Monday, April 30, 2012

botan

Public holiday today and Kamakura was full... but the crowds of botan (peony) were more photogenic than the crowds of tourists...

botan

botan

botan
[Kenchoji, Kita Kamakura]

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

blue dots

Not often I take a real macro, but these blue dot flowers were ipsy wipsy.

tiny blue dots
James has recently allowed me to restart unicycling, having previously made me stop while he got sufficiently better than me (this is one activity where helps to not be tall). It is now a race against time, as I must learn to ride faster than a mosquito before the mosquitos learn to fly. I suppose James is thinking that he only has to ride faster than me. I am, as ever, easily distracted by my camera and the blue dots were growing in the wall near where we practice.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

choclit

...chocolate cookie something frappuccino with white chocolate pudding.

chocolate cookie something or other frappuccino with white chocolate pudding!
We only cycled once last week due to our lingering colds and persistent rain (we cycle in the rain, but not when we are already ill, as it has been shown to make our colds much worse). Shortly we fly to foreign to get even fatter. So, I am not sure why James ordered one of these yesterday. I imagine the chemists at the St Arbucks laboratory doing the tests to make sure the white chocolate pudding in the bottom would go through the straw ... "hmmm...add a little more rubber and a less petroleum extract".

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Blossom fest

Must try and finish off the boring blossom blogposts...

sakura - Shinjukugoen
Having previously only seen Tokyo cherry blossoms in industrial Ueno park, I was shocked by the amazingness of Shinjuku goen. The park is huge, and has lots of enormous cherry trees. There is also a splendid panorama from Shinjuku goen on the "cover" of my facebook page . Google Plus seemed to have caused Facebook to become slightly more elegant than it was so I had a play with it while I was ill last week (I think it helped that I was feeling a bit soft in the head). It seems that for most normal people, Facebook is synonymous with the internet, which is a bit strange, but it is nice to see what people are up to.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pink and blue

 

[Sakuragicho, Yokohama - wot a lot of depth of field!]

 

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's a tough life

Jamesjules

James

Yes, life's been pretty hard since the start of April when we gave up most of out work responsibilities, and decided to enjoy ourselves instead. What's a massive paycut and less paperwork compared to frolicking in the cherry blossoms?

 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If you know where to go...

It is possible to find pretty much anything in Tokyo...

If you know where to go



If you know where to go


if you know where to go...

If you know where to go


But that's the tricky bit.

[another iPad blogging expt - which didn't really work]

Location:Somewhere in Tokyo

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Monday, April 23, 2012

While we're doing green...

James and I have both had a cold, so we decided not to cycle in the rain today, and get the train instead. Springtime livid green is once again upon us.

[Kamakuragu, Kamakura]

[iPad blogging]

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Yet more Starbucks parking

I thought I'd already blogged everything posh and parkable at Yokohama Motomachi Starbucks, but this morning was Lambigeenie green.

[ipad blogging]

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

tulipy things

Tulips

A brief respite from the cherry blossom. James said some of them are not actually tulips but mint imperials.

Tulips

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kamakura hanami

hanami=cherry blossom viewing

Komyoji

Wakamiyaooji

Hachimangu

Jinriksha

Nikaido

Hachimangu

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Forest


Forest, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

This is a test post. The camera on my ipad is awful, but I bought an Eye-Fi card, so should be able to blog photos from my camera via the ipad. Has it worked?

[Tenen hiking course - the alternative route to work - note cherry blossom romantically decorating the path]

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Komyoji

Komyoji

Komyoji

Komyoji

Free, slightly off the most beaten tracks in Kamakura, and open from 7am, Komyoji a good place to inspect cherry blossom. It also has a shiny new building, which has recently been landscaped around, and a Zennish garden with proper raked gravel and everything.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ladybird

ladybird
Leaves are sprouting, insects are hatched (or whatever it is that they do in spring). Soon it will be too hot and mosquitoey to run to work. First S100 closeup attempt. With these little cameras you have to get awfully close to your chosen insect. Thus he or she gave me a bit of agro. Stuck her bum in my face. Flapped his wings. Flew onto my wrist behind the camera, said "lol" up at me then dodged back and strutted about on another leaf. I wish I'd had my Nikon with me - but I'd just run 10.5km so it was hardly pratical.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Mitsutouge

I already blogged the witch hazel at the start of the walk, but here is the rest of the expedition:
After an early start we were ready for a slice of James' homemade banana chocolate chip bread in the park,

Mitsutouge
where there were one or two butterflies.
Mitsutouge
Quite near the top sit 99 red balloons. Um. 88 Buddha-y thingies. They're all admiring Fuji-san.
Mitsutouge
One part is bit is like a computer game. Melting icicles overhang the path, such that daggers crash down every few minutes, skewering unobservant walkers.
Mitsutouge
Fuji-san was evident from the summit
Mitsutouge
Trees in the forest on the way down.
Mitsutouge
Then there was an onsen, and a train home...

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

religious sakura

Christian sakura

YCC
Shinto sakura
Hachimangu
Zen sakura
Komyoji
Capitalist sakura
Ueno Park

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Friday, April 13, 2012

slow blogging

Cherry blossom are almost over - they all bloomed simulataneously. I can't keep up. Here is some old news - ume close-up.

ume
ume
ume
ume
[All taken in Kamakura: Hachimangu - that red background is the wall of a shrine, Engaguki, Engagkuji - I think, and Hachimangu]

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

new camera!

Just a BMW
Only a shiny BMW worshipping at St Arbucks for Easter weekend. But taken with a smart new camera!

On Good Friday I finally got so fed up with my Sony TX10 that I went out and bought a Canon S100. To a country bumpkin like me, it is quite a thrill to buy consumer electronics after 9pm. Even better, you just walk in to the store, say you want to buy something, and no matter how expensive it is, they run and get it, you hand over the cash and walk out with your new purchase, all done within a couple of minutes. In that time you can turn down the extended warranty with a single word, and the staff have checked you have the required accessories. Maybe the UK has improved in the last decade but it was never so easy there.

What was wrong with the TX10? Well it failed at its main task of being a fast point and shoot, because the touch screen would freeze up, often just after the camera was switched on. Yes you could still take a photo, but only in the same mode you used last time. The S100 is in theory probably a bit slower to switch on and snap with, but in practice it is much less frustrating to use (so far). I kind of wish it was a Sony so retained the great handheld twiglet, freeze motion, panorama and HDR modes, but you can't have everything it seems... Tempted by the NEX7, which has all those modes plus great image quality but it is twice the price and not so pocketable. The S100 is not waterproof like the TX10, but as James argued, the TX5 (the TX10's predecessor, which did not have the touchscreen issue) broke within a year anyway, so what value the "rugged" label? Perhaps I should try to get that TX5 repaired... I think it did a better job than the TX10.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

hanami

sakura
As expected the cherry blossom have come out super-fast, and so this weekend is THE weekend for enjoying them. After last year's "self restraint", everyone is making the most of the blossom this year. These photos are from Negishi park in Yokohama. The ball games were quite funny as there wasn't room for them so innocent people on adjacent tarpaulins periodically got things falling in their laps.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Magnolia

magnolia
While they are pretty much over in Yokohama, today seems to be the day of the Magnolia in Kamakura. A storm is passing over so they'll be disappearing very soon!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

time travel

Yesterday we climbed a mountain. The lapse rate allowed us to go back in time a few weeks to when the witch hazel were flowering.

witch hazel


witch hazel

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