rare

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.

Rare summer view of Mount Fuji

夏のもやで、あまり富士山が見えません。ところが、晴れた日に、富士山の上に雪の残りが見えます。

Summer’s humid haze often blocks views of Mount Fuji. It’s amazing to see the last bits of snow on the volcano.

Stone wall and giant trees offer rare glimpse into past

大きい木の影の下で、この芝公園の壁は江戸時代の建築を思い出させます。

This one stretch of wall at Shiba Koen, with the towering trees above it, provides a rare glimpse into Tokyo’s architectural past.

Streets are icy. Please don’t slip!

東京にはあまり雪が降りません。いつもすぐに溶けてしまいますが、最近は超寒くなったので、東京の道に氷が多いです。チャリに乗っているときや歩いているときに、ご注意ください。

In Tokyo, it rarely snows, and when it does, it’s usually gone within minutes or at most a day. It’s been super cold recently, and there’s been ice on the roads for some time now. Please be careful on bike or on foot.

Tokyo Tower is a rare landmark

東京タワーは東京の数少ないランドマークの一つです。ニューヨークやパリと全然違います。東京には終わりもなければ、中心もありません。川からの有名な景色もなくて、他の都市にあるように超高層ビルが並ぶ景色もありません。東京タワーは昭和のレトロモダンです。

Few buildings in Tokyo are as iconic as Tokyo Tower. In a mega-city that sprawls as far as Japan’s second largest city, Yokohama, Tokyo lacks a single center, a recognizable river, or a conventional view of its skyscrapers, unlike NYC’s Hudson River or Central Park views.

I like how the top photo’s framing of Tokyo Tower mixes auto traffic with mature trees and a shrine entrance gate in a nostalgic ode to the 1950s. The lower photo shows its reflection at night in an office mid-rise.

Tokyo Station peeking out from scaffolding

足場の上に、東京駅が見えます。東京駅はめずらしい明治の建物です。そして、最上級の交通機関の象徴でもあります。対照的に、新宿駅のほうがもっと人に使われますけれど、正面玄関がありません。修復終了のパーティーはあるのでしょうか? 2014年の100周年の祝賀会に行きたいです。

I love how the very top of Tokyo Station is now visible above the scaffolding. An incredibly efficient urban transportation system makes Tokyo a green city free of auto dependence and isolation. In a city repeatedly destroyed by disasters and constantly in the process of being rebuilt, the 97 year old Tokyo Station is a rare public building from the Meiji era.

I am excited to see the restoration complete, and to experience the grandeur of this central node in Tokyo and Japan’s rail system. Shinjuku Station supports more people per day (over 2.5 million), but like much of Tokyo it is visually a non-place: three department stores from the 1960s through 1980s, sprawling underground passageways, and no particular front or main entrance.

Here’s what Tokyo Station looked like in 2007, courtesy of 663highland. Will there be a party when the project is complete? Or a centennial celebration?