WPC – Mirror

Omotesando and Harajuku is an area that’s known to push the boundaries. In terms of fashion, basically anything and everything goes. People want to be noticed. Girls get scouted by modelling agencies. What’s seen on the streets here often turns into the next trend.

Not only fashion, but the sleekest pieces of modern architecture are found here. Some of the most famous buildings are Hugo Boss’ hourglass-shaped store, the Audi Forum “iceberg”, Prada’s bubble glass building, the Sunny Hills wooden lattice building, and my personal favourite, Tokyu Plaza’s 3-storey high entrance made with hundreds of tilted, triangular mirrors.

Tokyu Plaza is a shopping complex which was unveiled in 2012 and raised the bar for all future architects. Riding the escalator at the entrance is like being inside a life-size kaleidoscope. Every person is reflected half a dozen times, sometimes walking upside down, sometimes sideways, and appearing and disappearing like magic. It’s mesmerising. Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura, it was created to be an art experience that is forever changing depending on the people around it, the season, weather and time.

Tokyo Plaza

Tokyu Plaza

Tokyu Plaza

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

WPC -Narrow

One of my favourite things about Japan are the narrow, atmospheric ‘yokochos’ filled with bars and restaurants. People wander these dimly-lit backstreets in search of a quiet (or loud) corner to drink and often stay til the wee hours of the morning. Some bars are so tiny that they can only seat 5 or 6 people. It’s a side of Japan that’s only visible at night – during the daytime, the shops are closed and there is almost no sign of life anywhere.

Weekly Photo Challenge: narrow.

WPC – Cherry On Top

It’s been a while since I joined in on the Weekly Photo Challenge, but I’ve been enjoying everyone else’s photos over the months. When I saw this week’s topic Cherry On Top, I thought of one thing:

Mount Fuji.

Besides the fact that it’s the symbol of Japan and a World Heritage Site, there’s something just so powerful and captivating about her. Fujisan is more often than not hidden behind clouds or a hazy sky, so any time you see her, you know it’s going to be a good day!

In spring, I went to the World Trade Centre observation deck for the first time as it’s known to be one of the best places to see Tokyo’s own symbol, Tokyo Tower. It had been raining earlier in the day, and I predicted the sunset was going to be a bit spectacular, as it often is after storm clouds have cleared.

My prediction was pretty on point! An amazing view of Tokyo Tower right there in front of us. A fiery sunset colouring the sky in reds, oranges and pinks. And the cherry on top, a perfectly clear view of Mt Fuji on the horizon.

TokyoMt FujiTokyoMt Fuji

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir, American naturalist (1838-1914)

Coincidentally, just last week I was looking back at a photo taken of me in Hakuba (which I wrote about in my last post) – I had the biggest smile and it made me think, this is definitely where I’m most content. Warm sunshine and fresh air. Beautiful flowers of all colours. Lots of trees and possibly even a waterfall… Yep, my happy place is being in the great outdoors, the wilderness. Whether it’s while hiking through the mountains or strolling around a city garden, I always feel a boost in energy as soon as I’m immersed in nature. Problems and stress dissolve and I’m left in a peaceful state.

For this week’s Photo Challenge, I’ve selected pics from different locations in and around Tokyo.

Thank you Krista for this week’s Photo Challenge theme.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid

Last year, I was very lucky to have been able to get up close and personal with original paintings by Manet at the National Art Center here in Tokyo, which was part of a touring expo from the Musée d’Orsay! Even though NACT is the largest museum in Japan, it only holds temporary exhibitions. In the same year it opened, 2007, NACT hosted “Claude Monet : L’art de Monet et sa postérité”, which saw more than 700,000 visitors over its 76 day duration – an average of over 9,000 people each day! The most successful exhibition to date, though, was in 2010; “Post-impressionnisme 115 chefs-d’œuvre de la collection du Musée d’Orsay” attracted over 10,000 people each day during its 72 days in Tokyo.

Aside from the immensely popular exhibitions, there’s another reason people love to visit NACT. Simply, it is one the most architecturally beautiful structures in the country. Even if there isn’t any artwork showing, it’s worth a visit just for the building itself. NACT was designed by renowned Japanese architect, Kisho Kurakawa, whose work you can see all around Japan, as well as in Australia, the U.S., across Europe, and throughout Asia.

The entrance lobby consists of a massive glass façade that is intended to bring nature in. The outside trees, grass and sky are almost a part of the design! The transparent wall waves around the front of the building in a very elegant manner and in the afternoon, the grid-like beams cast an array of mesmerising shadows all throughout the atrium. It is beautiful, but hard to photograph!

If you’re into fashion design, make sure you check out the next major exhibition The Work of Miyake Issey (March-June, 2016)!

national art center national art center

National Art Center

National Art Center

Check out this week’s Photo Challenge “Grid” for more posts. Thanks Michelle for the theme!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

I’m a sucker for Close Up photos! It’s fun to get right in there, up close and personal, and show a different perspective to things we have seen many times before. It’s a chance to bring the finer details, that you’d normally not take much notice of, into the spotlight.

My favourite subjects to take ‘macro’ shots of are flowers and leaves… this is probably because I know they can’t run away from in front my lens! I need something that will stay still long enough for me to figure out what I’m doing!

I find the veins on a leaf or the texture of a petal are fascinating, and trying to capture them in an interesting way is always a challenge. But living in Tokyo with so many parks around, I’m never short of chances to practice. These are a few of the close up pictures I’ve taken in the past year.

maple leaf

plum blossom waterdrop

grasshopper

Thanks Brie for this week’s theme!