.
The Thrill of Japan’s Biggest Waterwheel
“ Japan's Biggest Waterwheel ” whoop-de-do at the Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく 温泉), Aomori Prefecture -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Japan's Biggest Waterwheel
whoop-de-do
at the Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉), Aomori Prefecture

While driving around the sparsely-populated coastal/mountain area of western Aomori Prefecture at the northern end of Japan's main island during a short family trip last week, in the middle of nowhere we suddenly came across something billing itself as Japan's largest waterwheel.

It seemed at least a bit photogenic, so I stopped for a quick look.

Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/3.2, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos

The tree in the lower left of the photo above hosted the Dark, Brooding Camellia (乙女椿) that I posed last week.

Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

The dark brooding was because of an underexposure. A shot soon after was way overexposed, but I think I recovered something interesting(?) in Lightroom...

Overexposed and Overprocessed -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Overexposed and Overprocessed

Eventually I got it right.

desktop background image of a pink Japanese camellia (乙女椿) -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800
desktop background image of a pink Japanese camellia (乙女椿) -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800
Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/2000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos

I suppose the one above is not the best example from the tree, but I was still happy with some of the shots that I got. Then the other day my friend Akiko posted some camillia shots on her blog that put mine to shame. I've got to try harder next time.

Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/9, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Inside the Waterwheel the wheel drives the chain descending at left power split between up/down pounders at rear, and rice grinding in foreground -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Inside the Waterwheel
the wheel drives the chain descending at left
power split between up/down pounders at rear, and rice grinding in foreground
Pounders rotational energy lifts heavy beams, lets gravity drop them onto beans -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Pounders
rotational energy lifts heavy beams, lets gravity drop them onto beans

It looks like they're making kinako, as we did at home years ago.

Business End -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Business End

One could wander up to the top of the service building where the wheel's axle came in. I didn't see a soul the whole time I was at the property, so I hope it was okay that I went up. The view out the window was nice...

Missing a Lynchpin -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Missing a Lynchpin
Looking Back Down -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back Down
Tea Room Next Door also deserted -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Tea Room Next Door
also deserted
Wider View -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Wider View

I have no idea what the large concrete stairway structure is at left. I also had no idea at the time where the water came to drive the wheel, but the base seemed improbably dry to be driven by a stream.

I eventually found a video showing the wheel in action, but it was a disappointment because it seems that water is pumped up a pipe to the top of the thing, then poured over it, which means they use more energy to drive the wheel than they can get out of the wheel, so it's all fake. I'd sort of hoped it was some real vestige of years past.

Oh well.

In my search I also found that there were multiple places claiming Japan's largest waterwheel. I hadn't realized that there was competition for the distinction.

Anyway, at least the cherry blossoms were nice.

Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Late-April Blossoms several weeks later than Kyoto -- Michinoku Hot Springs (みちのく温泉) -- Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Late-April Blossoms
several weeks later than Kyoto

Comments so far....

Love your camellia macro photographs!

This is another article on Japanese camellia. Sorry, it is not on camellia but on Japan’s biggest waterwheel!! The first photograph of the waterwheel is stunning. The sun light creates a mystical image, very powerful indeed. It is a waterwheel, and yet it is beautifully well taken. This is a really good article, Jeffrey. Well done!

— comment by Akiko :D on May 7th, 2014 at 11:00pm JST (6 months, 17 days ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

More or less plain text — see below for allowed markup

You can use the following tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting