Nogi Shrine

Roppongi is known for its nightlife, shopping and a hub for foreigners out for a good time. It also happens to have a gem of a shrine, right in the middle of all the action. I’ve been wanting to work on my photography skills (or lack thereof, really) so with my Mondays now wide open, I took the opportunity to find a little known green space to photograph. The weather was also perfect – warm but not too hot. Bright and sunny and inviting.

I am actually writing this post as I sit in the calmness of the shrine – surrounded by the sounds of the dripping water from the trough where you cleanse yourself before entering and the jingle of the bell which you shake to end your prayer and the birds in the lush green trees. This coupled with the construction noise coming from the high rise building being built next door, and the helicopter flying overhead to the shutter sound of a smartphone camera. People are filtering in and out, quickly offering a prayer as they pass by, some office workers on their lunch break, some young couple on a date and some elderly people perhaps on one of their weekly outings.

It is places like these that make me really fall more in love with living in this city. A simple escape from the craziness that lurks literally a few steps away. The stillness that can be instilled with greenery, gravel and quiet place to reflect.

There are times when the intensity of living so far away from home and loved ones hits hard that having places to escape to, to re-energise and to revel in the serenity, even if it is for not any longer than a half hour, becomes vital for existence (this sounds way more dramatic that it needs to be, but I hope you get my drift).

I am not sure if I got anything out of today’s excursion in terms of my original intent – working on my photography skills – but I do think it certainly worth it for the sake of my mental health!

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