.
Gargoyle-Tile Workshop Visit Part 2: Crafting the Clay
The Devil's In the Details temple-roof demon end-piece tile during fabrication at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
The Devil's In the Details
temple-roof demon end-piece tile during fabrication
at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房)

Picking up from yesterday's Gargoyle-Tile Workshop Visit Part 1: Factory Tour, we'll look a bit on how these complex decorative tiles are made.

Old and New Mr. Minabe shows a current replication project ( his father is the current head of household ) -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Old and New
Mr. Minabe shows a current replication project
( his father is the current head of household )
High-Tech Methods everything is done by hand -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
High-Tech Methods
everything is done by hand

These are essentially pottery, so crafting is simple: create the shape you want out of clay, let it air dry for a few months, then fire it in a kiln for 30 hours at a bazillion degrees.

It's not that simple, of course. First off, with the lead time to the final firing measured in months, they can't afford to have pieces crack in the kiln, so they've developed crafting and firing techniques that completely avoids cracks. I didn't realize how extraordinary this was until someone else on the tour who happened to be a potter exclaimed her shock. Apparently some loss during firing is always expected.

Another complication is that the clay shrinks about 13% when fired, so they have to take that into account when building a replacement piece whose final size must exactly match the original. They deal with this 13% shrinkage (building everything 13% larger) day in and day out, so after a lifetime it must all be second nature.

In Need of a Fang -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31mm — 1/60 sec, f/4.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
In Need of a Fang

It's perhaps difficult to tell in the photo above, but the fang in the near-side edge of the mouth is missing in the version being crafted. As part of the tour, Mr. Minobe showed a bit how he models the clay, and in doing so added that fang...

Mold the Shape by Hand -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Mold the Shape by Hand

This is probably the most difficult part, especially for someone like me without an artistic bone in my body. He's got to get the general shape, 13% larger than the final desired size.

Preparing to Attach -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing to Attach

To create a good bond, he places rough groves in the clay using the fork-like tool that was the subject of my recent What am I? quiz. A lot of people guessed the fork-like tool had something to do with clay, but no one had the proper answer that it's for scoring a surface to be attached to another surface.

Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos

Another bad photo, sorry, but if you look carefully you can see the fang has been attached. He's then using another tool to smooth part of the brow.

Of course, this is just the roughing in of the basic shape. I'm sure there's quite a bit of work and artistry to get the final sculpture ready for the kiln, 13% larger than the actual target size.

Here's a closeup of yesterday's Massive Tile Awaiting the Kiln...

desktop background image of a closeup of the face on a clay gargoyle tile prior to being fired in a kiln, at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) in Otsu Japan -- Babyface -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Babyface
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Old and New replacement reproduction (background) air drys before heading to the kiln -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Old and New
replacement reproduction (background) air drys before heading to the kiln

At one point while allowed some free time to wander around the workshop, I noticed the current head of the household, Kei-ich Minobe, working on a project. As it happens, he was about to attach a strip of clay to a work in progress, so he was just starting to score the clay with the aforementioned fork-like tool...

Scoring the Strip to be Added the Mozart of clay -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Scoring the Strip to be Added
the Mozart of clay
Scoring the Attach Point -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Scoring the Attach Point
Master Craftsman Kei-ichi Minobe At Work 美濃邉惠一さん -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Master Craftsman Kei-ichi Minobe At Work
美濃邉惠一さん

He was the subject of episode #57 in the NHK TV Professional series, in 2007. I've found it on the web here.

美濃邉さんはNHKの番組「プロフェッショナル 仕事流儀」出演しました「鬼師 美濃邉惠一」

Placing the New Piece -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Placing the New Piece
Pressing It Firm -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Pressing It Firm
Strengthening The “ Weld ” -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Strengthening The Weld

As I mentioned in the previous post, my visit to the workshop was as a guinea pig during a test run of Tour du Lac Biwa's Special Japanese Gargoyle Workshop and Hot Spring Tour. I also got to do the other parts of the tour (all for free!), except we had to cut the hot-spring visit short because a typhoon was coming in and we worried that the train line would shut down, and I had to be home for a late-afternoon appointment that I couldn't take a chance on missing.

I've much else to post from this tour, and from other tours I got to take part in. Sadly, a lingering cold this week caused me to miss a tour that involved zip-lining and kayaking. Maybe next time!


Gargoyle-Tile Workshop Visit Part 1: Factory Tour
desktop background image of an ornamental temple-roof tile, at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) in Otsu Japan -- Ornamental Temple Roof Tile in need of a roof at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房), Otsu Japan -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Ornamental Temple Roof Tile
in need of a roof
at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房), Otsu Japan
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Japanese temples generally have tiled roofs, with ornamental tiles of various sizes and meanings sprinkled liberally throughout. For example, the demon-face tile seen the other day on this post:

Peak of a Temple Roof -- Shoju Raijoji Temple (聖衆来迎寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Peak of a Temple Roof

In Japanese these ornamental tiles are called onigawara (鬼 瓦) — literally demon tile — though the word is used for any complex decorative tile, with or without a demon. The English word gargoyle is often used for these; it's not really the right word, but it's evocative of the same concept, and I can't think of anything better.

Earlier in the summer I had a fantastic opportunity (more on that later) to get a private tour of the Minobe family workshop, which has been entrusted to make these tiles for generations. Subject over the years to weather, earthquakes, war, and vandalism, the tiles end up lasting only a few hundred years, so much of their current work is recreating and replacing the ornamental tiles that earlier generations of the family had created for famous Kyoto temples.

Mr. Minobe Shows the Kiln his father is the current head of a household that's been in business for generations -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Mr. Minobe Shows the Kiln
his father is the current head of a household that's been in business for generations
Storage Area Above the Kiln it was hot -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Storage Area Above the Kiln
it was hot

The huge decorative tiles seen above are still called onigawara (demon tiles), even though they don't have demons or ogres or devils, or anything else like that. Here's the detail from the one on the right, of what looks to me like a phoenix...

desktop background image of an ornamental temple-roof tile, at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) in Otsu Japan -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
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More Storage -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
More Storage
Garden Gnomes ( sort of ) -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 42mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Garden Gnomes
( sort of )
Ebisu the Japanese god of fishermen, luck, the working man, and children's health -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Ebisu
the Japanese god of fishermen, luck, the working man, and children's health

Side note; Ebisu is the namesake for one of Japan's oldest beers, archaically transliterated on the label as Yebisu but pronounced the same. To facilitate distribution of this beer, the company made a train station near the brewery in 1901 and named it after the beer. The Ebisu neighborhood of Tokyo then grew up around it. So the station and the neighborhood are named after a beer, but the beer is named after an ancient deity.

desktop background image of an ornamental temple-roof tile, at the Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) in Otsu Japan -- Kirin another part of mythology that lends its name to a Japanese beer -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kirin
another part of mythology that lends its name to a Japanese beer
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In front of the kirin is a title with a simple flower. There were also things like birds and fish, and all had meanings. I might be remembering this incorrectly, but having a bird on your roof (or in your garden) would mean people would flock there in larger numbers, and having a fish means that people would return time and again. The point is that there's meaning to all of this that goes back centuries; it's not just decoration.

Wide Variety of Demon Tiles -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wide Variety of Demon Tiles
Massive Tile Awaiting the Kiln -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Massive Tile Awaiting the Kiln

This workshop is not normally open to the public, but can now be visited as part of an exclusive tour by Tour du Lac Biwa (Lake Biwa Tours), a new company devoted to English-language off-the-beaten-path tours in Shiga, near Kyoto.

Prior to them opening their tour business to the public, I attended a test tour for free, as a guinea pig. I had a great time, and contributed my photos to their cause, so you'll see some of my photos (and photos of me) on the tour page.

(I've taken a number of their tours as a test guinea pig, but couldn't write about it on my blog until they started business officially. Now that they have, I can start to write about some of the wonderful experiences I had.)

Delicate prior to firing, the drying clay looks quite fragile -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Delicate
prior to firing, the drying clay looks quite fragile
Freshly Fired it looks much more substantial -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Freshly Fired
it looks much more substantial

The huge demon tile above is the one that I whimsically labeled as the Japanese Gargoyle of Email Destruction in my post about lost email the other day:

“ Japanese Gargoyle of Email Destruction ” my whimsical name; I don't know the real name -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Japanese Gargoyle of Email Destruction
my whimsical name; I don't know the real name

It's interesting to compare the eyes on this one to some of the others. With most of these demon-face tiles, the eyes are bulged out like the huge awaiting-the-kiln unit above, or like that with deep indentations for the pupils. But with this one right above, the eyes are empty tubes all the way in, which means that they'll turn into deep holes of black once mounted. (In the photo above, what looks like pupils are really holes in the mounting bracket at the back of the tile, which would normally not be lit when actually mounted. The lining up to appear as pupils in this photo was quite intentional.)

Jumble of Old Pieces that serve as reference for recreations -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Jumble of Old Pieces
that serve as reference for recreations
Old and New creating a replacement for an old damaged piece -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Old and New
creating a replacement for an old damaged piece

Mr. Minobe gave a demonstration of how they work, which will become part two of this writeup.

Continued here...


A Fork-Like “What am I?” Quiz
What am I? これ何? -- Minobe Onigawara Workshop (美濃邉鬼瓦工房) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
What am I?
これ何?

I came across these fork-like tools on a craftman's workbench, and thought they'd make a good What am I? Quiz. What, exactly, are these fork-like tools used for?

クゥイズ:この工具は何のためでしょうか?


Tasty Yakiniku Near Kyoto: Hieidaira’s Nanzan
Ready to Cook at Yakiniku Nanzan (焼肉南山), Otsu Japan -- Yakiniku Nanzan (焼肉南山) -- Hieidaira, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 25mm — 1/50 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Cook
at Yakiniku Nanzan (焼肉南山), Otsu Japan

For the first time in ages, this evening we had a grill-at-your-table dinner at Yakiniku Nanzan (Hieidaira location).

I didn't have my camera with me, so I'm putting some photos from 2007 (seven years ago!) that I found in my image library.

We go in fits and spurts, but I think this might be the first time this year. It didn't disappoint.

I always order karubi (marinated short-rib beef), and today had six portions, which are described as for a single person but they're pretty small. It wasn't quite the gluttons affair of the now-closed all-you-can-eat beer/BBQ buffet that I wrote about in years past, and since I was driving there's no beer, but we ate well.

Yakiniku Nanzan (焼肉南山) -- Hieidaira, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 82mm — 1/350 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

I took these photos almost a year before my first post on polarization filters, so perhaps I didn't really know about them yet. Now, one glance at the photo above and I know it would have benefited greatly from one.

The meat shown in these photos is gyutan, a name I prefer to the English. It's okay, but I much prefer kalbi.

Yakiniku Nanzan (焼肉南山) -- Hieidaira, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 25mm — 1/180 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

If you find yourself in Kyoto or Otsu and can get up to Hieidaira, Nanzan is highly recommended.


A Day with Sergey Kolychev in Kyoto
Sergey Kolychev at the Heian Shrine (平安神宮) Kyoto Japan, Nov 2013 -- Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Sergey Kolychev
at the Heian Shrine (平安神宮)
Kyoto Japan, Nov 2013

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...

Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

We then popped over to the Nanzen Temple...

Nanzen Temple (南禅寺) -- Nanzen Temple (南禅寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Nanzen Temple (南禅寺)
Sergey and a Big Rock -- Nanzen Temple (南禅寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Sergey and a Big Rock

We somehow found a little hiking trail back beyond the Eikando Temple, which provided a nice view of the city through the trees...

Sort-Of View of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — image data
Sort-Of View
of Kyoto
Memorial Plaque and a three-legged crow -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 125 — image data
Memorial Plaque
and a three-legged crow

People often put up little wooden plaques as a memorial of their hiking trip, such as the bigger board above placed by a group of 13 people ranging from 79 years old down to five months old. I wouldn't have paid the crow a second thought, but Sergey noticed that it was a three-legged crow, which is apparently a thing. You learn something new every day.

When then moved north to the Hounen-in Temple (法然院), which has appeared on my blog of late here, here, and here.

The thin depth of field in this next shot makes it looks a bit unreal...

Entrance Gate Hounen-in Temple (法然院) -- Hounen-in Temple (法然院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance Gate
Hounen-in Temple (法然院)

This next shot, of Sergey standing under the gate, looks a bit unreal because I made a mistake and severely underexposed it, so had to employ HDR-like post processing to recover a usable image...

Hounen-in Temple (法然院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.6, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos

I sort of tried to replicate this old point-n-shoot shot that has for some reason always stuck in my mind...

desktop background image of the water basin at the Hounen-in Temple (法然院), Kyoto Japan -- Hounen-in Temple (法然院) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.6, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
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We moved north to the Silver Pavilion and its famous sand sculptures, which I posted about the other day. Here's one more shot of the lush moss there...

desktop background image of lush moss at the Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺), Kyoto Japan -- Lush Moss at the Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺) -- Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Lush Moss
at the Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺)
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Growing boys must be nourished, so we repaired over to a tea cafe for choux à la crème...

Shoe Cream at Kitayama Kouchakan (北山紅茶館) (The Japanese word for this kind of cream puff is 「シュークリーム」 which sounds like the English “ shoe cream ” ) -- Kitayamakouchakan 北山紅茶館 -- Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Shoe Cream
at Kitayama Kouchakan (北山紅茶館)
(The Japanese word for this kind of cream puff is 「シュークリーム」 which sounds like the English shoe cream)

I opted for coffee, but Sergey is a connoisseur of fine tea, as Fumie can be sometimes, so I've been to this shop many times.

Sergey mentioned some knee pain that had been bothering him for a long time, so I brought him to the best masseur in Kyoto, Kentaro Kataoka. Sergey had never had a real massage before, so it was quite an experience.

Working the Calf 片岡健太郎の治療院 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Working the Calf
片岡健太郎の治療院

I've had many massages in America, but after having had massages in Japan, I'd never classify what I had in America as a real massage. They're more like shove some skin around a bit and hope it relaxes you sessions. These in Japan are closer to physical therapy. In a blog post about Japanese massage a couple of years ago, I described this masseur's technique as a ferocious pinpoint attack like his fingertips are tactical weapons trying to massage the muscle from the inside out. It can be very effective, but painful at the time.

Controlled Stretch -- 片岡健太郎の治療院 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Controlled Stretch
The Eyes Say It All first acupuncture experience -- 片岡健太郎の治療院 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
The Eyes Say It All
first acupuncture experience
Now in the Arm -- 片岡健太郎の治療院 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Now in the Arm

(I describe my hit-n-miss experiences with acupuncture here.)

Sergey thought the whole experience was great, so I'm glad that Kataoka-sensei was able to work us in at short notice. He'd been out for his daily jog when I called, and kindly cut it short just for us.

This was at a temporary location at the time, but since then he's opened a permanent shop near Teramachi Nijo. Highly recommend.

Anyway, newly refreshed, we popped over to the Chion'in Temple (知恩院) to see its big main gate...

Chion'in Temple (知恩院) -- Chion'in Temple (知恩院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Chion'in Temple (知恩院)

A shot from this visit appeared in a post half a year ago, on Huge Main Gate of Kyoto’s Chion’in Temple.

We then moved to the famous Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺)....

Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/6.3, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺)
Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/6.3, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos

The late-afternoon light was rich.

desktop background image of a view from the Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺), Kyoto Japan -- Looking Back to the Entrance Gate of the Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back to the Entrance Gate
of the Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺)
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This World Heritage Site temple is perhaps most well known for its big balcony...

Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Better shots of it, from years past, appear here, and here, and here.

But it's best of all with a friendly face...

Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Late-Afternoon Light at the Kiyomizu Temple -- Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Late-Afternoon Light
at the Kiyomizu Temple