Photographs from a small group of islands
Jun 17 2016 8 Comments
6/17/2016 at 3:38 pm
Or Tokyo foreigner?!! 😉
6/17/2016 at 7:30 pm
Haha, yes, could be be. Wouldn’t be the first time either…
Hans ter Horst says
6/17/2016 at 6:59 pm
Still a problem for me the smoking in restaurants in Japan as the non-smoking areas are always packed and often the only seating available is in the smoking sections. Still a good sign that non-smoking sections are popular but it takes a bit more planning from my side to get actually seated there 🙂
6/17/2016 at 7:33 pm
Yeah, I know what you mean. Things have changed enormously, but the division between sections still isn’t always the best. I wonder if more pressure will be applied as the Olympics gets nearer?
6/18/2016 at 12:56 am
You often conjure up scenes and titles that are ambiguous and self-referential at the same time. A worthy talent to add to that of your actual photographs 🙂
My wife and I came across one of these little smoking reserves near the Okura Hotel in Toranomon. We were a bit early for a lovely private (in that we were the only two people there) rooftop traditional tea ceremony in a marvelous replica tea house and wonderful rooftop Japanese garden complete with cherry trees in full bloom. Anyway, we found and rested a while in this small well kept garden in the shadow of nearby office blocks that had nice benches and was empty and quiet. Not for long though, as a sudden stream of smokers arrived, mostly of the salaryman type, drawing down cigarettes at impressive speed before heading back to whichever door they had emerged from and leaving us to ourselves, and a delecate waft or two of freshly incinerated tobacco. It was a much cleaner place that the one featured here as I don’t recall seeing a single butt or smell any hint of “dead ashtray”.
Sadly the tea house and garden were to be closed later that year (2015) according to our hostess, which is a great shame as it was one of my wife’s favourite experiences, despite the aching legs 🙂
6/18/2016 at 8:23 am
Some are certainly cleaner than others. This one in Shinjuku is definitely one of the more unpleasant ones…
The tea ceremony sounds wonderful. Especially so considering the setting. I’ve seen some wonderful old tea houses, but never actually participated in the ceremony itself.
Your wife isn’t although there. I’ve been to a few Buddhist ceremonies, and even many of the slightly older Japanese were struggling to kneel for very long. Not the comfiest of positions, is it?
6/18/2016 at 9:29 pm
No, it was not something I could do for long. Fortunately for the main ceremony they offered us chairs to sit on. We knelt only for about 15 minutes of the hour or so. It was quite surreal to step off a hotel corridor into the tea house with its stone paved entrance and waiting area, the spring and accoutrements for washing, then the main ceremony rooms and afterwards the completely stunning 5th floor garden with winding gravel path, grass hills and three or four 20 foot mature looking cherry trees in bloom. It was as much a delight and suprise as the Studio Ghibli museum we’d visited the day before.
6/19/2016 at 10:46 am
Wow, that really did sound impressive. A real shame it closed, but at least you got to experience it before it did. A very nice memory to have.
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