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Tag Archives: Fall Color Photography

It was Sunday and we took the train to Harajuku Station where we were going to meet Justin and then head over to the Dog Park in Yoyogi Park. Just as we arrived a large group was headed for Yoyogi Park.

While we were waiting we hung out at the Meiji Jingu First Torii gate Meiji Shrine complex. Linda was practicing some kind of fist move that activated a time delayed selfie. Justin had taught her how to do it the day before and she was having problems doing it.

Meanwhile I was busy taking candid photos of people entering the Meiji Shrine complex. Quite a few people were dressed up in tradition Japanese costumes.

I think there was a race taking place in the park and that was the large group that entered Yoyogi Park ahead of us. There were also groups of people exercising.

It was a beautiful fall day and there were growing numbers of people out enjoying the weather.

It was mid November and the roses were still blooming.

Justin and Carla had considered acquiring a dog but came to their senses before they pulled the trigger. Still they like to stop at the dog park and watch the dogs.

Many of the dogs were dressed up for the occasions. The miniature greyhounds seemed to be terrified in the park.

More people exercising and working on their martial arts.

Just such a beautiful fall day.

After visiting Yoyogi Park we found a place to get a bite to eat. Justin then took us on a walking tour of one of the worlds best shopping streets. It was amazing all of the high end retailers. Many of them had doormen wearing white gloves. Justin seemed to know where he was going so Linda asked him if he had ever been shopping here. He responded he shopped here all the time. Then pointed to a shoe store and said all of the clerks in that store wear English butler uniforms. This was clearly a step up from the typical mall shopping we do in the states and a far cry from Fleet Farm.

We then went over to Meiji Jingu Gaien. We wanted to see the Ginkgo trees in fall color. On the way we passed a Domino’ Pizza and noticed their delivery vehicles.

As we entered Meiji Jingu Gaien we noticed this couple feeding their large dog.

Unfortunately the Ginkgo trees had not turned yet but it was still a nice area to visit.

we hopped on a train and headed over to Hibiya Park where the Japanese Fisherman’s Festival was taking place. It was late in the day and the event was coming to an end. The last of the speeches were wrapping up as we walked by the main event stage.

The park itself was a typically beautiful Japanese garden. As with most of the parks we visited someone was working on the trees.

By the time we were ready to leave the park it was late in the day and the light really highlighted the fall color on the trees.

We were leaving the next day and we needed a plug for our headphones. We discovered the international flight to Japan required the two prong connector. We walked over to a Bic Camera store. We were leaving the next day and thought we had better pick them up while we had the chance. It was packed and there were seven floors of things to look at. It took us a while to find what we were looking for. It always helps if you have a picture on your phone of what you want.

We then headed to a smokehouse where we were going to meet Justin’s girlfriend Carla and her mother. They were excited because they were going to have an audience with the the Pope next week. In fact, the entire family was flying into Tokyo for the audience.

After dinner and another long day we headed back to our hotel.

 

We were up early because we had to catch the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station on our way to Nikko. Our goal for the day was to tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples in Nikko Japan Since it is easy to get lost in Tokyo Station we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to find the train. Turned out we had problems finding the train with all of the construction going on in the station. We finally found the correct platform and then had to wait for our train.

To get from Tokyo to Nikko, we had to take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station Utsunomiya; then, take the JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station. This was all on our JR Pass.

When we arrived at Nikko Train Station we had to decided to take a bus up the mountain or walk. We decided to walk.

This the center of town.

On our walk we passed a fire station where they were holding a drill.

Nikko is a big tourist destination and there were plenty of things to buy.

We encountered some construction. As is normally the case there were plenty of people available to make sure we got through the construction area without any problems.

Beautiful fall colors in front of a grand building.

By the time we reached our destination it was almost noon so we decided to stop and get a bite to eat before start touring the Shrines and Temples. It turned out to be a good decision because by the time we got our food the place was packed. My wife had to visit the bathroom and she wished se had taken her camera. She needed a tour guide to find it winding through the building and up a narrow stairs.

We had our usual noodles for lunch.

After lunch we walked back to the Shinkyo Bridge which crosses the Daiya River and is the entrance to the Nikko Shrines and Temples. For a small fee you can walk across the bridge. We had an interesting exchange with some Japanese tourists at the Bridge. I always ware my Green Bay Packers hat when I travel. Some Japanese tourists started chanting “go pack go” but one of them opened his jacket and displayed a San Francisco 49ers pin. Funny we should loose to them in the playoffs.

Linda at the Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple and checking the map to see where we wanted to go next.

There were some beautiful fall colors as we walked past Daigomado.

Toshogu Gojunoto was an impressive building.

Our next stop was the Futarasan jinja Shrine area.

We walked past Jogyodo where we paid our fee to enter another group of shrines.

Beautiful color on the walk to the Niomon Gate.

The Niomon Gate was a very impressive structure and gave a hit of what we would find beyond it.

We found this trough which brought water to a chozubachi from a spring in the hill.

The Japanese will go to great lengths to save a tree.

We arrived at Thu Thuy Xa  before walking up the steps to Rinoji Taiyuin Nitenmon.

Rinoji Taiyuin Nitenmon had some very impressive carvings.

Our last stop on the shrines and temple tour was Karamon Gate. This was a beautiful complex.

As we were leaving the park we managed to get lost and ran across this beautiful little park are next to a parking lot.

On the way out to the park we noticed a tapioca truck parked along the street. I love tapioca so we watched for it on the way back to the train station. When we found it but it was not what we expected. I was tapioca pearls mixed in milk. They provided an extra large straw so we could suck the pearls out of the drink. We quickly realized we had a problem. This was the first thing we had purchased on the street that required us to dispose of something. In this case what do we do with the plastic cup and straw. There are almost no trash cans or recycling cans on the streets. In this case since we bought it we had to carry it out. It’s always good to carry a plastic bag in your pack so you can carry disposables home to recycle them.

It was late in the day when I took this last shot from Nikko before we boarded the train to return to Tokyo.

We had one other event planned for the day. We met Justin, Carla and several other friends in Shibuya for dinner.

After dinner we took the train back to Ookayama Station with Justin. I had noticed the calorie counter on he station steps on a previous visit and wanted to make sure to get a photo of it.

My wife an I stopped at the local grocery store and then walked back to our hotel and called it a day.

 

 

Today we were off to Inokashira Park. We arrived at the train station before the rush hour.

I took a few shots from just outside the Musashino Station while I was waiting for my wife to get Google Maps up and running so we could find the park.

What can I say. My wife likes cats.

When we arrived at the park we walked across this bridge. We didn’t get very far before we became entranced by the antics of the ducks in the pond. It also helped that there were some nice reflection shots in the water.

The view down the pond from the bridge.

After watching the birds we continued our journey around the pond. I particularly like to photograph fall landpools (reflections) and there were a lot of them in the pond.

We continued to see wildlife as we walked around the pond.

Mid morning we passed the Blue Sky Cafe. As soon and my wife found out that they had donuts shaped like cats we had to stop.

There were quite a few people out in boats enjoying the beautiful fall day. On a weekend it is probably packed.

As we were nearing the end of our visit we noticed, what appeared to be, a class trip visiting the park and the kids seemed to be having fun. There were also adults out exercising.

We spent some time visiting the Inokashira Benzaiten a small Buddhist Temple in the park.

A few last shots of the pond before we headed back to the train station.

Just outside the park there was a small shopping street which attracted Linda.

One last shot from outside the train station.

We caught the subway over to Yushima Tenmangu Shrine.

The Shrine was not very big.

There was a small Japanese garden associated with the shrine. A family had dressed their little girl up in a traditional costume so I took a photo of her.

What we really came to see was the Chrysanthemum Exhibit that was taking place at the Shrine. It was Chrysanthemum season and there were exhibits all over Tokyo. This was by far the best exhibit we found.

After finishing at the Shrine we noticed there was a large park area not too far away. It was called Ueno Onshi Park and is noted for its lotus plants in Shinobazu Pond. In the fall the lotus plant were not all that impressive. It was getting late so we only manged to walk around a small portion of the park. It is a park that includes zoos and museums so it requires more than a an hours time to really experience it.

One of my hobbies is photographing wildlife and there was plenty of wildlife to photograph in the Pond.

As we were leaving the park we noticed this young man dressed in his school uniform walking along the street. In Japan young kids are trained at an early age to navigate the Tokyo train system and you can frequently see them walking alone on the streets and in the stations.

It was getting late so we started looking for a place to eat and the train station to take us back to our hotel.

 

 

Our son had a day off from work so he was going to take us out to Okutama, Japan to do some hiking. Apparently there was a beautiful hike along the Tama River. We walked across a bridge to a grocery store looking for the Kazumakyo walking route.

 

While we were standing along the road the first of many cars loaded with politicians came by. Apparently it was election season and they drive around constantly with loudspeakers blaring.

Google Maps was not cooperating and the two navigators were having problems finding the trail.

It looked like the trail followed the road for quite a ways so we started walking along the road above the river. There were some nice fall colors.

After walking for a while we decided we must be on the wrong road so we turned around and walked back toward town.

However, our son concluded that we were on the right road we just didn’t follow it far enough.

These two men had been standing in front of this store watching us walk past the three times. Our son speaks fluent Japanese so he could have asked directions but men don’t ask directions. We also walked through a construction zone several times. The workers probably thought we were nuts.

We continued walking along the road and found that, if we had just walked a little further the first time, we would have reached the hiking trail.

We were happy to find the signs and started walking down some steps toward the river only to find that the trail was closed. Apparently parts of it were washed out during the October Typhoon.

We took a few shots from the bridge over the river.

The politicians drove by again and waved to us. We saw them a couple more times and they honked at us the last time we saw them.

We walked back to the train station where we decided to have some ice cream while waiting for the train.

We took a local train back to Tachikawa.

We decided to try and find a place to eat but had the same problem we usually did when we wanted to eat in the middle of the afternoon. Many places were closed or they allowed smoking. This is a shot of us in front of the HUB where we ate a few days earlier when we were in Tachikawa to visit Showa Kinen Park.

We finally settled on a pancake place to have our meal before heading back to Tokyo.

 

 

Today’s excursion is to Mount Fuji. We took a couple of trains to Shinjuku station to pick up the JR Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station to Mount Fuji. Our rail pass covered the cost from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki. We  then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway. It was the same train but we had to pay for the reminder of the trip to Kawaguchiko Station.

When we arrived we went to the train station ticket office to purchase our ticket on the Fujikyu Railway from Kawaguchiko Station to Otsuki where our JR pass would kick in.

We then went to the Omni Bus ticket office to purchase a ticket on the red line. From Kawaguchiko Station there are  Omni buses which are hop on an hop off buses and are generally the easiest way for tourists to get around. There are three lines starting from Kawaguchiko Station, We took the red Kawaguchiko Line (buses every 15 minutes) runs along the eastern and northern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko. There were long lines to get on the red bus and the area was a zoo with all kinds of buses and lots of people.

We made sure we were standing within the lines.

Once we got on the bus we decided to ride the bus to the end of the line which was the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center. Along the way we noted other places we wanted to visit on our way back. It looked like they were in the process of planting flowers around the Living Center.

Not sure what these bushes were but in the fall they really beautiful.

I noticed these buildings up on the hill away from the lake. I think they were small places to stay.

We hopped on the bus and rode back towards town. We managed to get off one stop before we wanted to. There was construction taking place and we couldn’t figure out how get past the construction on the trail along Lake Kawaguchiko. Some other folks cam along from the opposite direction so we watched how they managed to get through the construction. It was a beautiful day to walk along the lake. There were some beautiful views of the lake and Mount Fuji.

There were beautiful flowers along the trail.

We were heading into an area with beautiful fall colors.

One of the few examples of graffiti that we saw on our visit to Tokyo and environs.

As we walked along we came to a craft fair that was taking place. Lots of beautiful things but no way to get them home.

 

As we were walking through the fair we ran across a both that had a display of Rose Mauling. When we arrived the individual staffing the stand was in the back having lunch. When she heard us talking about Rose Mauling she came out. Since my wife is Norwegian she was really interested. Turns out the Japanese woman had lived in Chicago for about 10 years and she took it up as a hobby which she continued when she returned to Japan. She had some sayings on some of her work that didn’t make and sense in Norwegian. We went off to have lunch and after lunch my wife decided to write some Norwegian sayings down on paper for the lady. We when back and gave them to the lady and had her picture taken.

There was a food court setup at the fair so we stopped and had some chicken on a stick.

In back of the art fair there were some gardens with beautiful fall colors.

We continued our walk along the lake and the colors were spectacular.

We came to another are with many food trucks. In the first photo the vendor was twirling a stick into the ice cream and when he had the equivalent of a scoop he would plop it on to a cone then had it to the person on the end of the stick. In this case he was teasing the girls by handing it to them and then pulling it away.

What a backdrop for a vendor with Mount Fuji in the background.

We continued walking but hadn’t gone far when we found another ice cream stand and couldn’t resist buying some.

The required smoking area.

We found another bus stop but had to wait far more that the 15 minutes that was noted on the brochure.

We rode the bus back toward town and then got off at a stop that would allow us to walk along a section of the lake that was very beautiful in the late afternoon light.

At this point we were back in town and decided to catch the bus back to the train station. We saw it coming so we raced to the place that it was supposed to stop. The bus kept on going and didn’t stop. Only then did we realize that we on the wrong side of the road and were an outgoing bus stop. We forgot the Japanese drive on the left rather than the right. At this point we figured out that we could take a shortcut through town to get to the station. On the way we found this beautiful little cemetery.

We figured it would be late when we arrived back in Tokyo so we decided to look for a place to eat. Unfortunately most restaurants don’t open until late in the afternoon which means after dark this time of year. We wandered through town looking for a place that was open. on the way we found this statue which my wife thought was from some fairytale. She was right it is from the  Grim fairytale “The Bremen Town Musicians.

We finally found a place to eat and had traditional noodles since we were really not all that hungry having had chicken on a stick and ice cream earlier in the day.

We caught the train back to Tokyo and arrived back in our hotel after a long day.

 

 

We had several fall snowstorms that dumped over a foot of snow.

 

 

We had an early fall snowfall so I decided to walk out into the woods to take some photos of the fall leaves and the snow. It turned out most of my photos were fall leaf abstracts take my moving the camera or moving the lens.

 

It was a beautiful fall day for a hike on the Ice Age Trail. The fall colors were mainly the rust colors of the oaks. One of my favorite subjects for fall photography are reflection shots.

 

After visiting Perrot State Park we drove over to Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately there was very little wildlife but the colors were nice. We did notice that the water was very high. Lots of rain this fall has made the rivers high.

 

It was a beautiful fall day so we decided to drive down to Trempealeau, Wisconsin to visit Perrot State Park. When we arrived we discovered that the river valley was covered in fog.