Inside The Shodensanso Villa, Part 1

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Tea Ceremony
at the Shodensanso Villa (松殿山荘), Uji Japan

In Approaching the Shodensanso Villa last week, we ended looking at the main entrance to the 86-year-old grand villa just outside of Kyoto. Here's a view from the entrance looking out.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/3.2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Hi

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Round Window & Tiger

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Room

We received a half-hour talk in this room about the history of the place and the guy who built it (Tsunetaro Takaya). The whole time I just couldn't stop marveling at the ceiling, whose 4-foot-by-4-foot panels were each a solid board...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/60 sec, f/5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Gorgeous
on the floor on my back at 14mm

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Alcoves

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Damien
with context, the room suddenly seems a lot bigger, doesn't it?

After the lecture we were ushered to another room for, what turned out to be Tea Ceremony. For a bit I had the room mostly to myself...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Awaiting Participants

At the start of a Tea Ceremony you receive a couple of small sweets, to cleanse th palate, I guess. People were still coming in and there was general hustle and bustle, so it was fine to use the camera...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Started

Once the ceremony proper got started, everyone put their cameras away. It's unfortunate because the backlit steam rising from the pot (seen in frame left above) was wonderful.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
After

We could inspect the ornately-decorated implements. Here Damien (in a rare photo without is red hat) is photographing the small container for the dry green tea, and the little bamboo spoon-ish thing used to place a bit into each bowl while making tea...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/200 sec, f/4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul's Turn

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Sans Camera

I don't quite understand what's going on with the lady above, but she somehow seems to be able to see and maybe even appreciate the bowl without the use of a camera. Seems odd. Perhaps she's from another planet.

a finely-painted bowl of dry tea, used in the Tea Ceremony, at the Shodensanso Villa (松殿山荘), Uji Japan
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
My Turn
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800

The surface was glossy smooth, but the fine pine cones and needles were very 3D, so the layer of lacquer (or whatever) must have been quite thick. It all felt quite high class and delicate. I inquired about its age; it's a modern piece.


Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Detail

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing
for the next group

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Hallway

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Light Switches

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Next Group
preparing to enter the room for the next group's tea ceremony
(she's kneeling where Damien and Paul were photographing the cup earlier)

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitchen
not meant to be seen by villa guests
( but I got a special tour by the caretaker )

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Large Doors
the main panel of each is a single massive board perhaps 4½ feet across

To be continued...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

All of these are very interesting images. I particularly liked the composition, DOF, & exposure of “My Turn”. I look forward to the next set of photos.

— comment by Tom in SF on December 8th, 2014 at 9:42am JST (2 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Amazing pictures! can you please send us information on how to visit the Shodensanso Villa ?

It’s not easy. They are open to the public only a couple of times a year, and you have to write ahead for the limited tickets. Check out this flyer for the next public opening in November. No info in English that I could find. —Jeffrey

— comment by liat hasson on August 17th, 2015 at 6:46pm JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I enjoyed many of your photos in this set, particularly the “Next Group” image. Somehow the blown highlights add an etherea quality.

— comment by M2 on December 15th, 2015 at 3:38pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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