Nov. 15, 2015

Tuesday 3rd November.

Around 6am I noticed a bit of light coming in from the west so grabbed the camera and headed down to the Setagawa river which flows out of Lake Biwako and through Ishiyama. Getting to the river took about 7-8 minutes. I arrived a few minutes before the sun had broken fully over the buildings on the opposite side of the river. Two local photographers had beaten me to it and had their equipment set up and ready to shoot.

From my starting point I walked along the river path in the direction of Biwako. Similar to most pavements in Japan the pathway is well designed and constructed catering for both pedestrians and cyclists alike. There were many people fishing from the man made breakway that lines the river.

After breakfast I headed off to Daigo city to visit the Daigo ji temple complex. Most probably the most visited site in the city as getting to the complex is quite easy......just follow the directions from the station.

In the complex are 6 sites. I was there for one only and could not establish from the map provided as to which one was the one I wanted to see.....everything was in Japanese characters. I purchased (yes, this is a temple complex that requires a ticket for each of the 6 sites to gain entry) 2 only. Luckily I managed to get a ticket for the one I really wanted to see and I did spend a fair amount of time there. The second complex I had access to was somewhat less user friendly. For whatever reason they have a no photograph policy which included the garden within the complex. This information only once inside the complex. 

I have previously experienced this non photograph policy at a couple of Japanese temple complexes and if I know upfront will not visit them. 

From Daigo I once again went through to Arashiyama. Another bad move. Today was culture day and was overflowing with tourists both local and foreign. Many couples were attired in traditional kimonos and even foreign ladies including a group of Chinese ladies had rented kimonos for the day. I love the way the Japanese live their culture.

The weather today was partially better than yesterday but it dawned on me that Arashiyama needs a morning shoot . So, some planning needed for another visit. 

Nov. 14, 2015

Monday 2nd, November.Ishiyama.

The weathermans forecast proved to be correct.....overcast with spells of rain. So, my first day of another photographic journey was blown away. For me quite depressing  After breakfast at the hotel I went through to Kyoto where I picked up a few things from the Daiso shop situated near the station. 

For those whom are unfamiliar with Daiso shops they are simply shops where much of the merchandise is sold for a dollar (USD1.00) which equates to less than 1 Euro. I normally purchase my Sudoku books and pipe cleaners from these stores. They have 1000s of items some of which arconsidering the price on their shelves. (We have 2 Daiso stores in Chiang Mai where pricing is exactly double the price ie $2.00 per item)

Rather than return to Ishiyama I thought I'd do a recce of Arashiyama to gauge the state of colours along the river bank and surrounds. Despite being a dismal day Arashiyama was teeming with tourists both Japanese and foreign. I managed to get off a few pictures under rather flat lighting conditions. 

Nov. 12, 2015

Sunday, 1st November.

A nice feeling waking up in the morning knowing that later in the day I'd be landing in Japan. My hotel in Bangkok, Holiday Inn Express Siam, being situated about 3 minutes away from National Stadium metro station I decided to go by rail rather than by taxi. For one it is considerably cheaper and sometimes much faster than a cab.

Check in at the airport went smoothly and once in spent my time doing some duty free shopping (confined to tobacco and smokes) and then taking a few pictures some of which may even appear somewhere in my website.

Arrival and processing through immigration and customs at Kansai airport went very smoothly and a few minutes later I was collecting my Japan rail pass (very handy item to consider if you're thinking of travelling in Japan).  By train Kansai airport (KIX) to Kyoto where I changed lines for my final destination for the day, Ishiyama. Arrived at the Reiah Hotel at around 9pm. A fairly lengthy day.  

Nov. 2, 2015

Bangkok,Satuday 31st, October 2015.

Besides today being Halloween it was also the annual Bangkok Hard Rock Cafes' 14th charity event. This event, inaugerated in 2002, raises money for institutes in need of additiinal funds.

There were around 50 participants in attendance some coming from Norway, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and of course Thailand.

Traditionally the groups receiving cheques at the event (from the funds raised at the previous years event) put on a bit of a show on the day. This year there were 3 performances, The one group, worthy of mention, originated from a village in the far north of Thailand. It was their 1st visit ever to Bangkok and they seemed to enjoy the outing.....not sure if they enjoyed the 15 hour bus ride to and then home again on the bus.

All in all and as is usual a great event hosted by the management and staff of HRC, BKK.

Oct. 30, 2015

Bangkok 29th October

My business with the SA Embassy was concluded quite early in the day so I set about looking for suitable subject matter for the camera on my walk back to my hotel. I found two buildings that were serious contenders and returned later in the afternoon (better lighting) and captured them both. Something I had previously experienced here in BKK is that some security guards do their utmost to stop one from taking photographs of the buildings they are controlling. Not sure why this is but that's how it is !!! A rather painfull bunch of fellows.