Thursday, April 17, 2008


We played volleyball and badminton. Eri won and I lost. Revenge will come on the tennis court.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

End of sakura season

I took lots of close-ups of flowers and blossoms. I think the best way to view them is to stick them together in a set. Actually I spent hours and have about 30 different photos. It's difficult with my camera because the focus is difficult to control and flowers usually blow in the wind. I take usually about 10 shots before I'm lucky with the wind. I then delete the other nine.

Spring in Japan was brief but beautiful. I went up to Shingu castle ruins and took a some photos of the few remaining trees in blossom. Actually, in some respects, it is easier to take picture in late spring because the blossems are mixed in with sprouting leaves.........This picture is a composite of four photos photoshopped together. It a nice place to take a book and spend an afternoon reading. I've been up here a few times with a good book and once had a picnic. It's a great place for a picnic but it gets a bit busy on weekends.

Went to Taiji with Eri, Amy and Reiko for a picnic. The weather was sunny and clear and some of the views of the ocean were great.

Here Eri, Amy and Reiko are walking down a steep, narrow path to the sea-side below. It's really hard to take unposed pictures, as soon as people see you pointing a camera at them they pose and in Japan and Taiwan everybody uses the V-finger pose. I merged two pictures, if you look carefully you'll see two Eris.

I like this picture; Amy, Eri and myself in front of the Taiji lighthouse.
Amy and I are pretending to throw Eri down the cliff. Love the expression of fear and delight on Eri's face.

Dandelions are probably my favorite flowers, if you can call them flowers. They are simple, beautiful and inspiring at the same time.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Spring arrived in Japan. It was a real relief after the long cold winter. The days are perfect but the nights are a little chilly. I can wear t-shirts and sandals at last.
View of Osaka from the UMEDA SKY BUILDING

Went to Osaka castle to view the sakura. it was really crowded. Unlike Kyoto there is more space to walk around in.

Tomo really photographs well. She is a great model.

Kyoto is really my favorite place in Japan. I keep going back there. maybe one day I'll live there. I was really lucky with this photo. Tomo and I were walking behind two maiko. I saw two coming our way and snapped this picture. Luckily no one got in the way. Tomo thinks they're not real maiko. I think they're real.


Winter in Japan was very cold, in fact it was the coldest winter of my life. However, it was one of the most amazing. In February I saw snow for the first time in my life and in March I went snowboarding.

OTOU MATSURI FESTIVAL: On the night of February some 2000 drunk men clad in white run down the 538 steps of KAMIKURASAN holding burning torches. Kamikurasan is worshipped as a divine mountain where the deity of Kumano Hayatama Taisha is believed to alight in a virtual figure. I took these photos at the top of the mountain. On your torch you write your name and four wishes. I wished for a ....., more ........, ........ and .... ..... ............

SNOW: I have always been fascinated by snow and got to see it for the first when I visited my friend TOMO in Kyoto. Tomo doesn't speak much English I can't speak Japanese but we communicated well. I We went to two temples and I had a great day.

SNOWBOARDING: In early March I went snowboarding in The HAKUBA mountains in NAGANO prefecture with a group of people from Kumano. I heard about them from my student MEGUMI. Clayton joined us as well. Both of them are proficient snowboarders but this was my first time. On the first morning I couldn't do anything. Megumi and Clayton showed me the basics but I just kept on falling down over and over again. It's not a nice prospect when you're high up on a mountain and the only way to get down is to fall rather painfully every five meters. After lunch I eventually discovered how to stand without falling, however I could only go backwards. On the last run of the day I think I figured it out but I was so exhausted that I just wanted to go home. On the second I managed to get all the way down to the bottom without on my first a run, and then began to really enjoy snowboarding. I can't wait for next year.

KATSURA: Tomo came to visit me in Shingu. I took her to an onsen in Katsura. She usually doesn't like the pictures I take of her and says, "No, noo , nooOOOO!! DELETE, DELETE!!" everytime I show her a picture.