Hitachi recently invited me to visit Sky Tree this summer. I’d delayed visiting because it seems far away from where we live, and because of the long lines. Seeing it complete, however, is very impressive with its exposed structure and unbelievable city views. I recommend going at twilight when the sunlight is dramatic, and then slowly the city lights up as the sky darkens.
Hitachi is responsible for the elevator between the first and the top observatory decks. In addition to its large capacity, the elevator ascends very quickly and is thus a showcase for Hitachi’s latest technologies. I was surprised to learn that when it is windy, this upper elevator is often closed for passenger safety.
I loved seeing the bay, the Sumida River, Marunouchi and in the distance Shinjuku.
I love the contrived fantasy of Marui’s Shinjuku roof garden. It’s a large space, with many formal French elements like precise mini-hedges, various arbors, lush borders, and various seating options. At twilight, the lights come on, and I love the mix of formal garden with functional elements like heating and cooling systems, barbed wire for safety, and views of additional Marui building signage and the blank, almost windowless Docomo tower. The photos make it seem empty, but in fact local teens have already discovered this hidden, semi-public space.
This view towards Shinjuku demonstrates how wide the road is and how little space is allocated to people and plants. What a lack of imagination.
The road through Aoyama Cemetery is lined with gorgeous old cherry trees. I went there for AQ‘s office hanami party, and on the way home I took this photo at twilight.
Lone palm looks radiant in twilight. I had to stop my bike to take this photo. Gaien-Nishi Dori between Aoyama and Jingu-mae.
Update: Identified by @jasondewees as Washingtonia, or Mexican fan palm. This tall skinny palm also grows well in San Francisco (and possibly LA, too).
Summer days in Tokyo are difficult with the heat and humidity, but evenings are very pleasant for walking and getting around. Twilight is especially beautiful now.
Visiting a nearby gallery, I wanted to show my friend the Gokokuji temple, just past the station. It was more magical and quiet than I had remembered. I love the long climb up the hill, and how the landscape frames the entrance gate, which in turn further frames the landscape.