Grove of trees shimmers in summer heat

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夏の港区の芝で、森林の葉が光っています。涼しいスポットです。

Definitely a cool spot between Shiba Koen and the office and commercial district leading to Hamamatsucho.

Found some sun-lit boats in Shiba river, under the elevated freeway

首都高速道路の下に、素敵な船が浮いています。まだ川を使う人たちがいて、うれしかったです。

Just a few hundred meters down river from an ugly stretch of buried Shiba river, I found these beautiful boats shining beneath the freeway. It’s lovely to see these boats and to know that the river is still being used by some people.

Musicians preforming at festival on a wooden boat

芝お祭りに、演奏家たちが、木材の船で演奏します。マクドの前、路上で。

I love how these Shiba festival musicians are performing in a wooden boat. The musician closest to me put on the mask when he saw me reach for my camera. I love that there’s a boat in the street in front of McDonalds.

Elegant ladies dancing on the street at Shinto festival in Shiba

お祭りのときに、素敵な着物を着たおばあさんが、路上で踊っています。友だちのバスと、9月の芝のお祭りに行きました。

On a wide boulevard normally devoted to multi-lane auto traffic, nothing could be more beautiful than the site of elegant ladies in matching kimonos and hats dancing in synchronized movements. The summer and fall Shinto festivals transform business Tokyo into a series of village parties evoking an agrarian culture rarely sensed inside the megalopolis.

Below are photos from the Shiba matsuri. The sub-group near my friend Bas’ home displayed photos from the 1945 festival, just a month after the end of the war in which the entire neighborhood and much of Tokyo was burnt to the ground. The last photo shows a man who is both telling stories and selling bananas, a continuation of an Edo-era festival character.

In the photos you can see how on a special holiday, the streets, overpasses, convenience stores, and other mundane urban spaces are transformed into a very social and well dressed public environment.

Tokyo Tower in late summer

芝のアウトドアのプールが閉まる前に、晩夏の東京タワーの写真をたくさんとりました。東京タワーは東京の数少ないランドマークですね。「ランドマーク」とは、自分の居場所がわかるような目立つ建物のことです。

Before the Shiba outdoor pool closed in mid-September, I spent more time admiring Tokyo Tower, both from the pool itself and from park surrounding it. I’ll post a few photos of this rare Tokyo landmark in the next week.

Baseball field next to Shuto expressway in Shiba

芝の首都高速道路の隣に野球場があります。東京の密度に私は今でも驚きます。

Next to the Shuto expressway in Shiba are baseball fields, tennis courts, a shrine, office buildings, hotels, and the vestiges of a river. Tokyo’s density still astounds me.

What a color! An ugly view of river in Shiba below the freeway

首都高速道路の下の古川に何が住んでいるでしょうか。

Is there anything alive in this river? Cutting through Shiba in Minato-ku, it’s covered by the Shuto freeway and cut off from the street with a chain link fence. What a color!