Today was blowing a gale in Tokyo. It's been windy for the past two or three days, but today I began to really wonder if a typhoon was brewing. On the flip side, the weather at the moment is some of the clearest I have ever seen in Tokyo. The wind has swept away everything in its way, meaning day was painted in dazzling colors and many more stars are visible tonight than on most nights. I climbed up on the roof of my apartment building to take a few photos but, such was the force of the wind, I had to cut it short and make a hurried descent.
Cycling, too, was next to impossible. I cycled to the next station - Shin Nakano - to visit a friend who I was helping with putting up new bookshelves. Even on the flat it was like trying to cycle up a mountain.
It wasn't constant though, but very gusty. To try and escape the worst of the wind I cycled down a sheltered-looking sidestreet. It was completely dominated by the spectable of a vermilion Shinto shrine hung with numerous flags representing invocations for success. Right in front of the shrine were dozens of little jars, each painted behind with a scene that showed diffracted through the water - or sake - inside. There was a thick straw plaited rope (nawa) over the shrine gate (torii), and the twin fox guardians of the shrine, red-bibbed, are clearly visible.
I wish I could write more specifically about the shrine, but there was no information posted in the grounds, and I know no-one nearby who I could ask. But as an unusually vivid neighborhood spectacle on an unusually clear day, it demanded that I stop and pay my respects.
Books on Japan
Information on Kyoto
Hostels in Japan - Hostelworld
Sunday, March 19, 2006