47/365

Jun. 12th, 2011 02:18 am
escapewindow: escape window (Default)

On a whim, I started taking a photo a day... the 365 project. I'm 47 days in.

I've learned a bit, and taken some good photos. I've also found myself "cheating" by taking pictures of just about anything at hand when I run out of time in the day. Sometimes that results in very creative photos; other times you can tell I'm going through the motions.

In a way, the subtext of the photos is a bit more about me than I'd have expected.

escapewindow: escape window (Default)

[mosquitos]

From Miyajima, we took the ferry, the train back to Hiroshima, the shinkansen back to Kyoto, then the train down to Nara, Japan's first capital.

On Thursday night, there were mosquitos.

I was surfing the web in my yukata and noticed a number of bites on my left leg and another couple on my right, all itching fiercely. I started hunting them down, and managed to kill a couple.

While we were in our futons trying to sleep, the mosquitos would buzz right by our ears. I tried staying completely under the covers, but ended up with a bunch of bites on my forehead. Plus I was hot. So I eventually gave up, and got eaten alive. I still have some of the bites.

(Not unlike Loft Ness back when I didn't have window screens, actually. I love those things, screens. Screens that cover the whole window. Screens that stop making you choose between overheating and getting bitten to death, neither of which allow you to sleep.)

I thought I was the only one, since mosquitos tend to love me, but we all had a somewhat sleepless night.

The next day I went on a mosquito killing rampage. I neared double digits killed, each of them plump full of our blood that smeared on the wall as they died.

That was definitely the low point, there, but things got better. And we slept well the next night.


[todai-ji]

On Friday we went to Todai-ji to see the Daibutsu (big buddha)... which was actually the reason I brought the fisheye lens. (I was worried it might be too large to get in one shot, and thought the fisheye might see more use than my 17-40, but it turns out my 24-105 was wide enough. Ah well.)

todaiji todaiji

todaiji todaiji

daibutsu daibutsu

daibutsu

daibutsu

daibutsu todaiji

todaiji
The two flanking towers are no longer there.
The daibutsu-den, along with the daibutsu's head, were rebuilt after an earthquake.
The daibutsu's body is hundreds of years older.

todaiji
A miniature of the daibutsu-den, with a miniature daibutsu inside.

daibutsu

daibutsu

daibutsu

aki gets bored; himo-den; the feeding of the shika )

[wrapup]

This was an amazing trip. I had so much fun and got to spend time with my parents, who live in SoCal. Lots of good food, lots of beautiful places. And monkies. And deer. And Hiko-nyan!

We definitely were burning out on the trip a little bit near the end... so much walking, so many temples. At one point I was looking forward to getting back to work, so I could sit all day.

I think my photography chops are back, and are about to become rusty again. I kind of want to take a photowalk in SF again, maybe this weekend.

I think I had more to say, but if I can't remember, it must not have been that important.

... The full set of pics from Nara are here.


escapewindow: escape window (Default)

[fushimi inari temple]

This shrine of [allegedly, and quite possibly really] 1000 torii gates was founded 1300 years ago. The gates, as they stand today, are all fairly recent -- the last 25 years or so. Each has writing on them, generally for the people or company that paid the million? yen to have that particular torii placed there.

There are also a whole bunch of small, foot-tall or smaller, torii, and other prayer items, that visitors can purchase for amounts that you might carry around in your wallet. I had been wondering why this shrine didn't charge admission, but this seems like a solid business plan.

The whole thing was highly impressive, both for the sheer number of torii and their religious capitalism ;-)

Here's a much less cynical view :)

inari inari

inari

inari

inari inari

The rest of my pics are here. (I made a quick video of us walking through the torii, but I was stupid and did it in portrait rather than landscape, and it doesn't work that way. Can I rotate it? Probably. Do I care enough to? Evidently not. Here's someone else's video ;-)


[byodo-in]

I have to admit, I wasn't sold on this place. Maybe the fact that it's on the back of the 10yen coin and that my brother-in-law loved the Oahu replica weren't enough to sway me.

My parents really wanted to go, though, and I played along. And I'm really glad I did.

This place was built in the 11th century, and looks it. I much prefer it this way than its original orange-red garish color.

byodo-in byodo-in

byodo-in

byodo-in

So... too much polarizer on the standard shots, and a bit too much glare in the IR shots. Still, I like 'em.

The rest are here.


[uji]

Byodo-in is in a section of town called Uji, known for its green tea. All the stores reflected that; there was green tea bread, green tea candies, green tea chocolates and cakes and even plain green tea for sale.

On the way back, we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner of tenzaru chasoba (tempura + cold dipping green tea soba noodles) while overlooking the Uji river. Yum.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel. No light up that night; we took it easy and I finished up my first few blog posts.


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