Archive for the 'Fall Colors' Category

Foliage, mostly from around Kyoto

Revisiting Fall Colors: Kyoto Mountain Cycling Two Weeks Ago

Just a quick writeup with some pictures of a nice group ride that I did two weeks ago with some of the stronger riders from Cycling Kyoto!. I was by far the newest, weakest, slowest, least experienced among them, but they're a nice fun group so they made me feel welcome.

今回の写真は二週間前のサイクリングの事です。

It was wet from a recent rain, so quite slippery. Discretion is the better part of valor, so Tomas aborted the attempt. I didn't even try. But as Rick H had suggested, I did measure the slope with the Compass Tool in my iPhone:

UPDATE: I originally wrote [...]


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A Past-Its-Prime Visit to Kyoto’s Ochiba Shrine

My timing is getting all mixed up, but two days ago I posted about the Ochiba Shrine, with pictures from two weeks ago when it was in its full carpet-of-leaves splendor. By the time I'd posted it (two days ago) the splendor had passed; this post contains photos from a visit two days ago.

On the way home, we stopped by the Yama no Ie Hasegawa restaurant for coffee...

And dinner...

And dessert...

A visit here is always a nice way to end an outing.


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Confused Kyoto Cherry Trees Bloom Five Months Early

Today on a ride from Kyoto to Osaka Castle with Paul Barr, early on the trip while still in Kyoto we came across some cherry blossoms that had apparently gotten confused by the cold spell in October followed by a warm spell earlier this month... they seem to be blooming five months early!

Some varieties of cherry do normally bloom in November, such as we've over the years here, here, and here, but their branches are sparsely populated with blossoms. Today's were full:

今日の出会った桜は十月桜ではないだと思いますが、どんな種類のは分からない。実は、梅や桃ではかも知れません。

Whatever they were, they were pretty and out of place.

I made a short video of [...]


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Cycling to Kyoto’s Ochiba Shrine Amid the Fall Colors

I've been meaning to write about a nice little solo ride I had two weeks ago, to the Ochiba Jinja shrine. It's the same place that I wrote about in "Great Day in Kyoto’s Colorful Northern Mountains", which actually happened the next day.

The course for this day's solo ride can be seen on my cycling heatmap.

The fall colors had been pretty subdued, but with my health back after six weeks of colds/allergy/something, everything looked beautiful to me.

The small sign pointed up what looked like a driveway, but turned out to be an old logging road. I probably [...]


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Wigglegram of a Pleasant Couple Among the Fall Colors at Kyoto’s Enkoji Temple

On a visit to the Enkoji Temple in northeast Kyoto yesterday, this couple in traditional kimono kindly posed for a wigglegram:

Anyone wearing kimono in these settings is certainly noticed by the camera, and it turns out that my camera had noticed her earlier, lost in thought in the main garden-viewing room...

This was part of Day 2 of Paul Barr's visit to Kyoto, which I'll write more about later. Day 1 was a visit to the Tenjuan Temple.

To be continued...


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Paul Barr in Kyoto Day 1: the Tenjuan Temple (Fall Colors and a Wigglegram)

Paul Barr, in town this week, and I made a visit yesterday to the Tenjuan Temple (天授庵) within the Nanzen Temple complex. It was my second visit inside, my first visit here having been three years ago. Earlier this year, though, I did feature the main gate of this shrine covered in snow.

Anyway, the fall colors this year in Kyoto seem a bit subdued, but it wasn't crowded yesterday and overall was really pleasant. We ended up sitting and enjoying more than taking photos.

友達ポールさんは来日して、一緒に天授庵行って、もみじを撮影しました。今年は色は薄い方ですが、雰囲気はなかなか良かった。よく落ち着いて、リラックス出来ました。

With the dark shadows under the overhang, and bright sunlight in the background, the [...]


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Great Day in Kyoto’s Colorful Northern Mountains, and at Strava’s Kyoto Office

I had a nice ride the other day with Andy Clark and Michael Edwards.

While meeting up in the morning, Nigel Randell happened to stop by on his way to work...

And we were approached by an American tourist passing by who saw our nice bikes and just wanted to say "hi"...

It turns out that he works for Strava, the running/riding community site where your activities can be mapped and compared to your prior efforts and to others. In the nine months since I started cycling, I've been absolutely shocked at how motivating Strava has been for me; upon [...]


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Social Ride Among Kyoto’s Fall Colors

Yesterday was the inaugural social ride hosted by NORU Kyoto. Whatever allergy/sickness that has been plaguing me of late was in remission, so a slow relaxing group ride seemed perfect for me.

This was my first ride with Tomas, the fastest rider in the group. Although I'd not ridden with Tomas before, we'd chatted at other events and share an interest in photography and programming. I was happy that my first ride with him was a slow social group ride, allowing me to keep up and chat.

To give a sense of Tomas' speed, his time on my benchmark Hanase [...]


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That Kyoto Temple With the Many Whimsical Statues

After so many cycling-related posts lately, it's time I get back to my basics with some pretty photos.

最近僕のブログはサイクリング関係ばかりみたいので、やっぱりたまに美しい京都の写真にも戻らなければいけない。

I've been meaning to write about the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple (愛宕念仏寺) temple for years, and indeed all the photos on this post are from 2012 (from visits to the temple in April and December of that year). A few of the photos appeared a year ago in "A Few Desktop Backgrounds from the Delightfully Whimsical Otaginenbutsuji Temple", and one appears as the subject of my Photo-Development Challenge #2.

It's at the far north end of the Arashiyama area that is already [...]


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Photo-Development Challenge Results #1: Hillside Temple Buildings

Today I'm sharing the first results from "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation". Today's photo is one of some minor outlying buildings at the Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺) in Kyoto, Japan.

First, let's look at the uninspiring original:

This was from a productive outing four years ago that produced "Temple Hopping in the Mountains of South-Western Kyoto", two examples for "Heading Out To Photograph The Fall Foliage? Don’t Forget The Polarizer Filter", and an item on "Visiting My Photo Archives: Random Pretty Shots #1".

For lack of a better idea, I'll present the various results in the [...]


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Andrei Zmievski Wigglegrams Kyoto

An old friend from my days at Yahoo! swung by Kyoto the other day, and we made a quick walking tour of a few sightseeing spots.

I first met Andrei Zmievski at an Open Source Conference circa 2002, and we worked together a bit on things related to PHP's regular-expression support (of which a chapter of my book on regular expressions is dedicated). As an expert in PHP, he later joined Yahoo! a couple of years later when Yahoo! made heavier use of PHP.

These "selfie stick" (my word) things seem to have suddenly exploded in popularity. I've seen them [...]


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Quality Time Among the Fall Colors

Almost identical to the lead photo of the previous post ("The Building at the Main Garden of the Kongorinji Temple"), but with a human touch.


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The Building at the Main Garden of the Kongorinji Temple

Last week's "Slightly Queasy Wigglegram" showed a small corner of a building at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) in Shiga Japan, from a visit last month toward the start of this year's fall-foliage season.

This post looks a bit more at the building, which is not the temple's main building, but does front the main garden. (The main garden was seen four years ago in "The Kongourinji Temple: Main Garden, and Beyond".)

It can be partitioned into various rooms, but many of the partitions were slid away revealing an open view all the way through to the garden on the [...]


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The Art and Science (and Complex Frustrations) of Creating my Wigglegrams

This post is about the art and technology of my 3D wigglegrams, but first a bit of context about the location seen above.

This wigglegram was taken during my first visit to Kyoto's Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) two years ago, a photographically-fruitful outing first posted about here, and most recently revisited a month ago here.

During the tour of the grounds, at one point you descend stone steps set in the side of a mountain....

There's a waterfall and a small stream... it's all quite picturesque.

As I described on that first post about the outing, the tour moves along [...]


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Inside The Shodensanso Villa, Part 1

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.

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...

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...

At [...]


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A Quick Peek at Kyoto’s Hanadera Temple

Two weeks ago toward the end of a full day of fall-foliage photography that I scratched the surface of in "The Whole Gamut of My Blog In One Spectacular Visit to the Yoshiminedera Temple", after a great lunch we made a short visit to Hanadera ("The Flower Temple", officially called the Shojiji Temple).

Didn't see too many flowers, being the middle of November and all, but the fall colors were starting to get going.

Here's a wigglegram to give a better sense of the area in front of the main building....

On the veranda of the main building is the [...]


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Photographer Introspection Amidst the Serenity at Kyoto’s Rurikoin Temple

Some friends and I paid a morning visit to the Rurikoin Temple (瑠璃光院) in north-east Kyoto on Thursday. It was my second visit, after the first two years ago when Damien introduced me to the place.

Two years ago it was probably about 500 yen (US $5) to get in, but I heard that they stopped being open to the public for a while. This year they're back, but it's 2,000 yen (US $20) to get in. It's a Buddhist Temple and so ostensibly a religious place (whose income is tax free), but during the fall-foliage season their business is [...]


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Catching a Selfie Among the Fall Colors

I just happened to get lucky to catch these three Kyoto University students taking a selfie... it shows the fun of enjoying the season with friends (as I was doing at the time, temple hopping, camera in hand, with four friends).


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Approaching the Shodensanso Villa

As I mentioned in "Oppressive Crowds at the Shodensanso Villa" the other day, I paid my first visit to the "mountain cottage" Shodensanso (松殿山荘) this weekend. It's a half-hour drive south-east from my place in Kyoto, just over the border into Uji City.

From the makeshift parking area created for the special event, the path up to the villa looked like an empty river bed or canal.

Anyway, after coming up through the gate, one can approach the main house...

I didn't notice it at the time, but the lowermost tiles along the edge of the roof have the name [...]


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Oppressive Crowds at the Shodensanso Villa in South-Eastern Kyoto

(You can't tell in the wigglegram, but she was looking at a wonderful garden out in the bright sunlight.)

The peak of Kyoto's fall-foliage season is upon us, and today was likely the most crowded day the city has seen all year, if not all decade. It's the middle of a three-day weekend, and every hotel room is taken. (I know two people who wanted to visit Kyoto but couldn't get a hotel; one stayed 30km away in Osaka, and the other at our house.) The streets across the city were parking lots and the crowds were oppressive.

But not [...]


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