2007 Japan Vacation

Oasis with a moat

(all vacation entries)

One way to keep a public park clean, safe, and beautiful in the middle of a major city with a homeless problem is to surround it with a moat and post armed guards at the entrances. The Imperial Palace East Garden is open to the public, but it’s not a commons, and therefore not subject to the tragedy thereof.

Moat outside Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Hozugawa Kudari

(all vacation entries)
Boats on the Hozu River

Apparently the only thing that’s better than being poled down the Hozu River in late autumn is being there when the cherry blossoms are blooming.

Giving Light

(all vacation entries)
Lanterns donated to Kasuga Taisha, Nara

The heavily-wooded path leading up to the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha is lined with stone lanterns, each engraved with the name of the donor. Some of them have been there for centuries, but new ones keep arriving. I’d love to be there when they’re all lit.

Lanterns at Kasuga Taisha, Nara

Gion Ishi

(all vacation entries)

Like the sign by the front door says, this interesting-looking building in the Gion District of Kyoto is all about rocks (石). The first floor sells crystals and polished stones at prices ranging from reasonable to insane. We never got upstairs, but apparently there’s another floor for custom-carved stones, an excellent tea shop, and an ishiyaki (stone grill) restaurant.

Gion Ishi Building

The single most expensive item I purchased during the trip came from here, and I’m not forgetting about the digital camera. Some time when I can set up my lights, I’ll try to get a decent picture of it.

Tonkatsu Tonki

(all vacation entries)

Most guidebooks will tell you that Tonki has the best tonkatsu in Tokyo. After eating there, I’m willing to believe them.

The trick is finding the place. These pictures are descriptive rather than scenic, so they go below the fold:


Backstreet Girls

(all vacation entries)

Just to be clear, the web site listed in this picture of a Gion nightclub is Not Safe For Work.

Sex-club sign in Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Autumn-colored canal in Kyoto

(all vacation entries)

I was playing with the new version of Aperture today, flipping through the pictures from my Japan trip, and noticed something unusual. See if you can spot it.

Autumn colors spreading across a canal in the Gion district, Kyoto, Japan

I'm tired of election "news", so here's Tokyo

Tokyo Tower from the Shinagawa Prince Hotel

For quite a while now, I’ve been meaning to go back and do some cleanup work on the small number of photos I shot out of our hotel room window. The one I originally posted just never looked right to me. This one is the result of some careful Levels work, combined with the updated version of Noise Ninja that works as an Aperture plug-in.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”