Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Autumn Light-up at the Rikugien Garden-- Komagome, Tokyo -- Nov 29 2008

Rikugien is one of Tokyo's most beautiful, Japanese style landscape gardens. Built around 1700 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, Rikugien literally means "six poems garden" and reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems. (Japan Guide)

Rikugien garden is only usually open from 9am to 430pm. But, in celebration for the Autumn season, they hold an event termed as "Light-up" that extends closing time up to 9pm. Illumination events such as this are quite common in Japan, which aims to encourage visitors to appreciate the beauty of parks and shrines at night.

Though the closing time of Rikugien had been extended, only a part of the whole garden area were made accessible for the light-up. Quite the center of attraction would have been the central pond on the north shore. On it is the Horaijima, a small island in the pond made of stones, created based on a form of mysticism aimed at attaining supernatural power (according to a pamphlet).

For Japanese and foreign tourists alike, one can appreciate the beauty of the Rikugien while sipping a cup of traditional Japanese tea. These tea house, known as Fukiage-chaya (Fukiage Teahouse) overlooks the central pond on the north shore.

Thanks to Shaffie for lending me one of his tripods, I was able to practice night photography using long exposures on this event. I am still on the lookout for the 'perfect' tripod (not to be too cheap, not too costly, most reliable in use). I used an old SLIK tripod, and it was quite really heavy. Without a spirit level, it was also hard to orient the camera especially on uneven grounds. Also, I've learnt that I should have used a lower ISO, and ramped up on longer exposures instead, hehe (was using auto-ISO max 800 at the beginning).

I guess that ends my Autumn experience for this year. Good thing I was able to join last week's Takao trip; or else I wouldn't have Autumn day shots. I wonder what's in store for me during winter... well at least I'm going to spend most of my December in the Philippines. :D

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posted by ScIoN 2:53 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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