TOKYO LAWN TENNIS CLUB, TOKYO

Just down the road from where we live in Tokyo. There is no lawn at this club, the courts are all clay (smile).

A few HDRs from when the azaleas were in full bloom.

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The path beside the club. I walked this path for a year – until we changed offices.

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FLOWERS DOWN A BACK STREET

Last Saturday the sakura were still out – although fading fast. It is such a short season and after two full bloom, “peak” days, it rained for 3 days straight with wind. Down came the sakura.

The sun was out Saturday afternoon so I decided to take a quick walk – a last walk to enjoy the season. From our balcony I could see a few big trees in bloom. As we made our way down the alleys, we came across these huge bushes, in full bloom with perfect, pink flowers.

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It never ceases to amaze me to be in these temperate climates where flowers abound. In Canada, flowers are a concerted effort.

Around the corner, in a small park (5 trees wide), the last of the bloom.

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The local baseball field is surrounded with blooming trees.

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An entire city turns pink.

A JAPANESE WEDDING, TOKYO

We were with a friend at Meiji Shrine on the weekend and there were a few things going on – weddings and children coming of age celebrations.

I enjoyed watching the posing of this wedding party, the photographer and his staff must have adjusted an arm here – a leg there, for 10 minutes.

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The bride is wearing the head covering that is traditionally worn to cover her “horns”.

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Perhaps this bride is happy because she does not have anything to hide (smile).

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Everywhere you looked were children in colorful traditional dress, to celebrate their coming of age. Of course, parents were being parents, primping and preening – that is the same in every culture.

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The path to the shrine was lined with ornate flower arrangements. No idea what they were for, but I have not seen daisies arranged like Japanese trees before. Very pretty.

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As always, lots to see at Meiji shrine.

OPEN AIR MUSEUM, HAKONE, JAPAN

I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at this museum as I have never been to an outdoor museum.

Set in the stunning landscape of Hakone, the Hakone Open-Air Museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. Constantly changing with the seasons, our spectacular grounds are the permanent home for approximately 120 works by well-known modern and contemporary sculptors. We also have 5 exhibition halls including the Picasso Pavilion, as well as pieces where children can play, a footbath fed by natural hot springs, and a variety of other facilities where our visitors can relax and enjoy the splendor of art in nature.

It was as one would expect; open, beautiful grounds at the foot of the mountains. Config: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-70mm f/2.8 with a mix of handheld HDRs.

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“Intersecting Space Construction” …

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Japanese maples are beautiful all year round and plentiful here. They do not grow well in my home country due to the winters.

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I saw this ball’s cousin at the Vatican … Sfera con Sfera (sphere within a sphere).

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The “symphonic sculpture”, a wonder of colored glass. It became a symphony of children’s laughter and screams about 3/4 of the way up as the school kids streamed in (smile).

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The grounds are scattered with sculptures and beautiful flowers.

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A few hours well spent.

NISHIIKI MARKET, KYOTO

After our first temple we headed to Nishiki market. A cab dropped us off at one entrance and we started down this very long covered walkway past hundreds of interesting stalls.

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Uniquely Japanese is a good way to describe it; pottery, restaurants, fish markets, vegetable stands and everything in-between.

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Lots and lots of pickled choices. The Japanese love to pickle things.

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I believe this is grilled eel. Had I not just eaten, I would have grabbed some. Love grilled eel.

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The young lady at the stand tried to sell me one of these .. only a couple hundred yen. Look closely, it is a small octopus with a quail egg stuffed where the head use to be. I regret not trying it. Had to chuckle at the little cartoon ad guy saying “It will eat” …  not sure what that means.

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At some point in the near future, our family will be buying special chopsticks. As of right now, we use them frequently but haven’t made the “special” purchase yet. Perhaps metallic is in order?

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This fellow was making the circular Japanese cakes. They are delicious.

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And last, check out this flower stall. My Uncle Frank would have loved the colors .. I know I did. So vibrant.

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Thanks for dropping by.