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Perspectives

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Today I gave myself a lesson in how to look at the same scene from different perspectives. Different angles, different lights, different moods... these shots were all taken within a few hundred metres of each other, all towards the end of the day.

And it really was a beautiful day.








Fuji thoughts

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When the light is clear and the breeze is fresh but not icy, I often stay close to the beach. The ocean inspires me, especially when I have it to myself, and particularly when it gives me Fuji-san as a backdrop.

At such times I can walk for hours, my internal kaleidoscope sparkling my thoughts, just as the sun flecks and gilds the raw beauty of the waves. 

Daylight though is sometimes harsh; bleaching away the good as well as the bad. Much better to wait until nature's photographer slips on his sunset filter. The thoughts are easier then; slow moving and heavy with warmth.

As the sun goes down, my thoughts do too... to some still and sheltered cove... a warm jacket, a cold beer, and an ocean of me reflecting the starlight.






Departures

So, autumn came late this year, summer sticking around a little longer than any of us thought it would, and much longer than anyone wanted it to. The heat was finally tempered and then cast aside by the massive typhoons that have swept through over the last few weeks, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
It's a seasonal change which leaves us staring winter in the face, but it's a change that's more often than not welcomed by all with a massive sigh of relief. The heat has worn us down. We're wilted and, quite frankly, fed up of wearing the same shorts and t-shirt for several months (well, not literally the same ones, you understand). Autumn is a time for a change to that. An opportunity to go out and, like the trees all around us, get ourselves some fancy new clothes to welcome the winter with. A chance too, to flex our newly returned energy and get away from the cooler and, you know, actually do something; go somewhere.
Ordinarily, the change in th…

Yomogi Falls

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Yomogi is tucked out of the way. It's not hidden, but it isn't as accessible as a couple of other falls in the area. No metalled road in, no visitor centre. So, in the middle of a lazy weekday, it's really quiet; a peaceful spot; a place to linger in contemplation.

After a downpour, though, it's anything but quiet. It's loud and proud. A different kind of beauty. Inspirational.




Tokyo Bay

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Tokyo Bay is huge. As you'd expect, with one of the world's biggest cities sitting at the head of it. If you think of Tokyo as a conurbation, It wraps right the way around the bay. From Yokosuka on the Miura Peninsula, south of Yokohama, right the way around to Futtsu, some 150 km distant, there is virtually no countryside. Those two, Yokosuka and Futtsu, sit opposite each other, just 15 km apart, at the mouth of the bay, with lovely views both ways. Well, I imagine it works both ways, I only really see things from the Futtsu side.

Here are some of those views, starting with the Tokyo Bay Kannon statue (worth a look, if you're in the area), and its stunning views of industrial Chiba (with a lovely Tokyo backdrop), and across the water to Yokohama's aptly-named, Landmark Tower.









Inside out

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I love the Nashizawa round. I discovered it by accident when trying to escape the Golden Week traffic in early May.
On my bike, I headed inland and up into the mountains, and was pleasantly surprised when the road I'd taken tapered away into a green lane. A beautiful one, that climbed higher and higher until eventually, riding the bike became virtually impossible. I was beginning to think about ditching the bike (problematic retrieving it later) or turning back (not a great option at 15 km in, time pressing on, and no real clue as where I was going to end up), when the track peaked. The views to the east and the west were beautiful, the autumn leaves really lighting up the valleys. 
As the track started to descend (and me with it... very carefully), it also began to widen. Another 20 minutes saw me finally make Route 34 and the long, fast (a fella behind me clocked me at 45 km/h last time I came this way) descent to the coast and the sunset point where'd I'd left the car. …

Sunset strip

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Sunset shots from my recent jaunt... Three different days, three different spots within a few hundred metres of each other.





West (2)

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Autumn Fuji... and West Izu.










West (1)

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As with the whole trip, there was only the skeleton of a plan. I wanted to catch Fuji-san in its autumn garb, and I wanted to visit the west side of the Izu peninsula (for the first time). It's funny, I must have been to the eastern side over a hundred times (mostly through work), but never managed to get across to the other side.

I headed over via the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line (another first), a bridge-tunnel combination civil engineering marvel, that stretches right across the bay (4.4 km bridge and a 9.6 km tunnel), right across Kanagawa and on into Shizuoka, the home of both my targets.




















Arriving too late for a peak, but too early to head straight to the hotel, I took a chance on a local landmark, Sharaito falls. Wow! Way more impressive than I expected.




South

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Driving down the Pacific coastline is a joy. Only 2 hours from Tokyo, but a world away. Down through Ibaraki and into my prefecture, Chiba. Along the beautiful, sweeping Kujukuri beach, '99-ri' long (about 60 km), all the way down to the surfers' paradise in Southern Boso. Seriously, I couldn't drive this stretch slow enough, but I did want to catch the surfers catching the waves.