Tokyo: In the Rain at Meiji Jingu


On the last day of my recent trip to Japan, I returned to Tokyo to find that the rain clouds had also returned and settled in over the city. With my convenience-store umbrella in hand, I decided that it might still be worth taking a walk through Tokyo’s answer to Central Park: the massive Meiji Jingu, a 170 acre park and Shinto shrine honoring the late Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken.

J. Matthew Gore

With my feet splashing through standing puddles in the fading late afternoon light, I reached the first tori gate and entered the grand walkway through a tunnel of overhanging trees. Despite being in the middle of the largest city in earth, the park was mostly empty, and the rain made the air misty.

J. Matthew Gore

I only took a few pictures. I was hesitant to take my camera gear out in the pouring rain, I suppose, but I was also simply enjoying the quiet of the place. The warm glow of the lights, as they came up for the evening, was a wonderful contrast with the cold and rain.

The previous year, my visit to Meiji Jingu had been very different: on a warm and sunny day, on the occasion of the Emperor’s Birthday, the shrine was bustling with tourists and a wedding was taking place.

And that’s it. If there was a point to this post, it was simply a reminder that bad weather can produce wonderful photos, and it’s particularly helpful in giving a photographer new perspectives on a familiar spot.

J. Matthew Gore
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Bernard Dery

The picture of the gate is among the best I have seen in some time. It’s majestic, well balanced, and evocative. The few people give a sense of scale, and the longer I look at it, the more details I see. I particularly like the aspect of the tree branches overhead and in the distance.

Last edited 16 days ago by Bernard Dery