Friday, October 31, 2014

From Kamakura to Green Tea High!

It was a beautiful day. It was Thursday. And, the best part of all was that I took the day off from work. I was in the mood to do some traditional sightseeing instead of my usual exploring of everyday life. So, I decided to visit Kamakura and check out the Big Buddha.

It's easy to take a train all the way to the Big Buddha but I opted to get off at the main station in Kamakura and walk the rest of the way. The back streets are always interesting to me.

After about a 30 minute walk I had arrived.

I felt so lucky to have a blue sky today; it makes for such a lovely background for the big bronze guy.

I wanted to do something cleaver and interesting but in the end I shot these traditional images - they seemed to work better than the other kooky stuff I tried.

Buddha's saddles are hanging on the wall behind the school girl.

This is a large incense burner. It's supposed to be beneficial to ones health to rub the smoke on your body.

Everyone is taking pictures.

This place is starting to get quite crowded so it's time to move on.

This is the purification spring at the entrance. One needs to purify themselves when they enter the grounds - don't worry, I did it when I entered and these school kids on a field trip are doing it as I depart.

Just outside the entrance are souvenir shops selling oddities that are usually only purchased by foreign visitors (and there are a lot of them).

Still early in the day so I walked to Kamakura beach. In the summer this place is packed with swimmers, surfers, wind surfers and party animals. Today I've just about got the place to myself.

Well, almost to myself.

After beach combing for awhile I returned to the main part of town and it is full of happy visitors checking out the shops in (what else) "Shopping Town".

After pushing my way through Shopping Town I arrived at the main shrine.

Cute kids.

Wow, this charming Mother was a real stand out in her beautiful Kimono. And, another cute kid.

This place is crawling with cute kids today.

Some of the older kids are looking cute too!

Moving on to the lotus pond I see that the lotus are now past their prime for this season.

This gentleman was sitting in the sun enjoying the day. At least I think he was enjoying the day. I hope he was enjoying the day. Time to go.

Fast forward. I returned to Yokosuka for a late lunch in Verney Park. The white 5 story building across the bay directly behind the lady with the umbrella is where I work.

Fast forward again. The day was still young and I didn't want to waste any of it so I jumped back on the train and went to Hinodecho to do my usual exploring of back streets and other delights.

Oops! I think I'm exploring the wrong back ally. Moving on.

Interesting color of hair. It is almost Halloween.

A close up of my old pal Nicky. She's always willing to pose for a portrait.

It was while I was taking Nicky's picture that my cell phone rang and it was Emi suggesting that we meet in Yokosuka-chuo for a drink. That's the kind of invitation that I live for so back to the  train station I headed. Of course I shot pictures as I walked briskly along the way.

I paused for an artistic moment in front of the Yokosuka-Chuo train station for this image of some flowers just before meeting Emi.
By-the-way, Emi doesn't think that blurry pictures of flowers are artistic at all.

Ah, after a full day on my feet walking around taking photographs I'm at Otako for a drink with Emi and our old friend Hiro.

Hiro is retired now and we don't get to see him as often as we'd like.

This is the Green Tea High! A drink made with shochu (kind of a mild vodka) and green tea. It's served in a large draft beer mug with ice and it really hits the spot!

There's Hiro talking with his hands.

A last parting shot of Otako before putting the camera away for the day and quenching my thirst.
Today's images were taken with a Sigma SD1 Merrill camera and various Sigma lenses.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Walking + Camera = Fun

Me and my camera off to see what we will see on a bright beautiful autumn morning.

Oh the joys of walking. Just put one foot in front of the other and soon the world is going by at an enjoyable pace.

Walking is even better when you do it with a friend.

Undercover walking.

One of the many nice things about Yokohama is the sidewalks. This place is a walkers paradise.

Nippon Odori has especially wide sidewalks.

Plenty of room for everyone.

Since I'm close to Zou No Hana park I'll just see what's going on over there.

Well now, this looks promising.

Folk dancing!

One never knows what one will see. This is fun!

And, these ladies are good.

They move to the music so smoothly, so well choreographed; very impressive.

The participants are having such terrific fun.

This lady snagged a guy from the sidelines. At this age there's no need to be shy; if you see something you like, grab it!

Well, back on the streets watching the world go by.

I prefer not to listen to music while I walk; others need to walk to the beat of their favorite band.

A live performance in Yokohama Park. The day is full of surprises.

She's good and soon a crowd starts to gather.

While others in the park tend to other things.

Another nice thing for walkers in Yokohama is the abundance of clean public restrooms.

The Marlboro man in Yamashita park.

Showing some love for Yamashita park.

I never walk alone in Yokohama.

Speaking of happy surprises!  The Folk dancers have been replaced by Hula dancers!

I'm glad I came back to Zou No Hana park.


Double wow!

Dixieland band meets and greets with the dancers while the girls are waiting for the music to start for their last dance.

The big finale.

Back pounding the pavement. The day is so nice I feel like I could walk forever.

 Crossing the street to Aka Renga Soko where the Yokohama Oktoberfest is in full swing.

Beer lovers unite!

I enjoy a good cold beer but not now, I've got more walking to do. The paddle boarders are heading out to sea on the Ooka river.

Just when you think it can't get any better... it gets better! These guys were performing Okinawan songs with a kind of rock & roll twist.

This is the front of Kannai Hall in the Bashamichi district. There are often free concerts here on Sunday afternoon. It's always worthwhile to check this place out if you're in the area.

Time to head for home. I've walked for hours. My feet are tired, my legs are fatigued, and I couldn't be happier - it's been a wonderful day. I'm already looking forward to next weekend's walking adventure.
All images taken with a Panasonic GX7 camera and 15mm, 25mm and 42.5mm lenses.

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