I am well and truly back from my most recent trip to Tokyo. Unfortunately, that reality has sunk in. I had an incredible time and made the most of being immersed in what I consider such a beautiful country and culture. In this new blog series, I will share with you my travel journal. Several times a day, I would take the time to update my travel journal with notes and thoughts and experiences as they occurred throughout my day. The images I share in these blogs will relate directly to those experiences. When it came to taking photos, I just went with the flow and didn’t put too much pressure on myself. On to the travel journal.
Sunday 26 May 2019
I woke drained today. Still before 8am though. I got myself up and showered and made my way down to the breakfast area. I had an upset stomach most of the night and mostly pushed my food around on my plate. None of the food really tasted right, and I definitely did not feel like cold fish and sloppy eggs. Just my now standard cup of green tea. I cleaned up back in my room and got my day bag ready for a long day, as I didn’t think I would be coming back to the hotel until night.
I made the short walk to Shibuya station and topped up my now 5-year-old Suica card. Still works and still has money on it from last trip to Tokyo. I took the Yamanote Line to Shinjuku. The Yamanote Line is also known as the Green Line and travels in a complete loop around inner Tokyo. Tokyo, Shibuya, Harajuku, Yoyogi, Ueno and Akihabara just to name a few of the stops. Ultra, reliable line to get around on.
Once in Shinjuku I spent the morning mostly exploring Yodobashi camera store and a few other shops in the area. Having spent my last Tokyo trip mostly in Shinjuku, I was still pretty familiar with the city – especially West Shinjuku. As a result, I found it really easy to get around and never once lost my bearings. I was firm and did not make a single purchase in the camera and electronics stores I visited. Even an ultra-rare Japan-only Fujifilm X Series lens.
By late morning I was starting to get hungry, and the sick feeling I had earlier had passed. I made my way to Kizuna Sushi – also in West Shinjuku. Had a fantastic lunch of tuna sushi and prawn and vegetable tempura. Incredibly fresh. They offer a la carte, or you can get an all you can eat deal. I washed down my lunch with a Kirin beer. The sushi is made right in front of you – if you sit at the sushi bar. I had come to this sushi restaurant a couple of times the last time I was in Tokyo.
Despite my earlier plans to not return to Shibuya and my hotel until much later in the day, I was sick of carrying a backpack and camera gear. It was a sweltering day, and I was sweating heavily. I just took my Fujifilm X70 and a spare battery. No bag. So, I made my way back to my hotel to freshen up and get ready for my trip to Yokohama. I had pre-planned this trip for this day as I was going to meet up with a fellow Fuji X Aus Fujifilm photographer. He had given me some perfect directions on what train to grab from Shibuya and where to get off in Yokohama. It turned out it was only 40 minutes on a limited express train.
Yokohama was hot and busy. Around 32 degrees but thankfully there was a breeze. I met up with my mate near the exit from the station, which was pretty much in Chinatown. Chinatown in Yokohama is enormous! I think of the Chinatown in Melbourne, and it is one street that stretches a few city blocks. This one was massive. It stretched for ages along several main streets that had no car traffic but plenty of pedestrians. And lots of street food.
We spent the afternoon walking up and down all the main roads and side alleys – sometimes backtracking to capture the excellent light Lots of interesting people and colourful backdrops made for perfect street photography settings. Then the baseball crowds let out from the nearby Yokohama Stadium and Chinatown became even more packed and alive. We finished with a hot drink and farewells at around 5pm.
I took the train back to Shibuya and took the main exit near the scramble crossing. I took the opportunity to use the last of the golden hour light to do a bit more photography on and around the crossing. I kept forgetting it was Sunday, and that meant that I was going to check out in the morning and head North by train for a night in Nikko. I was tired and decided not to head out for dinner. I ducked down to the basement food hall in the Tokyu department store. Crazy busy with people buying up for dinner. There was so much delicious looking food on offer from dozens of stalls. And a supermarket section with fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of fresh fish. I decided on some Karaage chicken and potato salad – although the potato later proved tricky as I forgot chopsticks. Back in my room, I had a nice cold shower and then my dinner while watching some very random and interesting Japanese television. I crashed early.
All images were taken with the Fujifilm X70. Then post processed in Lightroom using the Tokyo Chrome preset.