her horse-drawn carriage appeared after she had shown her credentials to the emperor. I whipped out my camcorder and still camera and started shooting.
There were two horse-drawn carriages and I correctly assumed she was riding in the first one. No one waved Japanese and American flags though.
Fortunately, she was sitting on the right side of the carriage facing my side of the street. You can see her in this photo. Wish she waved to us. As soon as she passed, the crowd dissipated.
We haven’t had such a star ambassador to Japan in a long time, not perhaps since Edwin Reischauer in 1960s or the beloved Mike Mansfield in the 1980s. Welcome to Japan, Sweet Caroline!
Read more about her in Japan here: http://www.nytimes.com/
My two videos of the Inagi Awa Odori dance festival held on September 7, 2013 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Aroud 12 dance troupes danced along the main streets and in front of Keio Yomiuriland Station on the Keio Line, not far from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.
It’s not crowded at all, so it was very easy to shoot.
Saw the Koenji Awa Odori dance on Aug. 25, 2013, the second day. I avoided the massively crowded areas (near JR Koenji Station) and stayed on a small, narrow road where I was able to get good closeup footage. The only problem was that I was too close so the sound of the booming taiko drums that came out distorted on my camcorder. Oh well.
I watched it from beginning to end from 5 pm to 8 pm and still wasn’t able to see all the dance troupes that were there. Over 5,000 dancers from 80 dance troupes and around 500,000 spectators (or around 950,000 over the two days) jammed the streets around JR Koenji Station on the Chuo Line in Tokyo. My videos caught 53 troupes.
Video link: http://youtu.be/VQmRdBMvYG4
Kumagaya in Saitama Prefecture is famous for some of the hottest summer temperatures in the Tokyo/Kanto area. On a relatively “cool” (around 33 C) evening, I went to see the Uchiwa Matsuri of 12 ornate floats paraded around the streets until they all converged at a major intersection. It was the final evening and festival climax on July 22, 2013.