Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Japan Journal

This post should be subtitled the things one can find in the street. These three photos were taken in the city of Kanazawa.

Below is a sewer grill for rain water that was set into a street in the old Samurai district.

A manhole cover design used in the streets all over the city.

The square manhole cover was also used throughout the city.

It was very enjoyable to see how something so utilitarian could be enhanced.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Rainy Day at the Nature Preserve

It was overcast but we decided to go to the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area anyway to see what birds needed to have their pictures taken. This area is mostly salt marsh with tidal flats and a bit of upland woods. When we got there the tide was just starting to come in which is prime time for wading birds.

It started out good with this sighting of a Willet who posed on one of the little bridges.

Then the skies opened up, much to our dismay. There were no shelters and, of course, once one gets out into the salt marsh, there aren't any trees to be found. We got soaked but I stopped to take this picture of a Great Egret.

The Yellow-crowned Night Herons were hunkered down to wait it out.

I stopped to take their pictures too; I decided I couldn't get any wetter.

We came home, changed our clothes, and had a cup of hot tea. Then it stopped raining.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Japan Journal

We arrived in Tokyo on Saturday, May 16, checked into our hotel (the Tokyu Inn Hotel) and immediately went to sleep. Sunday we went to the National Museum for the better part of the day and still didn't see it all. Outside the museum grounds, in the park was an area of open air booths where everything from china and chopsticks to take-away food and saki was being sold.

Monday we went up the ally next to the hotel and found the small Shinto Shrine pictured below.

Since it was a nice sunny day we walked to a public park which had once-upon-a-time belonged to the Imperial family. Because of this, Hamarikyru Tei-en is surrounded by a moat on two sides, a boat channel on the third and fronts on the harbor on the fourth side. The photo below shows one of the ponds.

From the park we took a water taxi up the harbor to the Asakusa District in Tokyo. We walked over to market place near the temple and spent what remained of the afternoon wandering around the stalls. We had an early dinner at a ramen noodle house in the area and then took the subway back to our hotel.

On Tuesday we visited the Meiji Shinto Shrine which stands in a large park with a forest of nice old trees. The shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his Emperess, Shoken. The original shrine was distroyed in WW II but was rebuilt in the 1950s. Below is a photo of a row of lanterns in one of the buildings.

We found a restaurant call the Dubliner's Pub and we couldn't resist the idea of an Irish pub in Japan. We had fish and chips and as good a pint of Guiness as I've had anywhere.

Over the next two days we visited the Imperial Palace Plaza, the Ginza, back to the Asakusa market and to the municiple building for a bird's eye view of Tokyo from the observation deck in the north tower. I have more photos on my flickr of Tokyo.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry Davis Thoreau