Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/125 sec, f/14, ISO 1800 — map & image data — nearby photos
Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
I've mentioned that we made a short trip to Awaji Island at the end of last month. It's a short two-and-a-half hours by car south of Kyoto; after passing over the longest suspension bridge in the world and getting off at the exit near the rest-stop Ferris wheel, a few kilometers further along the coast and we arrived at The Westin Awaji Island hotel.
Because Anthony's school gets off a few days earlier than most prior to the start of the Golden Week holidays, we were actually traveling opposite of peak time, so we had almost no traffic. Yet, despite the non-peak time, the hotel was completely sold out, but Fumie had been vigilantly watching the reservations page and was able to snag an amazing deal at the last minute.
The photo above, which I took before we let Anthony loose in the room, looks vaguely HDR-ish because I had to pretty much abuse the controls in Lightroom to make both the inside and outside visible (both recovery and fill light were slammed over to the right). But it illustrates the room and the view.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
Entrance to the Akashi Straights National Park
The Akashi Straights National Park is like a city park on steroids... lots of hills of well-manicured flowers, places for kids to play, scenic trails, etc. (It's huge; the pictures here show only a small slice). It costs about $6 to get in, but customers of the hotel (I don't use “guest” for someone made to pay!) get half price, and are allowed to enter the park an hour and a half before it opens to the general public, a benefit of which we were happy to have availed ourselves.
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/8, ISO 560 — map & image data — nearby photos
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
a complex maze of paths, buildings, and “stuff”
The entire area around the hotel is an amazing place to explore. A guide told us that it was explicitly designed to get people lost, so they'd discover the many interesting views, near and far, on their own.
Guys don't care much about the vanity, toilet, and bath, but Fumie was happy that they were bright and large, that the vanity was fully carpeted, and that all three were separate.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image data — nearby photos
Spacious bath is in a room at left; toilet is in a room at right
It's certainly no “Deluxe Executive Suite” at the Whistler Four Seasons, or Okinawa's Atta Terrace Hotel but then, neither was the price!
The dinner buffet was amazing in every respect, with quality and price both very high. We had been at the other end of the island for the sunset, so arrived for dinner fairly late, and it wasn't crowded at all, though Anthony was apparently chilly.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 500 — map & image data — nearby photos
the breadth and depth of
was worthy of considered study
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1400 — map & image data — nearby photos
starting with this slice
If you were up early enough, you could catch the sunrise, as I posted the other day.
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 170 mm — 1/8000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
If you looked down from the balcony, you could see the top of one of the lower floors...
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 1000 — map & image data — nearby photos
This picture is of no interest except to illustrate the answer to the Egg-Slicer “What am I?” Quiz that I posted a few days ago. The tops of the walls were covered with wires, I'm sure to keep birds off. The pins holding the wires made long shadows that quickly grew shorter as the sun rose, and I thought they were pretty in an abstract way, at least when composing out all the other stuff and viewing them in isolation. I was impressed with the variety of answers to the quiz, from a string instrument to queue lines at a beach!
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
The breakfast buffet was also an impressive spread, though we certainly didn't get our money's worth with Anthony, who had exactly one bowl of cereal, one and a half croissants, and a glass of juice. And it looks like George may have helped with that glass of juice.
It was still a bit chilly in the mornings, so the terrace was mostly empty, providing Anthony ample room to throw some paper airplanes.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
our room is fifth from the left, fourth from the top
And speaking of paper airplanes, one evening we took advantage of the open space in a little-used area of the ground floors to try some indoor flying.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 42 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image data — nearby photos
We'd not brought much paper, but the bellboy came to our rescue.
Anthony had fun, but I was disappointed that our planes didn't go very far. When I was in grad school at the University of New Hampshire oh so many years ago, Ram Kulkarni and I used to fly paper airplanes across the long multistory central atrium of Morse Hall. We could get all the way across without even dropping one floor. I guess I should have paid more attention to Ram's designs, rather than just copying them.