Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/3000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 160 — map & image data — nearby photos
Koinobori Floating in the Breeze
Today is the Children's Day national holiday in Japan, for which koinobori are flown. We saw many more koinobori flown while driving around Hokkaido than we do in Kyoto. It was nice.
The ones above are in front of what looks like a small hotel in the middle of nowhere, in Biei, an hour's drive north of where we stayed in Furano. (A bit of search after the fact shows that it's indeed a small hotel with the odd name “With You”)
The Biei area is really beautiful, even though the end of April is probably the worst time of year to visit. (See the references to “bland” and “bleak” in my previous post.) In taking the picture above, we'd stopped along the side of the road, as we did numerous times, to enjoy the scenery. Here's a view from the same spot, looking the other way.
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125mm — 1/350 sec, f/7.1, ISO 160 — map & image data — nearby photos
Idle Fields in Biei, Hokkaido
Apparently, these particular fields are planted with potatoes, yielding a beautiful sea of purple flowers as they grow.
For completeness, here's a view of the hotel and its koinobori from the next nearest building, a small restaurant we liked, that I'll write about another day.
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm — 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 160, P.P. boost: +0.50EV — map & image data — nearby photos
“With You” hotel in Biei, Hokkaido
The hill in front of the hotel is planted with lavender, which in early May is gray and dead. I have no doubt that it's excellently pretty in the summer.
Fumie and I are absolutely beat from our trip, having returned late yesterday evening. We've been completely groggy all day, as if from a really bad case of jet lag. Maybe it's “boat lag.” Ugh. I hope we feel better tomorrow.