Views of Kyoto From Shougun-zuka
Kyoto From Shougun-zuka (Kyoto Japan From “Shogun Hill”) -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto From Shougun-zuka
(Kyoto Japan From “Shogun Hill”)

I woke up this morning to find an exceedingly pleasant day, partly sunny, with a mild breeze. It was very disappointing.

The forecast had been for typhoon #4 to blast right into us at about 9am, which would have made for quite a bit of excitement. Having grown up in Midwest America, I enjoy a good thunderstorm or the frenzied winds of an occasional typhoon. Sadly, it sped up and went way to the south, leaving its last rain in our area at around midnight. Sigh, we never get any fun.

Kyoto is normally hazy (often exceedingly so), but it's generally gloriously clear and pleasant after a typhoon blows through, so today was nice.

On the way back from an afternoon trip to the library, we decided to take a side trip up to Shougun-zuka (将軍塚), a small mountain overlooking Kyoto, just east of the Kiyomizu Temple. It has a nice observation area from which you can normally see Kyoto in all its hazy glory.

The view from Shougun-zuka provides limited views to the north, but great views of central Kyoto and areas south. (For reference, the views from the top of Mt. Daimonji and from the Daimonji Fire Pits that we've recently seen are more of the northern half of the city.) Also, Shogun-zuka feels more like you're in a tall building than on a mountain, so it's an intimate view.

Looking at the pictures in the links in the previous paragraph shows how hazy Kyoto normally is, but because the typhoon blew through last night, today's view was breathtaking. There were some low fast-moving clouds that made for some really dynamic views, but the air was clear (not hazy) and so you could see forever. I'd been up there many times and had never seen anything like it. I'd never known, for example, that you could see the skyscrapers in Osaka 30 miles away, much less feel that they seemed close enough to touch.

It was one of those amazing moments where you instinctively reach for the camera, thankful that you brought it. At least, you'd feel that way if you'd actually brought it. I hadn't.

The wind was brisk and so Fumie got cold quickly, so we hightailed it home where I picked up my gear and returned. (According to my GPS track log, it takes 4 minutes 30 seconds to get from the observation area at the top down to the entrance of our building, after having subtracted the 30 seconds I had to wait at a traffic light.)

Upon return, it had clouded up for the most part, and the amazing view was gone. It was still much better than I'd ever seen, but was nothing like before. Oh well. It's on my list for after the next typhoon.

Still, I hung around for a while, and got some nice pictures, I think....

A Patch of Sun -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 95mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
A Patch of Sun
Blue Clouds -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Blue Clouds

At one point for about 15 minutes, there was a very eerie cloud effect I'd never seen in my life. Some clouds turned a very pronounced, very rich blue/purple color. These colors were very strong, like the deep reds you see when a setting sun lights the bottoms of the clouds for a moment before it disappears. But this was blue, applied only to specific clouds (the border between blue and not blue was fairly clearly defined), and overall, it was very, very odd. It did not seem natural at all, but more like part of some huge man-made light show.

I can guess that it had to do with the relative thicknesses of the clouds, where the blue areas were much thinner than the surrounding clouds, but I don't know whether that's correct, nor why I wouldn't have ever seen this phenomena before.

Looking South-West Toward Osaka The buildings on the horizon are 30 miles away -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — handheld 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking South-West Toward Osaka
The buildings on the horizon are 30 miles away
Kyoto Tower, Kyoto Station, and Friends -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 102mm — handheld 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto Tower, Kyoto Station, and Friends
Taking a Few Snapshots -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — handheld 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Taking a Few Snapshots
Best View in the House -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm — handheld 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Best View in the House

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Hmm, didn’t you sort of begin this post “Sigh! We never get any fun”? Can we assume that you missed the fun of that 6.7 earthquake we heard about. Not sure just how far away it was from you, but hope it was quite a long way. However, knowing how earthquakes seem to follow you around, I’m somewhat uneasy. Will feel better when we hear from you, and better yet when we see you Wednesday. Love, Mom

It was indeed quite far away. I didn’t hear about it until six hours later, when talking to Mike in California, by phone. A few hours after that, though, we did have a little jolt here, that only those sitting quietly still would have felt it….. —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl on July 16th, 2007 at 11:51pm JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I saw this sky on the train on our way back to Kyoto from Osaka, and said to my wife, “I really wish I were somewhere in a position to take advantage of this with my camera!” I’m glad one person was, anyway.

— comment by Zak on July 17th, 2007 at 11:29pm JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

These are wonderful landscapes. You captured some great moments.

— comment by Jon on July 24th, 2007 at 12:25am JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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