We chose to go on the first day of the Golden Week holidays (4/29) which is something we usually avoid due to the heavy crowds. What we didn't know, however, is that the first day of Golden Week is a special day of the festival which includes special performances by local community performing arts clubs. It was definitely crowded, but the feeling of celebration that filled the shrine and spread throughout the atmosphere in our neighborhood made for a really great day!
Despite a bit of light cloud cover, it was a beautiful day, and as always the azaleas looked extremely lovely and provided a gorgeous backdrop for our local shrine. Hearing the music and singing drifting from the shrine's performance stage added an extra special flavor to this year's flower viewing.
|Three veteran dancers from our local community hula dance club|
|Pre-performance practice session|
Want to see some more? Here is a link to the Picasa album! As always, thanks for visiting! For my readers who are currently in Japan, you still have some time left! The festival continues until Wednesday, 5/6!
Determined not to lose against this weird weather, I made the most of last weekend, and also set out to make the most of the cherry blossom season before and after work. I put together a collection of photos representing my best 2015 sakura moments, so I hope they convey the sweet splendor of fleeting beauty that is hanami.
This first set of photos was taken in Ueno Park and Ueno Shinobazu Pond.
|I got really lucky when this beautiful ring neck flew in and|
perched on the tree I happened to photographing!
|This group of high school grads was super popular with|
the tourists in Ueno Park; especially the teenage boys. (^_^)
Here are some pics from the Bunkyo Sakura Festival (文京さくらまつり) in Bunkyo City.
I really hope this was a nice look at this year's Cherry Blossom season. There are a few more photos in the gallery which can be viewed here.
Looking through the archives of my blog, I obviously gravitate toward exploring nature and history in Japan. These are not the only things I'm interested in, however, so for today's post I decided to feature something urban, new and modern. I chose a place I'd been wanting to check out for some time-- the Tokyo International Forum (東京国際フォーラム)!
The International Forum building opened in 1997 in Chiyoda City (千代田区), just a few steps away from Tokyo Station, and is widely accepted as being one of the country’s premier centers of culture. It was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly Beceiro, who's also known for famous buildings such as the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, the Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The Forum is appreciated for its sweeping steel and glass structure, as well as exquisite use of sunlight which changes the feel of the interior space throughout the day. A multipurpose facility, housing numerous halls, meeting rooms, shops, restaurants and even a ballroom, the International Forum is used for a vast variety of conventions as well as public and private events. It’s even been decided that the weightlifting events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held here.
This building is definitely a very energizing and dynamic piece of modern architecture! The interaction of people, sunlight and even sound have a transformative effect on the space, such that the building practically seems alive! Exploring and interfacing with it was really inspiring for me, but the International Forum is not only about an active experience for visitors, it also offers the passive indulgence of "watching" the sleek, elegant and expansive space unfold before our eyes. Truly magnificent!
There are lots more photos of this gorgeous facility. I hope my readers will take a look at the rest of them in my Picasa album here.