butterfly insects

My Sunday Photo – Insects of Arashiyama

My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Insects of Arashiyama.

Another week, another My Sunday Photo featuring Japan! Get used to it, there’s plenty more on the way. After all, Japan is an extremely photogenic country. Even though I was only armed with a point-and-shoot (admittedly a very good one), I still managed to capture plenty of shots that I was really happy with.
Read more “My Sunday Photo – Insects of Arashiyama”

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Fujifilm Square Roppongi

Fujifilm Square – Museum and Gallery, Tokyo Midtown

I have already written at great length about the inspired choice to stay in Roppongi. It is an absolute treasure trove of parks, shops, food, temples and easy access to tourist attractions. Staying in Roppongi has allowed us to have a few very relaxed days (no train rides), but still see something interesting on that day.

 

The Tokyo Cheapo Website

Tokyo Cheapo had become our bible for our stay in the city. It is a fantastic website full of useful information about attractions and food places that are family friendly and cheap – two of my favourite things! While we had consulted the website extensively for our day trips to Ginza and Shinjuku, we hadn’t thought to look at what it had to say about Roppongi.

On our last full day in Tokyo we had decided to have a fairly relaxed day. We thought it best to be refreshed for the adventures of catching a Shinkansen (bullet train) and finding our next Airbnb the following day. Emma had the great idea of checking out the Tokyo Cheapo website for local attractions, and I’m glad she did.

The website had a whole list of attractions that we didn’t know about (some terribly gruesome), but the one that piqued my interest was Fujifilm Square – gallery and museum.

 

Exhibitions – Fujifilm Square

From what I can tell, the gallery regularly cycles through exhibitions. The exhibition on show while I was there was all about the Amazon rainforest. There were some fascinating animals, some of which I had never seen before.

Other exhibitions included a series of photos of cities from around the world. A photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge filled me with warm, fuzzy feelings of home, but not enough to make me wish I was back there. There was also an interesting series of photos by a prominent Japanese photographer.

 

The Museum – Fujifilm Square

I found the museum fascinating. Anyone with an interest in photography would be interested in the wide range of historic equipment on show. Cameras dating back to the 1860s, some with sample photos attached, were displayed. I wonder what those early pioneers of photography would have thought about our smartphones and selfie sticks…

Looking at the display, I found two things paradoxically interesting. One is how long photography has been around. The second is how far we have come in such a short time. It was really interesting to look at the early digital cameras and compare them to the point-and-shoot that I had sitting in my pocket.

 

Old cameras
…old

 

Toys – Fujifilm Square

Naturally, a place like the Fujifilm Square wouldn’t be complete without an opportunity to play with some fancy new toys. At a counter towards the rear of the shop was a vast array of current Fujifilm cameras.

I sidled up to the counter and hung around like a bad smell as I worked up the courage to ask for a play. In lieu of any actual Japanese language skills, I pointed and asked loudly and slowly in English for a go. The polished lady behind the counter seemed unperturbed by my awkwardness, and she invited me to have a go. She demonstrated some of the features and even changed the menu on the camera to English for me.

I was impressed by what I saw in the few minutes of playtime that I had with the mirrorless X-T2. The settings were simple and easy to use, and the results looked fairly sharp. It was enough to make me wonder whether it offered a decent compromise between a point-and-shoot, and a heavy DSLR.

 

It’s probably not worth going out of your way for, but if you find yourself in Roppongi and you have an interest in photography, then head on over and check it out. An hour should be more than enough time to wander through the exhibits and play with the toys.

Monday Stumble Linky
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Grey Heron

My Sunday Photo – The Grey Heron

My Sunday Photo for today is titled The Grey Heron

You will probably not be surprised to learn that this photo is one of the over 4000 shots that I took on our Japan holiday.

The location is Nijo Castle, in the beautiful city of Kyoto.

The grey heron is a fairly common sight in the rivers and other waterways of Kyoto, but I usually struggled to get good photographs of them. This was partly because I only had the point-and-shoot (I dearly missed my 55-300mm telephoto lens), and partly because they always seemed to be set against grey backgrounds. Don’t be misled by raunchy best-sellers – 50 shades of grey makes for a pretty boring photo.

 

Grey Heron
The Grey Heron, Nijo Castle

 

Having been continually frustrated by trying to capture a good photo of one of a grey heron, I knew I had an opportunity with this one. He (she?) was close enough to capture with the point-and-shoot, and set clearly against the green scum on top of the moat. I also loved the contrast between the clean side and the dirty side of the pond. If you’re wondering how one goes about cleaning a moat…

 

moat cleaner
How to clean a moat. You’re welcome.
Photalife
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Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto

My Sunday Photo – Higashi Honganji Temple

My Sunday Photo for this week is Higashi Honganji Temple

I’m back this week for My Sunday Photo, after last week’s absence due to a poor internet connection. For one of the most advanced nations on Earth, Japan sure does have some dodgy wireless networks.

I managed to fill three, 32gb memory cards with photos during our Japan adventure, so choosing just a few for this post was a challenge. Needless to say, I’m sure that My Sunday Photo posts for the next few weeks will feature Japan photos!

I chose to focus on the Higashi Honganji Temple for this week’s photos. It is one of the most imposing temples in Kyoto (although it is almost exactly the same size and layout as its sister temple, Nishi Honganji Temple). Coming across it as we walked to our Airbnb was one of the first wow moments of Kyoto for me.

 

Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto

 

It’s hard to truly capture the scale and majesty of the building. It’s also very hard to show the amazing amount of detail in every part of the structure. As with most things in Kyoto, it was reconstructed after a fire, towards the end of the 1800s.

 

Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto

One of my favourite things to do in Kyoto was go out at night and try to capture some of the night-time scenes. It was a pretty big challenge, as I only had the point-and-shoot camera, rather than my DSLR and tripod. However, I was fairly happy with the results. Below are some long(ish) exposure photos of the temple gates at night.

Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto

 

 

Photalife
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Shinjuku Scenes

My Sunday Photo – Shinjuku Scenes

My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Shinjuku Scenes

I’m back this week for My Sunday Photo after completely forgetting to post last week. Blame travel!

Japan is an amazing place, and there have been plenty of shots worthy of this post already, but I have chosen to show a series of photos from one of my favourite parts of Tokyo – Shinjuku.

My Shinjuku Scenes photos aim to capture the energy of the place. Shinjuku is everything you imagine Tokyo to be – neon lights, crowded streets, food everywhere. The streets of Shinjuku are best seen at night, when it really starts to liven up. Unfortunately, with a toddler in tow that wasn’t going to happen on this trip. The advantage of going in the day, however, is the brilliant view from the Tokyo Government Building. This series of photos shows some of the views from the top of the building, and some of the brilliant streetscape.

 

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

There’s plenty more where those came from. I’ll be posting about Shinjuku in depth in the coming days, so check back soon to find out all about it!

 

Photalife
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