So as a way of making recompense for my laziness, I decided to take a moment the other day to calculate how many days of summer I have spent in Japan. The answer, it turns out, is 570 (at least as of when I calculated it) a number that lets me steal the title of another movie, 500 Days of Summer to use as the title of this post. Incidentally, that title is really intriguing and made me want to go see the movie, but as usual the movie isn’t being released in Japan for god knows how long after it finishes its US run (if it is even released at all) and I, being of the impatient panda persuasion, just ended up reading the movie spoiler and now I’m not going to go see it all. Tsk tsk Fox. That’s what you get for being greedy and staggering releases to milk more money out of international distribution.
Anyway, I digress. The reason I even decided to calculate how many days of summer I’ve spent in these fair isles is that recently we’ve been having some absolutely kick ass summer weather in Tokyo (seriously, the skies have been ridiculously beautiful) and as I headed out the door to snap some pictures from the top of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills (one of my favourite photography spots) on a particularly fantastic – albeit sweltering – summer day, it struck me that this year I’ve been a lot more active this summer than in all the other summers past combined.
Summer for me has always been a dead and dread season, ranking fourth on the scale behind autumn, spring and winter – something to be endured rather than enjoyed. For a cold-weather panda such as me, Japan’s summer was particularly brutal, with heat, humidity and a lengthy torrential rainy season that conspired to wilt the mind, body and spirit the second one left their air-conditioned sanctuary (provided you were lucky enough to even have air-conditioning).
This year, however, has been different. I mean, I have always loved certain things about the summer – but this year it’s like all of those things and more – it’s hard to explain, but I’m not dreading summer like before, I’m not constantly feeling melted and miserable, I’m not continuously counting the days until Autumn swings around like I used to. Rather, I’m looking forward to all the fun things Summer has to offer – the seasonal cuisine, the summer festivals, the gorgeous verdant rice fields that fill the countryside… and of course, those gorgeous blue skies over Tokyo.
Speaking of which…
I’ve posted several entries about Roppongi Hills and the Mori Tower before. In fact, one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken came from the observation deck on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower and was the original picture that kicked off the entire Sky Worship sub-theme on my blog. (Hey I know it wasn’t that great of a picture, but I took it with a crappy point and shoot through a thick haze and a glossy glass window, so cut me some slack ) In case you couldn’t tell, I really like this place.
What I stupidly did not realise is that starting about a year and a half ago, you could actually go outside onto the roof of the Mori Tower for the “Tokyo Sky Deck” viewing platform on the very top of the building. Actually, I had seen advertisements for it last winter (in some romantic “Tokyo is for Lovers” campaign) and went there to take some pictures, but then I got confused because the indoor observation deck is confusingly titled “Tokyo Sky View”, so then I thought I had misread the name and that there really wasn’t a way to get out onto the roof and it was all my imagination. The fact that the entrance to the tiny staircase leading up to the roof is somewhat hidden didn’t help poor spatially challenged me. (as we have seen in previous blog entries, I’m not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to finding entranceways).
But as you can see, I have managed to find my way out onto the roof last week where I could enjoy some truly stunning vistas over Tokyo, which I have dutifully done my best to capture on film (well, digital sensor) and document here for you. It was a great day out, and if you are ever in Tokyo on a fine summer day and looking for something to do, I highly recommend plunking down your hard-earned 1800 yen (yeah, it’s super steep, I know… but worth it!) and heading up to the roof of the Mori Tower for some gorgeous sky and sun worshipping.
You can see a few more images below:
And this, gentle readers, concludes how I spent my very fine, very beautiful, very sunny and very beautiful 570th day of summer.
Now listening to: Gorilla Zoe – Echo