Explore, Edit, Explore Again

After the photography shoot in Manila, I needed to spend a few days editing hundreds of photos.  It wasn't necessarily tough work, but it was very tedious.  What made it a little tougher was the sheer file size of the photos.  Shooting on a Sony A7R (in RAW) is the perfect way to choke the living daylights out of Lightroom, especially if you've imported a lot of them.  Much of what I needed to do involved gradient exposure adjustments and a lot of simple cropping.  I did what I could in Lightroom, and send the cropping work off to an editor back at home.

I spent a lot of time in a tiny hotel room near Mejiro Station, just north of Shinjuku.  Being away from the busy Shinjuku area, the hotel was very reasonably priced and conveniently placed in a wonderful little middle-class neighborhood.  Being away from Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku, it's quite simply just a lot cheaper.  Traveling isn't cheap, and a good business hotel with WiFi is all I ever really need.  Not wanting to stay cooped up all day, I ventured out at times just to get a bite to eat and to check out the local happenings.  One thing I did find was an excellent apple pastry at a pan-ya across my hotel.  Needless to say, I had a few of them over the next few days.

Most of my outings were in the Ikebukuro area, simply because there was an outdoor equipment store in the area.  If you do any kind of adventuring, you could spend hours wandering the aisles of L. Breath.  With the pilgrimage I planned to do, I did just that.

Trains regularly pass through the Mejiro neighborhood.

Crossed the tracks...

... and on my way to Ikebukuro.


On my way to Ikebukuro, I wandered past a beautiful little garden.  I'm OK with Katakana and Hiragana, but Kanji.... not so much.  The signs were clear (in Japanese), but my illiteracy kept me confused.  Either way, I thought I needed to find out.  I took a few quiet steps under an ornate entryway and into what I later discovered to be Mejiro Garden.  A caretaker looked at me with a pleasant look, so I kept walking in and found just the perfect little escape for the neighborhood residents.  It wasn't a big space at all, but its small wall of trees and still pond of water is meant to calm anyone.


Got lucky!  Just in time for a two-day matsuri (festival) in Ikebukuro!  Food, entertainment, and omikoshi!

When I got to the Ikebukuro, I noticed a row of tents and a stage at the far end.  To my surprise, a two-day festival was about to start and I was just in time!  I shot photos like a tourist with my LX100 that I purchased a few weeks earlier.  This little camera is just awesome, and helped me to capture great still images and wonderful videos.  I'll put together a video soon, and nearly all the footage will be from the 4K-capable LX100.  The rest will be from my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.  That's not too shabby, but nothing when compared to the Panasonic with it's Leica-designed fixed zoom lens.

The Mejiro and Ikebukuro area are two wonderful little gems in the Tokyo area.  For me, there really isn't any where else to stay while I'm working or playing in Tokyo.  The convenience, the food, the people... just perfect.