When people go to the Tokyo Teien Art Museum, they usually go to see the beautiful architecture and the exquisite furnishings. How many would plan to go an hour before their scheduled tour and then pay extra to ensure time to see only a small portion of the grounds? I did, even though much of the garden was closed off to the general public for renovations of the pond, tea house, and other areas. Why? The last time I was there the wind blew through the trees calling my name but I only had a minute or so to respond to the perfume of the small gardenia. The big trees deserved some devotion, and it only costs ¥100 to enter just the grounds.
I often cycle by a house that has hand-drawn portraits hanging outside on their concrete fence. At first, from a distance, I thought somebody had copied photographs of people onto cardboard and hung them outside. One day, however, I stopped and looked carefully at the portraits. They were ceramics!
Who knew that November 11 was Pocky day instead of Poppy day in Japan? The eleventh day of the eleventh month (11.11) supposedly looks like vertical Pocky sticks. my Japanese friends were surprised that other countries did not celebrate Pocky day just as I was initially surprised way back when that they did not wear poppies or have a moment of silence. I think I will stick with my Poppy day, thank you very much.
Fireworks are romantically called 花火 or “flower fire” or “flowers of fire” or “fire flowers”, depending on your poetic preference of word order. A large fireworks festival is held every year in Tokyo Bay. People crowd the streets with lawn chairs, vendors line the streets, and boats filled with revelers cruise the bay. Some people like the largest, most colourful explosions; I prefer the moments when smoke fills the sky and is tinted by residue flares.
(Response to a Daily Post Photo Challenge and Blogging 101.)
Yes, that’s right! You were not imagining things. Art aquarium. It looks like a goldfish circus in an event hall complete with bar and pole dancers in Japan. Hidetomo Kimura has been planning and co-ordinating this event every year since 2011. Does that make sense? Still not sure? Check out some of the many photos I took at the Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium in Coredo’s Mitsui Hall in Tokyo.
If you look carefully, you can see a traditional crest or emblem for goldfish on top of these tanks near the entrance. That same emblem was also on banners, on walls, and other places.
The room was lit with coloured lights but otherwise dark. Everything and everybody looked different in the unusual lighting. Everybody was taking photos but making sure that their flash was turned off. Flash photography was not allowed. Some people forgot to change their settings at first, but their friends quickly reminded them. Glass, mirrors, black light…
Did I forget to mention that there were pole dancers and a DJ in the evening? There were also several bars selling different kinds of cocktails and beer.
If you wore a yukata, you might get a present or a discount.
This was one of a few events where you were allowed, if not encouraged, to take photos. People, even us, with cameras and smart phones were happily taking pictures everywhere.
Some people, regardless of age, just want to poke the creatures on display.
Goldfish were everywhere, including on kimono.
Goldfish lanterns or chochin were inside the hall and outside the building.
Goldfish were inside the bar!
Sometimes the fish were art as exotic breeds of goldfish or kingyo; sometimes the aquariums were art; sometimes the presentation was the focus.
Images were projected on folding screens that acted as aquariums. Real fish looked like embroidered ones in gold and silver thread.
Doesn’t he look a bumpy, cuddly teddy-bear fish? My friend and I thought he was gross at first but we gradually began liking him. He also seemed aware of his presence, and dare I say it, smiling at us.
Fish bums are so cute when they wiggle.
This poor guy was upside down all evening. His gills seemed enlarged or at least open much more widely than the other fish. I hope somebody in charge noticed his condition and helped him to live to swim another day.
For 1000 yen, I definitely got my money’s worth of art, tourism, and photo ops. It is on until September 23. Roppongi and Nogoya supposedly have similar art aquariums.