Sunday, March 26, 2006

A world of contrasts

Just as night is different from day, and spring is different from winter, so are there many cultural and generational differences in Japan. On the one hand, there's the traditional Japan where women wear kimono for special celebrations such as weddings and tea ceremonies.

On the other hand. . .well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few pictures of the rest of my day in Harajuku. This is the teen scene where the only tradition is making new traditions, and where kids get to express themselves and break out of the usual constrictions of everyday life in Japan.

Meiji Jingumae Shrine in Harajuku

I can't believe it's been two months since my last post! I've been so incredibly busy with lots of work writing textbooks for university students. My current project is writing three textbooks for older students, and the deadline is the end of April. Somewhere in all those deadlines, I managed to get out yesterday to meet my friend Judy for brunch. After brunch she had her voice lesson appointment, so I walked to the Meiji Jingumae shrine in Harajuku. I've posted a few pictures, but apologize for the terrible quality. There was a big fingerprint smack in the middle of the lens!

I had expected to see flowering trees at the shrine, but there were none. This particular shrine is a picture of tranquility and subtlelty. There's a bridge that crosses over a meandering stream and the trees around it glistened in the soft lighting. It seemed quite magical!

While many Sakura (cherry) trees are blooming already, they haven't hit their peak of bloom yet. It's expected any day now and I can't wait. I'll post more pictures if I manage to get out to see them, and will definitely clean my camera lens first!