The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kōtoku-in)
This bronze statue depicts the Amida Buddha, and sits at the Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura, about 30 miles southwest of Tokyo. It was cast in 1252 and originally sat inside of a temple, but a tidal wave later destroyed the building, leaving the Buddha to sit out in the open.
I was amazed and awed at it’s sheer size! If you are able, taking a day trip to Kamakura will not disappoint.
Torii gate at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo
We made our way to this shrine from the busy Harajuku Station. It wasn’t until we were nearing the center of the forest where the main shrine is located that I noticed all of the people around us were heading in the same direction.
Unbeknownst to us, the newest Grand Champion Sumo, “yokozuna,” was about to perform a ring-entering ceremony. He is the first Japanese born yokozuna in 19 years, and had just won the title that weekend.
We were quickly surrounded with people vying for a glimpse of him as he walked into the garden. It was a surreal experience. I took what photos I could and we made our exit. We did not understand the full gravity of what was occurring until much later, when we saw the garden on Japanese TV and did some research.
Being there was such a coincidence! With everyone there we weren’t able to see the majority of the park, but it was fun to be there and witness Japan’s pride in their Grand Champion!
Union Passenger Station in Tacoma, Washington
Union Station is distinctive because of its copper dome. This Tacoma landmark serves as the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. According to Wikipedia, Union Station is an example of Beaux-Arts architecture, “that combines awe-inspiring elegance with spatial efficiency.” In it’s windows is the “Monarch Window” display by glass artist Dave Chihuly. The seven block area surrounding Union Station makes up what is known as the Union Station Warehouse District.
This one is for my Mom, who fell in love with it’s architecture while we were walking by. I had a lot of fun taking advantage of the early sunset in winter and getting these colors to pop during blue hour.
Seattle at Night
For my birthday we ventured out to try a new 20mm lens and I think this turned out pretty well for my first try at a night cityscape! You can see the Space Needle, the Columbia Tower and further down out of the shot, Centurylink Field and Safeco! Every minute or so a plane flew overhead and of course the ferries were busy at work. The Seattle skyline is irresistible during both day and night.