Tokyo's First Snow of 2013 – January 14

I hadn't planned to go out today at all… well, ok, I had made plans last week to meet up with a few G+ friends to shoot the "Coming of Age" activities today, but when I woke up, it was pouring rain so we canceled the photowalk.

I fully expected to stay home and go through my backlog when I got a call from +Claire SK , telling me that it was snowing!  I jumped up and pulled open the curtains… only to find that it was still raining in my part of town.  However, sure enough, an hour later I peeked out again and snow was coming down like the dickens.

I decided to revisit my earlier plan, and head out to Meiji Jingu shrine again to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, I only spotted a couple of ladies in the traditional kimono garb (and only got one of them in a photo because they were definitely NOT standing around in that weather), but it was still a pretty cool walk.  

This much snow (almost 10cm!) in Tokyo is still unusual (at least for me), and it really changes the entire landscape.  It was also rather dangerous because the weight of the snow caused many (including some very heavy) branches to crash down.  Some people got hit (fortunately by smaller branches) but a pretty big one fell only 20 meters in front of me (you can see it in the picture where a couple men with chainsaws are preparing to break it up).   So, protip for photographers shooting in the snow – don't stay under trees….

I only stayed out for a couple hours before coming back home due to the cold, but it was a great day nonetheless 🙂

#snow    #japan   #tokyo   #?   #??  

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  • January 14, 2013 - 14:18 | Permalink

    perfectly beautiful!

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:18 | Permalink

    Thank you +olga belov ! 🙂

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:19 | Permalink

    Well, it was worth it, Jeff. Nice set! I got a lot of shots today as well. Fun:)

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:19 | Permalink


  • January 14, 2013 - 14:20 | Permalink

    Indeed it was +Eric Seaholm – sometimes "rough" weather makes for lots of fun 🙂

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:20 | Permalink

    Thanks +Alex Berg 🙂

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:29 | Permalink

    This beautiful that the sun and snow everywhere is the same …..

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:34 | Permalink
  • January 14, 2013 - 14:47 | Permalink

    You and your camera are so tough +Jeff Matsuya =)

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:49 | Permalink

    Hahaha +Yuuji Kone , it was very cold.. and using an umbrella is so hard while taking pictures at the same time >_<;;;

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:52 | Permalink

    nice fight !

    I am in warm house today ^o^;;;;;;;

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:53 | Permalink

    Next time, please join me +Yuuji Kone 😀

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:55 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya o, ok ! ….. in Spring !!

  • January 14, 2013 - 14:59 | Permalink

    Beautiful! Makes me want be there… wait, I want to be there regardless of the time of the year.
    Sharing right now! : )

  • January 14, 2013 - 15:04 | Permalink

    You might not want to be here in summer (well, except for the fireworks), but Japan is a great place to photograph indeed +Csaba Mocsonoky – thank you! 🙂

  • January 14, 2013 - 23:29 | Permalink

    A real nice collection of shots +Jeff Matsuya .

  • January 14, 2013 - 23:57 | Permalink

    Nice set +Jeff Matsuya ! i admire you for the courage to take trains with this weather! I was only 10 minutes from home and I had to come back because my fingers were "tint +150 "  (photo geeky speak)

  • January 15, 2013 - 00:15 | Permalink

    Thank you +Jeff Austin !  I had fun despite the cold.

  • January 15, 2013 - 00:16 | Permalink

    +Giovanni Piliarvu , actually I didn't even think about possible problems with trains (^^;;
    I was lucky though, and didn't get stuck anywhere (though maybe also because I came home in the mid-afternoon – like you, I couldn't stay out too long…).

  • January 16, 2013 - 02:57 | Permalink

    Super set +Jeff Matsuya ! I almost regret staying home wrapped in warm blankets.

    Do you have any tips for keeping your lens dry?

  • January 16, 2013 - 03:17 | Permalink

    Thanks +Ali Malay !  🙂
    The issue with snow/water and camera is indeed something to consider.  Probably the most useful tip is one I got from +Jeff Austin – carry a towel.  Not only is it the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have – it's also very useful for photographers!
    Those little onsen towels are probably the best – I draped one over the top of the camera, extending it so that it also covered the top of the lens, and that way it absorbed much of the melting snow.  Granted, it's going to slip around as you're taking pictures, but unless you actually have one of those special camera cases, the towel does a great job.
    Also, I don't usually use my lens hood, but in snowy/wet weather, I highly recommend it as it will help reduce the water hitting the front of your lens.
    Finally, I had my umbrella, but while I'm glad I had it (it was just snowing so much), it's still a real PITA to juggle…

    My new camera is weather-sealed so I wasn't too worried, but I followed these steps when I had my D90 and it has also held up just fine 🙂

  • January 16, 2013 - 03:20 | Permalink

    P.S. +Ali Malay  – when you do finally finish shooting in very cold weather, best to let your camera dry out in a room with cooler temperatures to minimize condensation buildup within the camera body too.  To quote +Alfie Goodrich "If you are shooting in very cold weather, never take the lens off until the camera is right back up to room temperature. Otherwise you will get condensation inside the body, which is not good."

  • January 16, 2013 - 03:46 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot +Jeff Matsuya — that is invaluable advice !! I've been making do with a towel too, but I find that once wet, it's hard to keep the lens dry.

  • January 16, 2013 - 04:03 | Permalink

    +Ali Malay , are you referring to the lens body or the actual glass?  If the body, then yes, it will get damp no matter what, especially if you're out for any length of time.  For the front glass element, I had a separate cloth (those microfiber ones) in my pocket, and I would run it across the lens on a regular basis whenever I saw it getting damp (and this is where the lens hood helps).
    The microfiber cloth won't do a great job, particularly as you keep using it and the cloth also becomes wet, but… better than nothing.  After all, better an image with some water blur than no image at all, right?  😉

  • January 16, 2013 - 05:12 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya yes I was referring to the glass. After a while it just gets gross, no matter what I do. Or maybe my fingers just get too stiff to function properly 🙂

  • January 16, 2013 - 05:38 | Permalink

    True +Ali Malay , same happened to me so that by the end I was just wiping off excess water… but the pictures still came out ok 🙂

  • January 16, 2013 - 08:28 | Permalink

    Wonderful album +Jeff Matsuya !! :))

  • January 16, 2013 - 09:16 | Permalink

    Merci +PasKale Monnom !  🙂

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