If you've lived long enough in Beijing, there's one season that we all look forward to and that is Spring. Beijing in my opinion only has two seasons: Summer and Winter. Spring and fall add up to a minimal 2-3 weeks out of the year. So when Spring arrives this city becomes much more active and people enjoy this season as much as they can. This photo essay was my attempt to capture as much as the city as I could during different times of the day. From the central business district to the hutongs in Gulou: I hope that you can feel the energy level of this city in one of the best times of the year.
1. A group of men pass by a public art at the Art District in Pinguo near Shuangjing. You can see Guomao, the central business district of Beijing, in the back ground to the north-west.
2. Heading north towards Guomao is Jianwai SOHO. The white buildings are noticeable from the south end of Guomao. Jianwai SOHO has commercial, residential, and office spaces along its 18 towers and is a popular destination for workers in the area for lunch and dinner.
3. Going west from Guomao is Qianmen, one of the major shopping areas in Beijing. This photo was taken at Qianmen Street: one of Beijing's oldest commercial area that has recently been renovated.
4. A woman walks by a group of pots at one of the side streets from Qianmen Shopping Street. QIanmen is home to some of the oldest restaurants in Beijing and serves a collection of famous Chinese dishes from all over China.
5. Families enjoy a nice weekend on Qianmen shopping street.
6. The National Museum. Photo taken from the Tiananmen Square. The museum was recently re-opened after its long renovation was completed.
7. Visitors exit the forbidden city and head south towards Tiananmen Square.
8. This Underground pass connects the Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City entrance.
9. Chinese tourists take a rest together besides the Forbidden City.
10. Chinese tourists are easy to spot with their identical caps.
11. Visitors enjoy the nice weather at the Forbidden City.
12. At the north end of the Forbidden City is the flower garden blooming with colorful flowers as you exit out.
13. Visitors glance over the Forbidden City from the top of Jingshan Park, located directly north of the Forbidden City. You can overlook most of the city of Beijing from this park.
14. Crowds gather at a local music performance at Tiantan Park, near the Temple of Heaven.
15. An Old man teaches how to dance with sticks to anyone who is interested at Tiantan Park.
16. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people can be seen at the park dancing and singing. I met people who were over ninety years old who wanted to exercise and keep healthy.
17. At Beihai Park, one of the largest imperial gardens in China on a sunny afternoon.
18. Taijiquan sessions take place daily from early morning to dawn at Beihai Park.
19. Students are walking home at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
20. A group of local high school students eat Stinky tofu together near the Drum Tower in Dongcheng District.
21. A vendor prepares pineapples to be sold by Drum Tower. You can find all sorts of fruits and small snacks in this area around the Drum Tower.
22. A hot pot restaurant attempts to attract customers as they sing songs and welcome people walking by.
23. A vendor takes a break from work. Photo taken near Nanluoguxiang.
24. Workers along Gulou Da Jie.
25. A family takes a rest in front of the Bell Tower.
26. Pedestrians make room for a car driving through the narrow commercial hutong of Nanluoguxiang.
27. Bikers and pedestrians await the green light at an intersection in Wangjing, the Korean Town of Beijing.
28. Residents of Dongcheng district enjoy a game of ping-pong. They are always looking for new contenders and they practice every day.
29. A mountain besides the Jingshanling Great Wall(located in the outskirts of Beijing) reads "Praise Chairman Mao" in white characters.
30. People rush out of Beijing heading east at Sihui during sunset. Guomao is in the background.
31. People crossing the overpass bridge at Shuangjing during sunset.
32. The dancing continues at night-time at Shuangjing bridge.
Living in China is definitely one of the best choices I have made thus far in my life. Coming from a Japanese background and heavily influenced by American culture, China is the perfect place for me to play around with my lost roots and observe and feel what Japanese people have lost over the years through the daily activities of the Chinese people whom I witness. But just like every corner of the world, income gap prevails and is seen in Beijing. Behind the blue construction fences are migrant workers working day and night while the rest enjoy their shopping along side Nanluoguxiang. Photo taken at the south gate of Nanluoguxiang, one of the most well-known commercial and touristy Hutong in Beijing.