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Archive for the 'Fall Colors' Category

Foliage, mostly from around Kyoto

Oodles of Cheerful Little Men at the Sekisanzen-in Temple in North-East Kyoto

Still revisiting autumns past while we wait for the fall-foliage season to start here in Kyoto, here are some genial little men at the Sekisanzen-in Temple in north-east Kyoto.

I'm not sure what they're for, but I suspect they represent votive donations, such as these statuettes at the Sanzen-in Temple.

I stopped by with Damien prior to my first visit to Kyoto’s Shugakuin Imperial Villa two years ago, because we had a few extra minutes and it's nearby.

The affable men were in front of a little sub building on the temple grounds...

Though this was a short visit, photos [...]


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Entrance to Kyoto’s Jojuji Temple at its Fall Best

A couple of weeks ago during a scooter ride around western Kyoto, I came across a temple that I recalled having visited a couple of years ago. Its entrance path is quite nice.

Here's how it looked two weeks ago:

I'll have to visit again in a month when the colors are hitting their peak, but until then, here are some more views from Dec 1, 2012:

The smudge of red reveals who joined me on that visit. It was the same trip two years ago with the intense rainbow over Arashiyama a pretty path, a bunch of whimsical carvings, [...]


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A Really Gross Discovery On The Way Into an Otherwise Beautiful Temple

More from the archives as I wade through my photo library, this time a gross discovery in November 2012. On our way into the Rurikou-in Temple (瑠璃光院) in Kyoto, Damien and I discovered a weird wire-like "thing" twisting and withering energetically on the steps.

I had never seen anything like it. My first thought was that it was a piece of wire that was caught by the wind or something, but it quickly became apparent that it was alive. It was too thin and hard to be any kind of worm I'd ever heard of, so I was dumbfounded.

It [...]


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That Imperial Bridge, Funkified in Lightroom

When I visited my photo library to continue where I left off in last week's "An Autumn Visit to the Sento Imperial Palace in Kyoto", I came across a highly-overexposed bridge shot similar to the one that I did post.

Though shooting raw affords me generous latitude to recover from exposure mistakes, overexposure at some point washes out color to pure white, from which there is no recovery. It was severely overexposed (not by mistake, actually, but as part of a bracketed-exposure sequence) so I was about to delete it from my photo archive, but first thought to give it [...]


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An Autumn Visit to the Sento Imperial Palace in Kyoto

Continuing the story about a day with friends in Kyoto last November that started with a morning visit to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, after lunch we made our way to the Sento Imperial Palace, a small palace tucked away in a corner of the huge park that also houses the main Imperial Palace in Kyoto.

It was my first trip to this particular palace.

I include this photo mostly as an example of why one needs to be careful about using a polarizing filter with a wide-angle lens. I'd brought the filter along because it has such a dramatic [...]


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Revisiting Kyoto’s Fall Colors: Shugakuin Imperial Villa Last November (Part 2)

I guess this is a continuation of a post three months ago looking back to last November's trip to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in Kyoto. We're still two months away from fall foliage season in Kyoto, but it's just around the corner for much of the Northern Hemisphere, so I guess this is a getting-in-the-mood-for-Autumn kind of post.

We'd left of on that previous post having headed up a hill to a nice view. The same view with an 85mm at f/1.6 sort of has a slightly-unreal look, as if it's a close up of a model...

As described in [...]


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A Day with Sergey Kolychev in Kyoto

I'm finally getting around to photos from last November, when old Yahoo co-worker Sergey Kolychev paid me a visit. (He's not old, our co-worker status is).

In the intervening three years since his prior visit he'd become fluent in Japanese to the point that he can read novels, which just blows my mind. Japanese is at least his fourth language (after Ukrainian, Russian, and English), so maybe they get easier as they stack up.

We packed quite a bit into one day. We started out with a visit to the Heian Shrine...

We then popped over to the Nanzen Temple...

[...]
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Sand Sculptures at Kyoto’s Silver Pavilion Temple

Last fall I visited the Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺, the "silver pavilion") in north-east Kyoto. It's named for a building that was intended to be coated in silver leaf (comparable to how the golden pavilion is coated in gold leaf). Apparently they never got around to actually applying the silver, but the name stuck.

As it is today, the temple is noted for its sculptured sand, including a huge Mt. Fuji shaped cone.

The minor entrance stone garden is not particularly special, with similar features easily found at other temples. But the main garden raises the level considerably...

There's also a [...]


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Revisiting Kyoto’s Fall Colors: Shugakuin Imperial Villa Last November

Chatting with a visitor to Kyoto yesterday, she said that she really wanted to see Japan's fall foliage sometime. That prompts me to dip into my archives for a fall-foliage post today, with photos from a visit last November to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in north-east Kyoto.

It was a brilliantly bright day and even with my polarizer filter (which normally has a wonderful effect with fall colors) the photos seem washed out to me, but some are still not too bad.

This is my second visit, the first having been covered starting in "My First Visit To Kyoto’s Shugakuin [...]


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Finally Inside the House at the Seifuso Villa in Kyoto

Continuing with last fall's visit to Kyoto's visually-rich Seifuso Villa (清風荘), where the last installment ("From the Garden to the House at the Seifuso Villa") left us finally inside the main house that has gone mostly unseen so far except for its photogenic entrance foyer.

The grounds are opened to the public for a few days every year or two, but the house is not normally open to the public at all, so it was a wonderful opportunity to have an unrestricted tour.

The photo above is a 9-image panorama that you can scroll from side to side. It's got [...]


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A Few Desktop Backgrounds from the Delightfully Whimsical Otaginenbutsuji Temple in Northwestern Kyoto

The New York Times Travel section recently published the article "36 Hours in Kyoto, Japan" (thanks Ed Pouso for the link), and one of the locations the author visited is the delightful Otaginenbutsuji Temple (愛宕念仏寺) in the northern Arashiyama area of Kyoto.

I thought it was a missed opportunity that the article didn't include a photo from the temple, which reminded me that although I've visited the temple twice, in both the spring and fall of 2012, I'd not yet gotten around to posting anything. My own missed opportunity, of which my photo catalog holds so many. Sigh. So until [...]


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From the Garden to the House at the Seifuso Villa

Slowly making progress from the outing already seen in:

Entrance Foyer to the Seifuso Villa in Kyoto Approaching the Tea House Between the Tea House and the Garden

(with photos also appearing here and here).

In the previous post we had finally reached the garden, so now we'll take a short walk through it...

The light was pretty difficult that day, quickly changing from brilliantly harsh to utterly dull. The shot above is from a latter moment, stylized a bit in Lightroom.

(By the way, I've come to the conclusion that when I say "the light was difficult", I [...]


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Continuing with the Seifuso Villa: Between the Tea House and the Garden

Dipping my pen again into the very deep well that was November's visit to the Seifuso Villa (清風荘) in Kyoto, today's post has a bit more from early on in the visit first seen in "Entrance Foyer to the Seifuso Villa in Kyoto".

I vacillate on whether the photo above is of interest. I've deleted it (and then undeleted it) several times.

I showed the garden's formal tea house in "Approaching the Tea House at Kyoto’s Seifuso Villa". Near it are a few small buildings loosely connected with shared outside passageways.... one building being a prep room for the staff, [...]


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Recovering from an OSX Format of your Garmin Device

I hate to have any negative articles on my blog, much less two in a row, but wow, it's difficult to count how many ways Garmin's products are so much worse than they need to be, from devices designed for the pocket but without a way to lock the buttons from being bumped in pocket, to worse-than-nothing "features" you can't turn off, to memory-card slots buried behind batteries (really? How does one screw up something as simple as a memory card slot? Ask Garmin.), to any number of additional "what on earth are they thinking?" observations.

From hardware to software [...]


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Holy Cow, iOS 7 Has Some Really Horrible Design

The user-interface (UI) design of iOS 7 seems to be of the radical variety. Not quite as radical as the initial iPhone was to the cell-phone world at the time, but also not as universally lauded. A lot of people really hate iOS 7.

(Except the first, the photos on this page have nothing to do with the text; they're just random photos I've taken recently.)

Until recently I'd never actually used iOS 7, but from seeing it in news and advertisements over the last few months, I knew I didn't like the new look. The same aesthetic that [...]


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Thank You Skype for Not Sucking, and For Saving my Afternoon

I've been feeling remarkably lazy about writing lately, sorry.

My wife and I were in a travel agency the other day (here in Kyoto, Japan) to purchase some pricey tickets for some upcoming family travel, and since it was a lot to put on the credit card at once, I had called ahead to my US-based credit card to let them know the charge was coming so that it would go through smoothly.

Of course, while standing there at the travel agency office, the transaction was denied. Sigh.

I couldn't call The States with the travel agent's phone, so we [...]


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My Forgetfulness is Getting Worse: Forgot the Whole Camera This Time

My previous post told the sad tale of forgetting the camera memory card on a family outing. I did that mistake one better yesterday by forgetting the entire camera this time, dutifully arriving at my destination with a nice array of lenses but nothing to put them on.

After a massage and returning home to fetch the camera, I returned to the Nishi Hongwanji Temple (西本願寺) where several huge ginkgo trees are currently in full splendor.

First the memory card, then the camera. I worry about what I'll forget on today's outing (upon which I embark momentarily)!


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A Temple with Extra Restrictions on Photography is Now My Favorite Kyoto Temple

This is a followup to yesterday's post with photos from the Hokyo-in Temple in Kyoto, a temple with some of the most harsh, restrictive anti-photography policies I've ever encountered.

On one end of the spectrum are places that allow even tripods, such as the Yoshiminedera temple. Moving along toward more restrictions, the Heian Shrine allows tripods, but only if you pay a ¥2,000 (about US$20) fee. Most places don't allow the use of tripods at all, but the Hokyo-in Temple featured yesterday doesn't even allow you to have a tripod in your possession. Even if securely sequestered in your backpack, [...]


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Fall Foliage at Kyoto Arashiyama’s Hokyo-in Temple (with a wigglegram)

My first outing this season to partake of Kyoto's fall-foliage delights was on Friday, as I wrote about yesterday. The first stop was my first visit to the Hokyo-in Temple (宝筐院) in the Arashiyama area of western Kyoto.

The long path into the garden was quite photogenic, though it was difficult to get a shot that both avoided people in the photo and avoided annoying people while taking the photo, but within those constraints I did okay...

Yet, despite all the work to avoid people in the shots, I tend to like ones with people better, like the one at [...]


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This Season’s First Fall-Foliage Outing in Kyoto: Northern Arahiyama

Fall-foliage season, long over with in most of the Northern Hemisphere, is just getting into full swing in Kyoto. Throwing common sense to the wind, I dared to venture to the Arashiyama area of Kyoto yesterday (Friday), where the density of tourists during this season threatens to form a singularity. Adding to the mass of folks, I went with Paul Barr and Damien Douxchamps.

We limited ourselves to a few temples on the northern fringes of Arashiyama, and so we avoided the most oppressive crowds.

The first stop was my first visit to the Hokyo-in Temple (宝筐院), which includes a [...]


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