ginza

Giza Feline Chillin in the Afternoon Sun

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Stylish Ginza Cat with a Two VInyl Umbrella Home

This kitty is feline Ginza royalty.  His domain included two see-through vinyl umbrellas that keep the rainy season downpours off his black and white fur.  There he sat on top of a simple box covered with some comfy material.  He was comfortably situated between an urban relic of a wall and a vinyl covered chain link fence.

This one rules the backstreets of Ginza.  Never bothered by the meandering tipsy businessmen or the fashion conscience women.  None of it matters to him.

“Just give me a cool place to have an audience with my subject.” he replied slickly to my question.  The royal one wasn’t phased by my questioning.  I might have been speaking in an alternatively laced universe, but somehow we understood each other.

I knew my audience was quickly coming to an end, and I asked politely if I may have the honor of the royal one sitting for a portrait.  With a resounding “Nyao,” he granted permission.  I framed the feline, pressed the shutter and thanked him deeply for his time.  I bowed and exited from his domain.

 

Seek Your Oasis in the Heat

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Urban Oasis, Drinking Spot, Ginza

No rain in sight, says the weather forecast.  So far three weeks of highs over 90s with out much rain.  There have got to be ways to beat the heat.

One way is to seek the urban oasis.  A beer garden, a tiny izakaya (Japanese bar), even the local convenience store and squatting in the shade with a can of ice teas.

We all have our ways of dealing with the heat.  To each his/her own.  Find your shade.  Keep your cool.  Enjoy the heat before its gone till 2013.

 

Banging Against That Wall, Hoping for the Breakthrough

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Knocking Heads Against a Brick Wall

Bang! and again, and again.  Sometimes that is exactly how we feel.  No matter what we do, or the approach we take it running smack into a brick layered wall.  Bang, head slamming into the wall. Over and over again, until we become numb to it all.  Why is it so rough?  What are we hopping we will accomplish.

We can’t help it at certain points in our lives.  We have all been there.  When I find myself smacking against that wall.  I find it absolutely necessary to pause, breathe in so deeply that the oxygen reinvigorates my soul.  I focus in on that air circulating within my body, looking for that negativity, and then release all of those obstacles in my exhale.

It is easier said then done, but with focused practice, It will become second nature to us all.

Bang away, just don’t let it get to you.  Release those energies that are causing you to hit the wall, and the universe will intervene if you calm your spirit.

Breakthroughs wouldn’t be called break-through if it there wasn’t a wall that needs to be surpassed.

 

Wandering Higashi Ginza, Tokyo

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Higashi Ginza Tilting Lantern

I had to take my Ricoh GR IV in to the repair shop located in Ginza on Monday.  I had been meaning to stop by the Ricoh Camera Service Center for a while but just haven’t been able to make the time.  There was a bit of dust on the sensor and I knew the only way to get rid of the dust was to have the experts take a look.

I dropped the camera off and took out my GRII as a backup camera.  It was only about 2 hours after the eclipse and the sun had finally chased all the colds away.  It was perfect weather for getting lost in the backstreets of Ginza.

For most people Ginza means all those super brand stores and large department stores like Mitsukoshi, of course, Ginza has all of that, but I am not really attracted to all that glitz.  I prefer those neighborhoods that are on the fringes.  On Monday I spent most of my time walking the streets between Ginza, Higashi Ginza, and  not quite as far as Tsukiji.

There is a wonderful mixture of eateries, homes, and businesses that I have no idea what they do.  It doesn’t really matter.  It is the journey that really counts.  I had plenty of time to walk about with my old trusty camera as my GR IV wouldn’t be ready to about 3 p.m.

Sometimes the best way to find your way is to get totally lost.  That pretty much happened to me.  I turned a corner to discover that the Kabukiza (Kabuki Theater) that had been torn down about 2 years ago, was nearing completion.

Turning another corner, sliding down between the narrowest of alleys.  For me that is the honest Ginza.  Not the flashy stores or the bright lights.  Its the quiet streets that people call home.

Higashi Ginza 81-106

 

Higashi Ginza Cone Guarded Garden

Ginza’s Backstreets and Alleyway Gardens

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I had to bring my mac into Apple last week, and today I returned to scoop it up.  Ginza was one of those places that I avoided.  I thought that it was only good for shopping with your platinum credit cards; however, my view of the neighborhood has really changed over the last couple of years.  Besides Ginza being home to designer brands of all makes, many fabulous ethnic and Japanese restaurants are found lining the main thoroughfares and even more intriguing ones lie in wait on the backstreets.

For those of you that know Tokyo, the area that I really love to wander around is between Ginza and Shimbashi station.  There are so many beautiful little alleyways that are populated with tiny shops serving up all kinds of cuisine.  Today I was interested in how many of these backstreet shops decorated their entrances with plants.  Even though we live in a sea of concrete and steel, many Japanese make an effort to green up their spaces.  It doesn’t matter if it is their home or place of business.  The greening of the concrete landscape is beautiful in my eyes.  These tight little garden spaces that flow out onto the asphalt streets, but not in a way that will impede foot or car traffic.  The potted plants hug the tiny strip of space between the walls of the buildings and the streets.

They seem so ordered.  Everything is in its proper place.  All the plants, usually, well cared for.  It is a small greening of Ginza.  It might not be very much, but it makes those backstreets a pleasure to wander.

Cuisine Street Garden

5 Potted Plant Line Up, Ginza

Leaning Potted Plant, No Entry

Squared in Ginza, with Plants

Monday, October 17th, 2011

My friend Brancolina reminded me the other day about how much she enjoyed my urban wabi sabi images.  Those are the images I created using the canvas of the urban constructed world of Japan.  How all the structures and creations that man has built can fit neatly into squares of my eye.  I loved taking these images.  I still do.  I still am surrounded by these blending of mundane urban elements.  It is not that I no longer desire to enjoy these geometrical collaborations, it is that after the March 11th disasters and the subsequent problems in Japan I needed to change my view.  I needed to chase after a new image.

This is when I became interested in photographing the natural world.  Those flowers that began to bloom soon after the quake were signaling my spirit the rebirth of Japan, and in essence the rebirth of my own character.  I remarked to Brancolina and others that if you had asked me a year ago would I be taking images of flowers and fruit I would have thought you to be mad.  I never considered it.  Do not get me wrong.  I love nature.  I enjoy going out and being in the Creators world, but I never thought about trying to express nature though my photography.  That now has changed.

Even now as the days get shorted everyday.  I still am amazed that there are flowers still in bloom.  These late bloomers are there catching those long autumn rays and giving an explosion of color before the cold Siberian air arrives.

So, I livicate these to images to my fellow photographer Brancolina (and her blog) and her respect for my photography.  I look forward to sharing more challenges and discoveries through the lens.

Finally Shuttered in Ginza

Trendy Tree in Ginza

It was 2 Degrees in Downtown Ginza

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Getting ready to make that trip back to the states, I went into Ginza to do some souvenir shopping.  It wasn’t the best day to go to a department store it being, both a holiday and the Friday before Valentines day, so it was a bit packed.

We had lunch at an Okinawan restaurant, as we watched the snow fall to the city streets below.  Kind of a weird feeling eating warm  Okinawan, food inside while we watched snow fall from the 12th floor of the Mitsukoshi Department store.

Sweet

Snow

Food

2° Degrees C in Ginza, with a Helping of Snow

Ginza for Three

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

A few more images from the wandering around the backstreets of Ginza yesterday.

Coffee Ledge

Black Square Bar

Great Escape

Ginza is Hot and Cubic

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Made a recent trip into the Ginza shopping district. I love wandering around those backstreets between Ginza and Shinbashi.  A mishmash of very exclusive shops selling hard to find items like handmade kimono slippers, to lots, and lots of bars.

The cubes, the rectangles,  the shapes that all squeeze into a square.  They are so lovely.  So organized.

Power Lantern Poster

Stair Stair Down Down

All in One

Pipe Light Organ

Ginza Squared

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Back to the wonderful backstreets of Ginza.

I love to wander and snap.  Light was fading when I was there the other day, but managed

to get a few clicks off.

 

One Square, Ichi

3 Soldiers Standing Guard

Ginza is Back

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

People know of the bright lights of GInza.

The luxury brands, the department stores that sell what ever we are looking

for at a premium.  But that is not what these are about.  These are the back streets of Ginza.

The ones that becomes jammed with people in the afterhours.  I wandered the street in that strange

twilight hours.  As the workers were shuffling off to prepare their watering hole before the guests arrive.

Ginza Mailboxes

Pipe it Up !

Rusted Up View, Ginza

Ginza Textures

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The day started off great.  I finished a long term project and sent it off, and to treat myself

i was going to head into Shibuya and walk around and take mad pics.  On the Tozai line into the

center of Tokyo, I went to turn on my Ricoh GRII to see what pics were on the camera.

Poof, nothing happened.  The power light went on, but the lens did not uncover itself.  HUH?

Turned it on and off, removed the battery, all the regular tricks.  Still zilch.  So I figure Ginza is on the

way, so I will get off and take it into the Ricoh Camera Service Center. Jumped off the train and tailed it

over to the center before they closed for lunch.  They said the camera would be ready by 3pm, so I luckily had packed my Contax T3 loaded with Black and White film.

Got back to the shop just before they closed, they had replaced the lens unit and the CCD for free.

Somehow the camera was still under warranty.  These pics are a test as I wandered around the backstreets of Ginza in the twilight hours.

Mirrored Alley, Ginza

Ba, Wall and Rust

T-Shirt, Ginza Style

Takaoka Window Self Reflection

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