Saturday, October 16, 2021

Yokohama in Black & White - maybe some color too!

 A little black & white photography of Yokohama for the monochrome fans out there.

Play ball! Yokohama is blessed with a great baseball stadium.

The massive tall buildings of the Minato Mirai skyline are dwarfed by Mother Nature's big beautiful clouds.  

The view from Osanbashi pier is always spectacular.

Let's hope that the Cruise Ship industry can rebound from the pandemic.

The road leading to the Osanbashi Pier/Yokohama International Terminal. 

The entrance to the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery. It may not sound like a nice place to visit but it truly is a must see spot for sightseers.

A poem at the cemetery entrance gate.

Not far from the cemetery is the English Rose Garden. This is a round-about at one of the garden entrances, it's used by buses to reverse direction and there's a nice fountain in the center.

My favorite spot in the garden is this magnificent pavilion that overlooks Yokohama bay.

In my opinion, on a nice day there is no better place in Yokohama to bring a girl on a date. The view is incomparable and best of all... it's free!

The view from the pavilion. This picture cannot do the real view justice. One really needs to go there to enjoy it. BTW, if you are on a date bring a box lunch to eat while you enjoy the view, it'll be much cheaper than a restaurant! 😍

Heading out and I can see the Yokohama Marine Tower in the distance.

Autumn clouds are making an appearance today. 

A better view of the Marine Tower from Yamashita Park. 

The next best place for a cheap date is Yamashita park. Hey! speaking of dates, there's my wife! (she's in the center of the picture).

The Hikawamaru under a cloudy sky. This ship is a permanent fixture in Yamashita park. Admission to the ship is about 300 yen and it's well worth it to take the tour.

Strolling the Yamashita Rinko Line Promenade. 
Check this out!

The tall tower in the distance is the Yokohama Customs House.

If you want the thrill of your life ride the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel. If you're afraid of heights (like I am) a ride on this wheel will scare the hell out of you. Once was enough for me. 

This is more my speed.  It's the new Yokohama Air Cabin. 
Air Cabin Info

It looks like fun and it's not to high in the sky.

Objects in this picture are closer to the ground than they appear.

See what I mean!

Everyday people in black & white.

Monochrome is great but it would be a crime to show pictures of China Town in anything other than living color!

A person could visit China Town 100 times and there would still be new things to discover ( I know this for a fact).

The best time to eat in Yokohama China Town is lunchtime Monday through Friday. That's when many of the restaurants have cheap lunch specials. 

Just walking the streets and alleys is good fun (think cheap date 😎).

One of the cooks has escaped from his kitchen.

Last shot of the day: Yokohama is so fantastic it makes the older folks get up and go out and enjoy life!

Thanks for stopping by!

Bonus shots! Who likes cats?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Destination - Iwate Prefecture! (part 2)

 The show must go on - day 3: Bus stops are our friend. 

Yes, bus stops are our friend, unfortunately not many buses stop at them. Today's plan is to visit the Takamura Kotaro Memorial museum. The problem is that there is no bus stop near that location. So, we get off at this stop and we'll walk 4 kilometers to the museum. Of what fun!

Well, there is an upside to this situation, the country side is beautiful. The walk goes by quickly because we're surrounded by golden fields of rice and the sky is full of wonderful clouds.

We're on the right track, the sign says it's only 1.5 kilometers to go!

The walk would probably be even quicker if I didn't keep stopping to take pictures.

We are not alone.

We are in the middle of nowhere and suddenly we arrive at the sports center where parents are watching their children play soccer. 

It's not far now! We're only a few minutes away!

So, here's what happened. We arrived at the museum and the first thing we asked the staff was where is the nearest bus stop to take us to Hanamaki city; where we plan to eat lunch. The staff kindly informed us that the nearest bus stop was the same one where we started. We will need to walk 4 kilometers back to where we started. After a quick check of the bus schedule on line and we will only have about 40 minutes to goof around the museum and then we'll need to return to the bus stop. Time is critical, if we miss the bus to Hanamaki city it'll be 2 more hours before the next one. And, lastly, there is no photography in the museum so I have no pictures to share. Sorry!

On the road again! Heading back to the bus stop.
The clouds were so beautiful I decided to switch my camera to monochrome (black & white) for a little change.

I should probably use monochrome more often, I think this is nice.

Fortunately for us the weather is perfect.

Passing by a farmer cropping rice by hand.

I wanted to do a comparison of black & white versus color. First this scene in B&W.

Then switch the camera back to color and take the same picture. 
I tend to like the B&W picture a little bit better.

We made it back to the bus stop on time and after a nice bus ride out of the countryside and into the city of Hanamaki we arrived here. The bus driver told us this was the closest stop to the Maruakan building where we planned to have lunch. This place is like a ghost town, almost nobody on the streets.

The Marukan building is in the center of the picture, the restaurant is on the 5th floor. It's the top floor with all the windows. The town may be empty but the restaurant was packed! It was an excellent dining experience. Some information here

Day 4: The last day! Free time in the morning.
After breakfast we packed our bags and decided to visit the small gallery attached to the Oosawa Inn before checking out.

The gallery is the original Inn and it's on the other side of the stream. We have to cross this bridge to get there.

Looking through the trees one can see a riverside hot bath.

Walking around the gallery.

The gallery has many rooms, each room has many items from the old days.

At the entrance to this room is a kind of fisheye device that they recommend people to take a picture through it. So, we did.

On the way back over the bridge to the main Inn I took this picture of one of the outdoor riverside hot springs. Photography of a bath is frowned upon, but there were no people in comprising situations so I did it! 

This is an old photograph of the same bath. It was on display in the gallery.

One last picture of our Inn before we get on the free shuttle bus to the Shinkansen station.

Shin Hanamaki Shinkansen station. 

And, here comes our train! Time to go home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bonus shots from Yokosuka!