Jan 162012
 

Most of the power and privileges of Japan’s Emperors are long gone, but it seems some still find a way to be carried around with its best clothes on.  (click on picture for high res)

Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph.

Jan 152012
 

Thousands have come to Kyoto’s Sanjusangen-do temple for the annual Toshiya Archery Contest. This four hundred years old event will see the best young archers of Japan compete for the title of Champion. Wearing kimonos, the participants will wait for long hours before their lone opportunity to hit a target located 60 meters away. A failure and it is an immediate elimination. While many concentrate and train until the last minute, the end of the round means all smiles for the others. (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Jan 132012
 

An isolated country during centuries, Japan modernized in a few decades at the end of the 19th century. While traditions and social codes remain very strong, the big influence of the Western world is undoubtful. And for once in our trip, it seems that Northern America is not the key influencer here. Indeed, Tokyo has often a feel of Europe and could even be described as a little Paris in Asia. Bakeries, restaurants, fashion stores and entire neighbourhoods recreate the City of Lights lifestyle. We actually feel more at home here than we would in Los Angeles. This has been the big surprise so far.

This being said, I am still the only one using forks at restaurants…. (click on pictures to enlarge)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph.

 

 

 

Jan 122012
 

Giant flowers, the V sign, $50 boxes of strawberries, a statue to a dog, … some are few of the many oddities that jumps to the eyes of a stranger. But guess what, we love them, Japan is absolutely wonderful.  (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Jan 112012
 

Shibuya is a busy neighbourhood mixing teen fashion stores, manga culture, love hotels (where couples can rent a room for a few hours), and bars.  And when the night falls, thousands mysteries start to appear at every street corner. (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Jan 102012
 

Our first day in Tokyo has just come to an end. And for the first time since the start of this trip, we have felt somewhat disorientated. Japan is a different world and the absence of Latin alphabet in the streets makes it an adventure to find your way. You learn to get lost again. It doesn’t get any better when entering the wonderful temples since we had not previous exposure to Japan’s religions. Let’s say that today we were not only “Lost in translation”, but also “Lost in rituals”.

(This series is longer than usual so it is best to view it as a slideshow. To do so, click on the first picture and use navigation buttons of the pop-up picture)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph