Tokyo in Black and White - Ebisu
Typhoon Shanshan visited Tokyo in August 2018 and brought torrential rain with it. After what seemed an eon of rain, I finally got the break in the weather I was looking for and so grabbed my camera and went outside to shoot. However, the city was still covered in clouds, so once again, I thought it would be a great time to shoot in black and white. And the place I decided on for the day’s shooting was Ebisu, a station on the Yamanote line.
For the photographs in this article I used my newest lens, the Fujifilm 10-24 mm. It’s a marvellous piece of modern engineering that has an extremely wide angle of view. Actually, being a wide-angle it is more suited for landscapes. The reason for that is due to the ultra-wide field of view it creates some distortion in the corner areas when objects are very close. On the positive side the images it creates are really sharp around f/8 which is the aperture I mostly use and, it has onboard image stabilization. The other positives are it is much smaller and lighter than the 16-55, which is a real bonus. I enjoy the lens a lot, and regardless of the disadvantages, I think, it’ll be my “go-to” lens for everyday shooting from now on.
Anyway, back to Ebisu. The main attraction, I think, is Yebisu Garden Place. It is just a five-minute walk from the station on the east side and was built on the site of the Yebisu beer brewery. The Yebisu brand of beer still exists, though the brewery has moved, and the station that is there was named after it. The spelling is intentionally archaic and is pronounced, “Ebisu”, just like the station.
The biggest building at Garden Place and in the area is Yebisu Garden Place Tower, a forty-storey high commercial skyscraper. On its thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth floors you’ll find restaurants and bars with windows that offer great views. And if you want to go there just to enjoy the views without any of the dining that is okay too as there are some public areas for you to enjoy! The thirty-eighth floor has the added bonus of a dedicated set of windows for you to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view in the direction of Tokyo Tower.
In and around Garden Place there is much to see. For the beerlovers there is the Yebisu Beer Museum. Shopaholics might find the Mitsukoshi department store quite to their liking. For people with an interest in the arts there is the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. And for those looking for fine dining there is the three-star Michelin restaurant, Taillevent Robuchon. Garden Place is a great place for a day or night out!
As for the rest of Ebisu, it is typical of the stations in that area of the Yamanote line, behind the main area there are many small alleys, filled with little bars, clubs, restaurants and izakayas. It really is a great area, the type of Tokyo I love. Everything cramped and close together, however, the further you get away from the station the more residential it gets. They do have something in common though - some great architecture. There are so many great looking buildings, both commercial and residential waiting to be found, and photographed!
If you are looking for a great place to enjoy a walk, some photography and/or a night out, Ebisu is for you. And if you ever use Instagram to display any of your pictures please use the hashtag #tokyoinpics so I’ll be able to see them too!