I've been to Rikugien Gardens before, but never at night. Sunset is before 6pm now, so we won't be leaving the work in sunlight for another 6 months, most likely. Sunrise in Tokyo is still relatively early, compared to winter in the UK, however.
In the weeks running up to Christmas/New Year, the park has been lit up rather beautifully, and was full of couples taking a romantic walk... and photographers with tripods and backpacks full of gear. As I'd just come from work, I was trying to be both of the above, but the low-light realm is one of the holy grails of photography. No-one is a master, and no lens is ever "fast" enough (lets in enough light to allow a fast shutter speed and reduce motion blur). That's where the optical image stabilisation of the SEL18200LE came into play, allowing me to take this handheld shot at 1/4". Though one quarter of a second sounds like a very short time, it's effectively eons in photography. Without image stabilisation, I could not have taken the above image, simple as that. Though I have faster lenses, shutter speeds were still hampered, and so this was one of the better photos from the group that evening, though more may follow.