© Michael Evans Photographer 2017

Sake, Ramen and a Shrine in Tokyo

The almost unimaginable size of Tokyo ensures that any 3 day itinerary is going to be a compromise, however by basing ourselves in the district of Shinjuku at the perfectly comfortable Citadines apartment hotel meant that we were able to walk to many of the destinations on our ‘must see’ list. Approaching the Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park we noticed that there were several wedding ceremonies being conducted on this gloomy November day.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Sake barrels outside the entrance to the Meiji Shrine – © Michael Evans Photographer 2017

These beautiful sake barrels wrapped in straw are offered every year as gifts to the enshrined souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort Shoken by the Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Association; Emperor Meiji led the industrial growth and modernization of Japan by encouraging a variety of industries and supporting technological development.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Etiquette dictates that the visitor bow (twice if I remember correctly) prior to passing through the Torii gate at the entrance to the shrine… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Child at the Meiji Shrine, Shinjuku, Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Unbelievably cute – I always make a point of asking permission before photographing; naturally the parents were very proud of their little girl! © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Purification point prior to entering the shrine © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Purification point prior to entering the shrine © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Wedding ceremony at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
One of several happy couples getting married at Meiji during our visit… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
These beautiful wooden prayer tablets are purchased at the shrine, whereupon a prayer is inscribed and placed for the consideration and favour of the Divinity… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Child at the Meiji Shrine, Shinjuku, Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Peace… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The prayer tablets come in many different designs… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Wedding ceremony at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
It was such a grey overcast day that I captured most of the images at ISO 800, ensuring that I would have a fast enough shutter speed to effectively hand hold the 5DSR without inducing images softness due to camera shake © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017

For me, to travel is to eat (when not photographing!), and so after the morning at the Meiji Shrine we wandered down towards the famous Shibuya crossing and stopped en route at a fabulous little Ramen bar for lunch. As is common with most Ramen bars in Tokyo, upon entering the tiny bar the diner selects a meal from the vending machine (carrying cash is essential in Tokyo) and then presents the ticket at the bar, whereupon the chef begins preparation. Being very cosy and dark, I increased the ISO of the 5DSR to 3200 and applied a little noise reduction in post production. I am still learning the high ISO characteristics of the 5DSR, but so far have been pleasantly surprised at how well it copes considering the incredible pixel density.

Ramen Restaurant in Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Poke your head underneath the curtain and a small counter bar appears, typical of many of the superb ramen restaurants in Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Ramen Restaurant in Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The pictures certainly helped, but having some cash s an absolute necessity here..! © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Ramen Restaurant in Tokyo  © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
At work…© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Ramen noodles in Tokyo © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Amazing Ramen, such a clean fresh taste without that heavy feeling in the pit of the stomach that I sometimes get from eating too much bread… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017

After lunch a short stroll to the famous Shibuya crossing…

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The famous Shibuya crossing…sadly I did not have the time to look for a decent vantage point from which to capture the icon shot from above… Next time… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017

And then as the skies grew evermore overcast and flat, we decided to head to the Shinjuku Gyoen gardens, located conveniently near to our apartment hotel.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
When the light is really flat and dull, I always find myself looking for ‘detail’ type shots whereby I can omit the sky; here I really felt the small island conveyed the sense of tranquility that the visitor to the Shinjuku Gyoen park experiences after the pace of the encapsulating city… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
A hummingbird hawk moth feeding in Shinjuku Gyoen gardens© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
A hummingbird hawk moth feeding in Shinjuku Gyoen gardens © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Shinjuku Gyoen gardens...© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Pink blossom detail,,, © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Shinjuku Gyoen gardens...© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Shinjuku Gyoen gardens… © Michael Evans Photographer 217
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