Posts by Category: Japan

Takayama Trio

Posted by Caz on Friday, 16th November 2012

I recently put this shot together for a set-subject competition with the theme Triptych. I used two shots I had made in Japanese town Takayama, showing the shiny modern sculpture near the station. I’m not sure if one of the arms only had one silver ball attached, but if it did, I forgot to photograph it at the time!

But a bit of Photoshop magic later, I had the triptych I was after.

Takayama Trio

Takayama Trio

September ’12 Review

Posted by Caz on Monday, 1st October 2012

September has been all about the Orient – with my wonderful trip to Japan which lasted most of the month. I was very luck to see many fantastic sights on my travels. You can read about Ikebukuro, Tokyo Tour, Nagano, Matsumoto, Takayama, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Yokohama, The Grand Sumo Tournament, Contemporary Tokyo, Shizuoka, and more on Tokyo as well as my silly obsession as a Drain Cover Lover!

But here are a few more favourites from my time away – just click the thumbnail to see the bigger picture:

You can see the whole Japan 2012 Collection on Flickr if you have several hours to spare. Finally, topping off the month was my weekend trip to Brighton.

Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry

All in all, an incredible month for photography, and one that I will be unlikely to better for a very long time!

Drain Cover Lover!

Posted by Caz on Thursday, 27th September 2012

As well as the amazing architecture and culture available to photograph in Japan, I also noticed they have amazing manhole covers. Not like our boring old ironwork with just the makers’ name on top. Some were coloured and patterned beyond expectation!

So I started to look out for them as my trip wore on, and came home with quite a collection. Here are some of the best:

Kotojitoro Lantern - Kanazawa

Kotojitoro Lantern – Kanazawa

Colourful Flowers - Matsumoto

Colourful Flowers – Matsumoto

Sprite On A Fire Truck - Kurashiki

Sprite On A Fire Truck – Kurashiki

Yellow 60 - Yokohama

Yellow 60 – Yokohama

Clipper - Yokohama

Clipper – Yokohama

Here’s the full set for you to admire:

Tokyo Roundup

Posted by Caz on Wednesday, 26th September 2012

I decided some of my final days in Tokyo would be spent relaxing after such a hectic trip around the country. Here is a flavour of each of the days which I’ve only written about in my September Photo A Day diary.

16th September

First full day at my Tokyo apartment. Spent the day relaxing in my cosy billet and having a little walk to Shinjuku. See Day #1721.

My Tokyo Place

My Tokyo Place

18th September

Toy shopping in Nakano Broadway! Then a little bit of planking in Sensō-ji. See Day #1723.

Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway

19th September

A visit to NHK, then more shopping, this time at Tokyo station and Akihabara. See Day #1724.

Hurry, Hurry

Hurry, Hurry

21st September

Back to Nakano Broadway to marvel once more at the never-ending toyshops! See Day #1726.

Boxes And Boxes Of Stuff

Boxes And Boxes Of Stuff

23rd September

Grizzly old rainy day spent at the apartment sorting photos. I only nipped out to forage at the supermarket next door. See Day #1728.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

24th September

A sunny day at last! Visited Yoyogi Park via the National Gymnasium at Shibuya, then onto the Shintō shrine at nearby Meiji-jingu. In the evening there was the first of the two Asia shows in Shibuya that I’d stayed on in Tokyo to attend. See Day #1729.

Yoyogi National Gymnasium

Yoyogi National Gymnasium

25th September

Day spent sorting and packing before going to the final Asia gig in Shibuya with Tomoo in the evening. See Day #1730.

The Bright Lights Of Shibuya

The Bright Lights Of Shibuya

26th September

Sad to be leaving! An early start to catch the N’EX service back to Narita airport, and homeward  bound. See Day #1731.

N'EX

N’EX

Final Thoughts

Japan is a wonderful place to visit. It’s people are warm and friendly – even if you don’t speak their language. The culture and architecture are amongst some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and this trip was the culmination of many years’ longing to visit the country. And I can thoroughly recommend Inside Japan Tours who arranged my trip without a hitch.

So for now, it may be sayonara, but rest assured, I’ll be back as soon as I can! In the meantime, here is a selection of shots from my time in Toyko:

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All About Tea

Posted by Caz on Saturday, 22nd September 2012
Follow That Car! - Crossing the Ooi River

Follow That Car! – Crossing the Ooi River

Today was All About Tea!

I love the stuff, so it seemed only right that I should spend some time seeing how it is produced. Luckily my Japanese friend Tomoo (who is a Professor of Biology and expert in all things tea-related) took me on a great day out to one of Japan’s most productive tea cultivating areas around Shamida and Shizuoka.

I jumped on another Shinkansen and met up with him in Shizuoka where we changed to a local train for Shamida. Then we hired a car for the day to visit some nearby sights.

Driving A Tea Harvester

Driving A Tea Harvester

Our first stop was the NARO Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science where Tomoo used to work a few years ago. Their fascinating open day was very informative, showing how tea is cultivated, dried, tested and blended. Plenty of samples to be had, too – green tea in all the varieties you could possibly want.

It was great that Tomoo was able to catch up with some of his old colleagues, and I got to ride in a tea harvesting machine! I’ve always wanted a go on a Kawasaki – but I wasn’t quite expecting this!

We had to drive a little way to our next stop – lunch in a traditional restaurant of a local tea factory, Grinpia Makinohara. The feast was entirely flavoured with green tea – and utterly delicious! This nearly made it for Day #1727‘s shot:

Green Tea Feast

Green Tea Feast

On the way back to town, we stopped at Tomoo’s favourite shop which sold all manner of tea-related goodies. He’s a well-known customer and stocks up there whenever he is in the area. As he lives a long way away now, that’s not very often – so the owner was delighted to see him. So much so that we were offered tasty green tea ice cream and other freebies!

Partaking Of Tea

Partaking Of Tea

With our bags laden, we headed to Ocha No Sato – the World Tea Museum. Lots of exhibits to take in there, including the reconstruction of a tea house and garden designed by Kobori Enshū, who was a famous 17th Century master of the tea ceremony.

Upholding the centuries-old tradition, we watched as the tea ceremony or otemae was performed for us.

We were also able to grind some of our own green tea powder in a hand-powered granite mill, and take it away as a souvenir.

The final destination of our little tour was to visit Horai-bashi, the longest wooden pedestrian bridge in the world, spanning the river Ooi in 894m. Of course, we walked across and back – just to say we had done it! But the view from the other side was rather impressive, so definitely worth the trip:

How Far To The Other Side?

How Far To The Other Side?

Here are some more pictures which I made during the day: