Monday, February 28, 2011


cedar fever season, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.
Allergy season in Tokyo starts around this time. In these parts people do not suffer from Hayfever, but Cedarfever from the pollen of the Japanese cedar tree (Sugi in Japanese). I suppose that, like in the UK, it is really the mixture of pollen and manmade pollution that causes the problem, so that the suffering may be worse in the towns than in the forested areas. So far James and I have been mercifully Cederfever free, but many people do get quite seriously affected.

As James mentioned earlier, it was forecast that this year should be a worse Cedarfever season than usual - about twice as bad. While visiting Sugimotodera, a particularly aptly named temple, James decided to shake a tree to see what it was all about. We were both rather surprised by the massive plume of pollen that fell from the tree.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Uncomplaining portait #3: Hotei, god of happiness, was as happy as Hotei, to model for me.

[Jochiji, Kamakura]

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


Tengu, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Uncomplaining portrait #2: We came across a tengu in the woods. He was happy to pose for me.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


James, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Gavin thought that the reason there were no people on my blog was that I did not like to photograph them. Then I found out why I was reluctant to post my photos of people - flowers, bugs and buildings don't complain. Gavin did.

Here is number 1 of the uncomplaining portraits.
Husband: doesn't mind looking weird. Hopefully.

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Monday, February 21, 2011


Robai @ Jochiji, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

At first you think it is all cherry blossom. Then you learn that the ones without flower stalks that are flowering in February are "plum" blossom, not cherry. Then you discover that boke is a flower, not a just feature of a lens. This is good as it means we can all take photos with "great boke" even without investing in that 85mm f1.4 lump of glass.Then your eyes are opened and you realise almost every tree in the temple grounds is a differently specially special species,

This is robai, with a weeping ume behind. At Jochiji, Kamakura. Clever photo by James, using wide-angular macro feature of his little camera, and managing to include blue sky, despite its scarcity this weekend.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011


Zuisenji, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Zuisenji - our local.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More ice

Icy car
Icy carIcy car

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Icy plants, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The weather is playing tricks again. Just when James thought it was spring, the coldest snap of the winter got going. Luckily we have some new clothes.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

CP+

Wild excitement today, as CP+, the biggest camera show in Asia, is in town.


CP+

From the bizarre - handy magnetic tripod
CP+

To the ridiculous - camera bondage
CP+

Entertainment for pervs on every corner
CP+

Stereotype reinforcement lectures for women
CP+

Fondling of vapourware for the geeks
CP+ Vapourware
[Yes that's me squeezing a non-existant Fujifilm X100!!! I reckon I earned lots of geek points by crashing the firmware twice in my 3 minute test drive.]

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Monday, February 7, 2011


Oranges and daffodils, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Oranges and daffodils.
A special post for James' readers,
who will send corrections.

It isn't even a proper Haiku!

[Engakuji, Kamakura]

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Environmentally friendly Pielke!!!

I'd thought he was just one of those US physics professors who didn't know about conservation of momentum, but it turns out that he's not so stupid after all. At one of the International Workshops in Tsukuba Epochal (a soulless building in the most soulless town in Japan) that are held around this time of year in order to use up the budget on meaningless and harmful travel, there appeared one Pielke senior - on the big screen! Japanese internets being blazingly fast, interaction suffered no delay. At the end there was a little time for platitudes, during which much regret was voiced for all the things "missed" for not being there in person. But what did he really miss?

Delights of Tsukuba
The Tsukuba Epochal's many automatic stop-start escalators?
James already looks bored...

Delights of Tsukuba
A warm friendly handshake from James?
Note how much bigger (bigger=better?) than James is Pielke.

Delights of Tsukuba
Sunset in Tsukuba Epochal. Yes, there's still no one around. 
There is never anyone there... apart from the people who polish it.

Delights of Tsukuba
This is more like it - real Japan?

Delights of Tsukuba
Oh no - the workshop dinner is at a Yuba (soya milk curd) speciality restaurant!

Delights of Tsukuba
At least our beer is no worse than that in Colorado (whence liveth the Pielke)

Delights of Tsukuba
Now we're talking! The first place I ever ate pizza - in the 1970s - was Shakey's Pizza Parlour in Boulder, Colorado. That restaurant is long gone  - but curiously they can be found here and there in Japan. One such establishment occupies prime real estate in downtown Tsukuba. Yes, that's a slice of chocolate and banana pizza! Surely Pielke would have felt right at home here after all. What a shame he couldn't be here in person....

(...wise, wise man...)

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