Monday, June 29, 2009

gargoyle, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The other day we found a shrine not on the Kamakura tourist map. Too small to be included I suppose, but google maps on my iphone knew it was there. It had some nice carvings, and the gargoyles were rather cute and only slightly scary.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

James, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Thirteen years ago on midsummer's day, James and I got wedded. It has taken me a whole week to take a half-decent photo of him, to show you just how well marriage has suited him.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

fragile opportunists, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Unlike some, these tiny flowers have real character. I have previously seen them flowering colourfully in the cracks between ancient flagstones that pave temple grounds. These ones were found dangling elegantly from one of the pots in our "garden". The next day they were completely gone, thanks to an overnight rainshower.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

butterfly, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

B is for butterfly but the blue pattern on its wings makes a V in this picture. The Japanese for V is Bwee. It gets even more confusing when bwegetarian lunch at the canteen is described as stuffed pork parcels.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

jin-riku-sha, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Nothing stops the touristic fun in Kamakura. Noon on Sunday, the rain had just decreased from tipping buckets to merely torrential.

While it seems the beauty ideal for most Japanese is the anorexic twig, I much prefer the look of the well toned outdoorsy guys and gals who pull the rickshaws.


Friday, June 19, 2009

vegetation rampant, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

In April the same pond (a different angle) looked like this. Go veggie!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

cute car, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Super cool salary man brightening up the toxic waste dump part of town.

[photo taken by iphone while riding bicycle]


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tokyo cliche, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Next century technology and medieval culture. You already knew that, but it still keeps us entertained each day.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hotel Okura, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Actually it isn't true. Rather we had a huge rave at Hotel Okura, one of the top 3 hotels in Tokyo. And I improved my minor-royalty number by one point.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Tokyo, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

We spent a weekend of quiet reflection in Tokyo.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Kamakura beer festival, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Put off by the photo showing a huge throng packed into a small hall, I convinced James to not to go all the way to Tokyo for the Beer Festival last weekend. Instead we went to the Kamakura Beer Festival, attended by two people and held in our lounge. I suppose it was a bit lame compared to the real thing, sampling only 7 beers from a single company, but Kamakura beer is particularly good. I see their website currently sports a picture of some....hydrangea.... there is no escape....


Thursday, June 11, 2009

ajisai, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

If you want to see as many hydrangea varieties as possible, covering several diferent shapes and the whole (pastel) rainbow then Hase-Dera (near the Daibutsu) is the place to go. If, on the otherhand, you want blue blob overload then Meigetsuin (yesterday's photo) is not to be missed. Expect queues at both places.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meigetsuin stairs, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Even for those who don't appreciate ajisai sufficiently this is a precious shot of a a famous view at Megetsuin in Kita-Kamakura. It was taken at 8.25am yesterday, just before the full bloom was announced on the TV. When such things are announced on the TV, the whole of Tokyo comes to visit Kamakura. Luckily we're heading out to Tokyo this weekend.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ajisai, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Proper flowers have architecture (like the passion flower), or they might have striking colours, or patterns or interesting smells. After all the idea is blatant advertising; they want the insects to visit them rather than some other flower. Then there is the hydrangea (ajisai). Flat little flowers that form amorphous blobs of pastel. I hate pastel. But in rainy season we must worship the hydrangea. You have been warned.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

passion flower, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

In its prime, our passion flower has had at least 60 flowers at once but last year the damp got the better of it, and one of the main branches died. The flowers it does have are, however, no less remarkable than before.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

flowers, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

[Kamakura, Japan]


Friday, June 5, 2009

hachimangu, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The classic view of Hachimangu in Kamakura is something like this (only better, of course). Without serious cropping it's only possible with a long lens, since as you move closer to the buildings, the higher one become hidden.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

sugita sunset, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The toxic waste dump part of town, where we work, at its best.

[photo taken by iphone]


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gorinto, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Two armies ready for battle? Three hundred samurai killed each other here at Sugimotodera, the oldest temple in Kamakura. It's an interesting place for a battle with not much flat ground on the otherwise steep hillside. These gorinto are for the repose of the dead samurai.

I find it helps to put these things in the context of what was going on elsewhere in the world at the time. So here goes. The battle occurred fifteen years before Corpus was founded, while the legends say that the temple was founded around 100 years before Alfred the Great didn't found Univ.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

lotus, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Rainy season is coming.

[Hachimangu pond, Kamakura]


Monday, June 1, 2009

supersize daisies, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Some things in Kamakura are huge: the insects, the bamboo, the spiders, the butterflies, some of the trees... and the daisies. Even more excitingly, Lan's lens has learned to focus proper like.


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