In the summer of 1982 I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, as a U.S. Marine. My unit trained in mainland a couple times per year, giving me the opportunity to visit Tokyo. It was this point in my life that I discovered photography, and purchased my first 35mm SLR camera, a Yashica if I remember right. The city was a never ending playground for photography, and I went through many rolls of film, learning to use my new toy. Looking back now I wish that I had taken more photos.
Dave Powell from ShootTokyo, a great photography blog about daily life in Tokyo, will appreciate this next shot showing the cones lining the streets. Dave is frequently commenting about the over abundance of cones in Tokyo.
By 1985 I still loved Japan, but I had also fallen head over heals in love with the beautiful women you see below. So when my time was up in the Marine Corps I decided to get out and stay in Japan. Not only the easiest decision I've ever made, but also the best one. Soon after my wife and I married we moved to mainland Japan from Okinawa where we lived until 1995. Before we realised it ten years had passed, and we decided to move back to Orlando, Florida where we lived for almost fifteen years. A part of me however, always missed Japan.
In late 2009 my wife got a job opportunity in Okinawa, where her parents live, and we were able to return to Japan. I made a promise to myself that this time I wouldn't take things for granted, and that I would see more, do more, and take far more photos than I did last time around. So far I would give myself a grade of B-. I have taken more photos, but we still need to get out more, and see more of Japan. Especially since Okinawa is very different from mainland Japan.
Last month we decided to add a few days in Tokyo in route to Honolulu for vacation. It ended up being mine and my daughter's favorite part of our vacation. It was her first time in a big city, and my reminder of how much I missed it.
All the images below were taken with my Fuji x100s, the only camera I took with me on vacation, besides my iPhone.
A recent addition to the Tokyo skyline is the Tokyo Skytree which is replacing Tokyo Tower. Located in Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree is definitely worth standing in line for at least once. Unfortunately for me, the sky was hazy that day, generating less than exciting photos from within the tower.
I was using computers from Apple long before it became cool. My first computer was a Macintosh in 1986 that I purchased used from my boss. I still can not get used to seeing Apple stores everywhere now, except for Okinawa where I live, of course. We have none there.
On our last day in Tokyo my daughter and I wanted to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography located in Ebisu. The museum is located at the base of The Garden Palace building which has a great view of the city from the 38th floor.
Tokyo is still one of my favorite places in the world. I hope to visit again soon. PS: If anyone knows the areas from the shots in 1982 please comment. It's been too long and I've forgotten.