Friday, May 28, 2010


Yatsugatake, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

jules is in the foreground and the big peaks of Yatsugatake in the distance. Yatsugatake remains my favourite mountain.

Like our papers, it seems that our team-photos are often the best.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


shirakoma ike at sunrise, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

James says, "the eyepads don't help much when one's wife decides we must get up and photograph the sunrise anyway. "

[BTW - this week's blogged fotos from last weekend's mountain trip (Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday.) are all taken with James' wee LX3.]

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


ipad, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Some people on the internets have suggested that ipads are of little practical value. That would be very wrong. In Japanese mountain huts, where the sun rises through the bare windows at 5am, they not just a luxury but a necessity.

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Monday, May 24, 2010


Iodake in a blizzard, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

It was OK as long as we didn't walk into the wind. Unfortunately, down there in the white there is a junction at which we had to do just that. The path being invisible, we walked off the edge of the mountain in the snow hoping we would land on a path below. More accurately, James walked - perhaps he could even see where he was going - while I, eyes stinging and being blown around like a little leaf, clung on to him pathetically.

[Iodake summit, part of Yatsugatake, at about 7am and 2700m]

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Thursday, May 20, 2010


Takayama, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Maybe the last picktur I'll post from "real Japan", this one is of a restaurant in Takayama that we didn't go to. Instead we had a very memorable meal of prime beef tonkastu*, but I didn't photograph the probably equally good looking restaurant as I was too busy negotiating our entry to the establishment.

*It was a real treat because normal tonkatsu restaurants in our region of Japan don't serve beef, just pork and jumbo shrimp.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Takayama, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Old-timers* in old-time Japan. The streets of "Real Japan" were full of Germans and Brits. I think this was why it did not feel very real to me. Nevertheless, it is certainly worth a visit.

[*actually in-laws!]

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Monday, May 17, 2010


Takayama, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

More "Real Japan". Genuine, Edo period (1603 to 1868) vending machine.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Here's James exploring some more of "real Japan" on our holiday in April.

Coincidentally, James, after giggling at my pitiful state earlier in the week, is now a quite peaky himself. I hope the rest of JUMP don't get it.

...well - it was time we dieted a bit after our recent extravagances...but it is also sad cos we wanted to climb a snowy mountain this weekend, and now we are far too feeble.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010


bowls, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Rainbow coalition; same bowl, different light.

..sorry about the cliche - been under the weather today.. but I have discovered empirically that Pocari Sweat is awfully good for alleviating gastroenteritis.

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(Japanese) Jungle Crow, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Ever since discovering the cool Yellowstone Ravens last year, I've been trying to enpixelate one of our jungle crows.These birds are big, aggressive, audacious scavengers that shape the way rubbish collection is organised in Japan; it is only put out on the morning of the collection, and covered with netting, or put in crow-proof crates.

It understandable that their relationship with humans is not that great, and I think this might be why they are hard to photograph. They fly away as soon as they see that you are interested in them.

Anyway, this is the best pic so far. I would have liked to have included the tail and more of the red bridge in the photo, but I wasn't quick enough... it flew away before I could frame a better shot.


Update: Photo may be a carrion crow. Thanks to andrewt - see discussion here.

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Monday, May 10, 2010


Wisteria at Hachimangu, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Sometimes the extra height of the bipod can really make the picktur. I'm so lucky to have a bipod while all the Japanese have to carry stepladders around...

I wonder what would happen if I bought a blue camera with a flip-out screen as an accessory for my bipod so the automatic composition system could work while the "arms" are fully extended. Could it be that the world is even more exciting viewed from 7.5 feet in the air?

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


Bug, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The insects have come back to life!

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Friday, May 7, 2010


Gassho houses, Oogimachi, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

According to the tourist brochures, this is "real Japan".

I'm not so sure.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010


Wendy, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

I hope you noticed the frog family sitting on a rock in the pond of moss at the super-special zen temple of Chojuji. We recently acquired (gift from Mother In Law) a garden frog. She is called Wendy.

Putting two and two together, I can only conclude that we must be close to enlightenment.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Chojuji, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Chojuj, in Kamakura,i is very exclusive, in that it is always shut. But on Monday it was open and for only 300¥ we got to tour the pristine buildings and garden. The front garden was very like part of Daitokuji in Kyoto - similar moss garden and even similar decoration on the stone paths. Weirdly, SLR photography was forbidden, but anything else was OK, so everyone except me was taking pictures.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


self portrait, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Me - another liccle twit.

[Taken on holidays with inlaws, in Matsumoto, with N80 camera.]

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Monday, May 3, 2010


coal tit, Tonotake, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

A liccle twit, spotted by Helen on the way down the mountain.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010


Fuji-san from Tonotake, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

We'd seen it before, from the top to Tontake (the huts make you get up very early), so we were prepared to see Fuji-san turn pink at dawn.

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