Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Japan (3) More pics (local festival) - Update


Just uploaded the two videos (which I mentioned at the end of this posting) to YouTube with a short impression of the festival. I've embedded them after the pictures, but you also can check them here and here.

This time some pics which I took during a local festival exactly one month ago at the nearby shrine at Nerima area, Tokyo.

Japan knows many festivals, both local and nationwide. It's often said that you always will find a festival somewhere in Japan. Most festivals are based around a main event and often sponsored by a local temple or shrine. At most festivals you'll find lots of food stalls and some entertainment.

I also shot two short videos which I will uploaded to YouTube and will link or embed here. As soon as I upload to YouTube I will update this post with the URL to the videos or embed the videos in this post.

The last six pictures were taken at a nearby temple on the way back home.
The pics are a bit darker, because it was already late afternoon and on the way back when we passed the temple it was already started to shimmer.

For now enjoy the pics!

(click on the pics to enlarge)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Japan (2) Some more pics (Kawagoe)

I already made many pics, but still couldn't find the time and energy to post some. Also sorting out and categorizing all the pics cost quite some time, especially when you take many pics.

Since our last trip from October 22nd until October 29th (see for a little more details my former post) we didn't exactly sat still. We made trips to Niigata-prefecture, where we stayed in the city of Murakami (yes the same name as the author, also using the same Kanji characters).

From last Sunday until last Wednesday I went to Hiroshima, where I visited Miyajima and Iwakuni. On the nighttime after dinner I spent my time at my favorite pub, not only in Hiroshima but in whole Japan, the Mac Bar until the late hours, drinking beers, talking with some locals and other foreigners and listening to good music.

Before I went to Hiroshima, my wife N. and I went to Harajuku and the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

Last Friday we went to the Tokyo Bay area where we visited Miraikan, the national museum of emerging science and innovation (official name). A very interesting museum and fun for kids, we also saw Asimo, the humanoid robot. After that we went to ramen-street at the Odaiba Aqua shoppingcentre, a shopping and eating mall. Ramenstreet is a part in the building where 5 or 6 ramenshops are located together and every ramenshop is presenting a certain ramenstyle from somewhere in Japan. Ramen is probably my most favorite Japanese food, although not the most healthiest Japanese food, but way better than a menu at a fastfood restaurant. After eating ramen, we went to Akihabara, also known as electric town.

Yesterday I slept in and relaxed most of the day. Late in the afternoon we both took a Chinese massage and after that we went to a music bar to see one of my wife N's friends who sings for a hobby and was performing there with a jazz combo.

Today we went to the nearby shrine to see the Shichi-Go-San festival (7-5-3- festival), a festival day for girls of three and seven year old and three and five year old boys. It's an interesting and very photogenic festival with all those cute and adorable little kids dressed up in their kimonos. I made some nice pictures there. Last week at the Meiji shrine I also took some pics from the same festival. In later post I will show some examples.

But because this is a photo weblog I'm also suppose to post some pics. I have decided to start posting the pics a bit in a more chronological order. Collecting all the background information cost sometimes a lot of time and when I stick to one trip or subject I don't need to search for so much different background information.

But be prepared, because I took lots of pics and it's sometimes hard to reduce the selection. In this post I will post pics from our trip to the Kawagoe festival. Kawagoe is a city near Tokyo. These festivals in Japan are often very colourful and very photogenic. There are all kinds of food stands, parades, gorgeous floats etc...

I have enough material to fill many Japan related posts, so there surely will be some more Japan posts. So I would say take a coffee, tea or whatever you like, lean backwards and enjoy the pics.

(click on the pics to enlarge)
unfotunately this pic was a bit moved

Monday, November 02, 2009

Japan - The first pics

It's not my first posting from Japan (the three former postings about North Sea Jazz Festival were also posted from Japan), but it is my first posting about Japan since we've been here, or better posting with some first pics which were made during our stay here. It's just to give you a first impression, because there are many pics that I took and it's also a lot of work to sort them out and in the mean time I have to do some traveling and take pictures too.

I won't bother you right now with too much background information. The first five pics were taken at the Kawagoe festival where we went on a daytrip the first weekend of our stay in Japan. It's a well known festival in Japan which attracts many visitors.

The 6th pic was taken at a temple at sunset near where my mother in law lives.

The 7th pic was taken during a trip we made from November 22nd until 29th where we visited Aomori-prefecture and Sendai in Miyagi prefecture. This pic was taken at a trip to Shirakami, an Unesco World Heritage. The pictures 8 up to 15 were taken at a trip from Oirase river to Towada lake. This was absolutely gorgeous, despite some rain in the afternoon. It was a walk of about 11 kilometres, but it took us 8 hours (including rests and short breaks) to finish it. Not because the walk was so heavy, but because there were so many photogenic points. I shot two 4 GB memorycards during that day.

Besides resizing the pics haven't been photoshopped. It's just to give you a bit of a first impression. There will be plenty more pics to follow. I only don't know exactly when. We are almost halfway our stay and we have a pretty busy schedule. Hopefully the pictures will make you hungry for more later. For now enjoy the pics.
(click on the pics to enlarge)