Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower in late summer


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.

Special rainbow lights on Tokyo Tower


This filter is called “toy camera.” I am not sure what occasions merit the rainbow light treatment at Tokyo Tower. Do you know?

Tokyo Tower at sunset, rising above thick canopy of trees

今年はスカイツリーが注目を集めているが、東京タワーもまだきれいな建物です。 芝公園から見ると、この素敵な木の上からそびえています。

Sky Tree is getting all the attention this year. But Tokyo Tower remains a beautiful structure. I especially like seeing it from leafy Shiba Koen with its magnificent trees.

Accidental image of Zojoji Temple and Tokyo Tower using HDR setting on new camera

最近買ったCanon G1Xというデジタルカメラの使い方をまだ勉強しているが、よく間違います。HDRという設定を使って、動いている車が反復して映ります。芝公園の増上寺で。

I am still getting used to my new (used) Canon G1X digital camera. I mistakenly used the HDR (high dynamic range) setting, and it created this ghost like effect of the car traffic passing the crosswalk. I like the contrast between the dynamic street and the stately landmarks.

Tokyo Tower is a rare landmark


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.

Ojizosama sporting fresh hats, bibs, and colorful pinwheels


There must be hundreds or even a thousand ojizosamas at Sangendatsu-mon temple in Shiba-koen. Maybe because of summer obon, a time to communicate with the deceased, that they have fresh hats, bibs, and colorful plastic pinwheels. I love how all the pinwheels are pointed at the statues and not the people who walk by them. Close to Tokyo Tower, the parks and temples have wonderful mature trees and moss.

Shiba koen under Tokyo Tower

Recently I had the great fortune to meet Handa Mariko, President of the Parks and Recreation Foundation, at her office near Tokyo Tower. She explained the work she does managing fourteen national parks run by the Construction Ministry, and her role as designer of the enormous Showa Kinen park in western Tokyo, on the site of a former US military base.

Then, Handa-san took me and a senior executive of Hitachi, who kindly introduced us, to Shiba koen at the foot of Tokyo Tower. Shiba koen is a traditional Japanese garden surrounding an old sake building that houses a famous tofu restaurant called Ukai. The juxtaposition of tradition and post-war modernism, the protected pine tree and the aging metal tower is magical.