Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, in Tokyo 2014

Every spring, when sakura, or cherry blossoms, start to bloom is of the greatest interest to residents in Japan. People eagerly wait for the sakura zensen, or the cherry blossom front, which refers to the advance of cherry blossoms across Japan from south to north, arriving in their towns.

This year, the sakura zensen made an arrival in Tokyo on March 25th. Although people had been busy having parties and strolling under the glorious trees for the past week, I noticed the petals starting to fall on April 1st. Their lives are indeed short. All the more reason, people get exceedingly intoxicated by their beauty. This is the most precious week of the year.

Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, in Tokyo 2014 [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Apr. 1st, 2014

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Glimpses of Tokyo 2012 - 2013

Enjoy the two-minute virtual Tokyo tour!

Glimpses of Tokyo 2012 - 2013 [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S from Mar. 2012 to Apr. 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, in Tokyo 2013

The Japan Meteorological Agency announced that sakura, or cherry blossoms, reached full bloom in the capital on March 22nd. It was around 10 days earlier than usual and the second earliest on record. Under the glorious blossoming trees, people stroll, sing, eat, drink, lie down and get intoxicated by their beauty, hoping to see the fugacious flowers next spring again.

Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, in Tokyo 2013 [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Mar. 26th, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kotatsu ~Japanese Heating Table~

Kotatsu, a low table with an electric heater underneath, is one of the typical Japanese heating devices. You cover it by a quilt and get your legs into it to get warmed. It is a kind of a heating devices for a very small space. It is a good idea to heat up a small space when you live in a Japanese wooden house. Japanese houses are usually designed to be drafty in order to make the life comfortable during the very humid summer. However, in winter, it is inefficient to heat up the whole house. It takes a lot of energy. Kotatsu is a reasonable solution to the problem. That is why we usually don't have a central heating system at home. (In the northern island Hokkaido, it is very common to have one)

On a cold winter day, once you are in it, I bet you would never like to move out of it. If tea, snacks or winter fruits and remotes were prepared on the table, it would be almost impossible to escape from the enchanted table till the winter ends.

Kotatsu ~Japanese Heating Table~ [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sunny Day after Snowy Day, Shinjuku, Tokyo

After a snow storm had passed over, Tokyo was warmed by the sunshine. People returned to their usual life although public transportation was still being disrupted a bit. Every time a heavy snowfall hits the massive capital, transportation descends into chaos. People know the city is pretty vulnerable to snow and recognize the need for countermeasures. It is, however, also true that it is difficult to take measures with a large budget, against the visitant that comes only once in a few year.

Sunny Day after Snowy Day, Shinjuku, Tokyo [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Jan. 15th, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Snow in Tokyo Area

Japan has a variety of climates. The areas of the mainland along the Sea of Japan are known as one of the snowiest regions on earth. On the other hand, it is, in the areas of the Pacific Ocean side of the island, usually so dry in winter that you don't often see snow. Many of cities in the areas, including Tokyo and several other large cities, are vulnerable to snow. The Japan Meteorological Agency announces that it is a heavy snowfall when the snow reaches 5 cm in central Tokyo.

We had our first snow of this winter in Tokyo area on January 14th. It was a heavy snowfall. While kids and dogs went outside and played delightedly, public transportation and cats stopped their activity. It was a national holiday as Coming-of-Age Day and not so many commuters were affected. However, a large number of new adults were deprived of their transportation to Coming-of-Age event.

First Snow in Tokyo Area, 2013 [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Jan. 14th, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hatsumode, First Shrine Visit of New Year in Japan

For many Japanese, the first thing to do at the start of a year is hatsumode. People visit a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple and make a wish for the coming year. Some of them do that as soon as the year changes. If you would like to worship at a famous shrine or a temple, you have to get in a line for several hours at the mid-winter midnight.

Even at the small shrine near my place, every year, the precincts are filled with old and young and the line of worshippers continues to the street outside. Kids, who are always told to go to bed early, are also allowed to stay up on the day.

Hatsumode, First Shrine Visit of New Year in Japan [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Jan. 1st, 2013