Friday, March 17, 2017

Asia Mega Tour II - Nijo Castle Picture Taking

Yesterday was our last day in Kyoto. The weather was still cool but at least 10 degrees warmer than the day before in Nara, no wind, and some sunshine (at least in the early part of the morning). We only had a few hours because we were checking out of our hotel and then catching a train to Osaka where we are going to be in an Airbnb so we can do a bunch of laundry before we head on to our next stop.

We had enough time to visit Nijo Castle. This was built by the first Tokugawa Shogun upon his coming to power in the late 17th century and remained the Shogunate's Kyoto base. With the light being nice it was a good time to focus more on photography.

Since I only really take pictures during our travels, I lose a lot about what I've learned from Wife during the interim. Then as we begin our trip in earnest - after the initial acclimation to traveling again - there is more time to focus on doing more than just taking story shots. In the case of this trip this was also moved along by the workshop we did earlier. I will go into this a bit more later in the post with the pictures.

After we finished with the castle we took the short subway ride back to the hotel, finished packing and caught a cab to Kyoto Station for the very short train ride to Osaka. My experience with Airbnb is that when you are getting a good deal on a larger apartment in a big city, you are most likely not going to be in the city center. We are in the Namba-Nipponbashi area of the city. It is definitely not the upscale area though exceedingly interesting in its own right (more on that with the next post).

Our taxi driver had a bit of a problem finding the place (even though I had directions in Japanese). But he went way beyond the call of duty, getting out of the car and searching on foot until he found it. We had some adventures with the washing machine when it got stuck in the middle of the cycle and then froze and wouldn't allow us to open the door and empty out our clothes. This was at about 10 PM. We had visions of having to buy a new wardrobe. But overnight something cooled off and we were able to get the clothes into the dryer (which is not a machine but a fan that blows hot air into your shower area where you hang the clothes up. It worked pretty well).

Les Photos
A shot three subway stops from our hotel is Nijo Castle
The guidebooks tell us the entrance is just up the street from the subway stop.

The guidebooks evidently don't realize the main gate is under construction forcing us to walk halfway around the castle
This does give us a chance to get a good shot of the main moat
Wife and I finally getting to the entrance
A panorama of the outer courtyard 

Wife has written a detailed description of the inner chambers that were very interesting, cold (you had to take off your shoes) and didn't allow photography, so I'm not going to repeat that.

Instead I spent a lot of time taking pictures of architectural detail and the gardens. Wife coached me on cropping my pictures so you can all put in a nice comment like, "Wow de-I when you listen to Wife's advice on cropping, your pictures are so much better!" or something to that effect.

Architectural Detail

Garden shots

Old Trees
(a subset of garden)
The Japanese love and revere old trees. Where we will prune branches to make things safer or to make a tree more healthy, the Japanese constantly are looking to assist the tree in going whichever way it wants to. This can mean putting on all kinds of supports to keep it and its limbs up. This just an example of it getting started.

Walking with plum trees
While the cherry blossoms have done a superior job of promoting themselves, the plums which bloom a number of weeks earlier are beautiful in their own right

Under Wife's expert tutelage I have even learned how to take pictures of myself

I don't appreciate your skepticism that Wife actually took these pictures.

And now another installment of SIGNS OF THE WORLD
We've said this before - you will be calm. you will not rush or some not nice red thing will happen to your hand!
And that goes for running too! Stop trying to play semantics.
And please, if you are going to have a flame, dress it appropriately.



Bernice said...

Wow, the pictures take away my breath. Beautiful!

alexis said...

sorry the interior was not open for you! We enjoyed the anti-ninja floors. Looks chilly!

Rob said...

Sign says, watch out, your fries are on fire!

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

I always make my flames wear coats. Vintage coats, of course.