Deep In The Mountains Above Kyoto’s Kumogahata Village
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Dwarfed ( there's a person in there ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Dwarfed
( there's a person in there )

As I mentioned in this morning's post, I went out today again with Shimada-san and Paul Barr on a photographic excursion in the mountains, this time to some remote mountains in northern Kyoto, a bit further north from the small village of Kumogahata. Our first stop was at a slightly wide enough point on a dead-end logging road that stabbed deep into the wilderness....

Lots'a Ferns, Lots'a Trees -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots'a Ferns, Lots'a Trees

It was raining pretty much the whole time, which made for some inconvenience with the camera, but it sure made for lush green views.

Snapped Like a Toothpick ( this tree, which fell across a river, is a good foot thick ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Snapped Like a Toothpick
( this tree, which fell across a river, is a good foot thick )

Much of the area was unkept wilderness, with trees lying where they fell over time. However, some tree-falls were more noticeable than others; the formerly-towering tree seen above left a little mark where it had reached across the river to the road when it fell...

Ouch -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/640 sec, f/1.4, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Ouch

The part of the trunk that had fallen over the road been cleared, but the dent remained in the guardrail, and the remains of the bulk of the tree fell away to the river, as seen in the prior photo.

It turned out to be an exceedingly common situation, with nary a section of guardrail left unmolested for miles on end. Judging from the freshness of many of the cuts, it seemed to be a perpetually-recurring condition.

Monumentally Massive -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Monumentally Massive
Cut Down To Size -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Cut Down To Size

I could have spent an hour just exploring that one stump. The top of the stump was covered in moss, indicating that it had been felled quite some time ago. Here are two shots from the top...

Nothing In Particular seed pods or cones of some kind, and a stick, I guess -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Nothing In Particular
seed pods or cones of some kind, and a stick, I guess
Daddy Longlegs I had other shots where he was in better focus, but I like this one best -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Daddy Longlegs
I had other shots where he was in better focus, but I like this one best
Nonstop Waterfalls rushing water tumbled over rocks for miles on end -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/8 sec, f/11, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Nonstop Waterfalls
rushing water tumbled over rocks for miles on end
Corporate Parking Nature, Inc. -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Corporate Parking
Nature, Inc.
desktop background image of a mountainside of ferns -- Slope of Ferns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Slope of Ferns
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Last Look Before Moving On -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Look Before Moving On

We didn't stop at this location because of the scenery — it was like this for mile after mile as we pushed up the mountain — but because a small pulloff was available on the narrow road, so I could stop without blocking the road. It turns out to have been a good move, because a logging truck came by at one point and was able to squeeze by without shoving my car into the river.

We then moved a bit further up the mountain, to a spot where the road forked and I could easily park...

Tree Across From Where We Parked I sort of like the look of its lean out over a stream -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Tree Across From Where We Parked
I sort of like the look of its lean out over a stream
Little Brother -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Brother
Bridge of Questionable Dependability -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/20 sec, f/14, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Bridge of Questionable Dependability
Stance of Questionable Dependability -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/80 sec, f/7.1, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Stance of Questionable Dependability
Our Office For The Day -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Our Office For The Day
The Road Is Now Open -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
The Road Is Now Open
Next to the Road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Next to the Road

These were our first stops, but it wasn't even noon yet and we had much exploring awaiting us. We took the “road is now open” road deeper and higher up the mountain, long past where it showed on the map. We eventually had to turn around when we came upon a huge boulder sitting in the middle of the road, but this was not before another stop at another wide point in the road led to another set of photographic delights, but that'll be for another post.

Continued here...


All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

Jeffrey, more really really great pictures. Such a world you posted up for us folks in suburbia to enjoy But what are these amazing trees??!!!
Can Peter from Wales help?
Annie

I believe that they’re cedar (sugi), source of building materials and allergies for generations. —Jeffrey

— comment by Annie in London on June 17th, 2011 at 2:48am JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Wonderful photographs – I can just lose myself in this sort of forest scenery… and yes, they are Japanese cedar, which is not a cedar at all, but Cryptomeria japonica. I’m always intrigued by the way Japanese foresters (I presume) trim them up to leave only a small crown, very different from the way spruces, for instance, are treated in forestry here in the UK. The result is these superb, long straight stems. And it allows enough light reaches the forest floor for lots of ferns and other plants to grow – as Jeffrey knows, ferns are one of my special interests !

— comment by Peter in Wales on June 17th, 2011 at 8:06pm JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, Peter, thank you very much for the info on these fantastic trees. I’ve just looked for the cryptomeria japonica on the website for Kew Gardens. They have an ornamental specimen planted which is now 6 m high for those of us some distance from Northern Kyoto to admire. And it has not been trimmed as yours have.
Kew says this tree is related to the Giant Sequoia of your homeland Jeffrey and that they can reach 40m high…surely some of yours were heading 20m+.
Wonderful. Thank you so much. Please do seek out some more of these gentle giants for us. 🙂
Annie
PS RBGKew also says that these trees must be coppiced in cultivation and possibly that is why they tidy up the lower stems at the same time…?

— comment by Annie in London on June 19th, 2011 at 10:21pm JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Annie: I’ve never heard of them being coppiced, though, unlike most conifers, I think Cryptomeria will grow after coppicing. All the cultivated ones I’ve seen in the UK have been left to their own devices, generally forming a large tree of conical outline, with branches to the ground. There are large ones (15-20m) in the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley, near Woking (where I used to work) and, I am sure also at Kew. It is a lovely tree grown thus, but these Japanese forests are very impressive. My understanding is that the lower branches are removed in Japanese forests to produce long, knot-free, straight-grained timber for building and interiors.

— comment by Peter in Wales on June 20th, 2011 at 12:24am JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Peter: thank you for the tip about the Cryptomeria at Wisley – its just down the road from me. If you have not already done so do try Wikipedia on Cryptomeria for a picture of a spectacular avenue of Sugi planted in the middle ages (near Nagano?) and the Jomon Sugi on Yakushima. Jeffrey: maybe you will get to visit these Sugi and take some more great pictures for us??
🙂 Trying not to feel too envious of course.
Annie

— comment by Annie in London on June 20th, 2011 at 6:12pm JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for pointing me to the Wikipedia article, Annie. I have to confess that, although I visited Yakushima in 1988, I never saw the Joumon sugi. but did see many huge, natural-grown sugi there. If there’s one bit of Japan I’d love to revisit (and there are many) it’d be Yakushima !

— comment by Peter in Wales on June 20th, 2011 at 8:06pm JST (6 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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