Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Around Kakunodate Town

You can't live the life of a Samurai forever. Sometimes you just need a wasabi Kit Kat (which is a real thing). What's up, Kakunodate town?

Japan, everywhere neat and orderly. View from the train station.

Precious produce store. Fake flowers.

Car park. Slow day.

Home greenhouse. Industrial sheds.

Edge of town giving way to a mountain of color.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Shoanji In Kakunodate

On the way to the Samurai section of Kakunodate is a nice Buddhist temple, Shoanji. It's a traditional looking place, complete with an atmospheric cemetery.

The entrance gate.

The cemetery and a nice Buddha sculpture across the street from the complex.

Temple entrance.

Cemetery guardian detail and screaming fall color at the temple.

Near the front entrance, a hushed prayer area.

Friday, 22 February 2019

The Aoyagi Manor In Kakunodate, Japan

Along the beautiful main Samurai street in Kakunodate is a nice house museum that belongs to the Aoyagi Touemon family. Their family history dates back to the 1600s, shogun times. The house and surrounding gardens give a nice sense of how a well-off family lived in Kakunodate back in the day.

The main house.

A statue of the patriarch. The armory, featuring items from the 15th to 19th centuries.

A typical interior room. Refined.

The museum displays plenty of collectibles from the recent past, including many Gramophones and the family's sophisticated musical taste.  Show offs.

Anatomy lesson. The museum has a copy of the first translation of a Dutch anatomy book and the illustrations were executed by Odano Naotake, a distant relation of the Aoyagi family. The book dates to 1774.

Another look at some of the impressive armor. Equally impressive grounds.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Fall Color In Kakunodate

Kakunodate is a small Japanese town in the north of Honshu island. It's famous for featuring a preserved section that dates to the Samurai era. Traditional Japanese houses, minimalist with tatami mats and lanes lined with dark wood fencing. Any time of year is good for a visit, timing it for fall color is special.

Taking a stroll down one of the fenced streets.

A gate leading to a Samurai house and the fall color, bragging.

People dress up in traditional Japanese outfits and come make an afternoon of it, snapping themselves in the classic environment. Time to get your obis on, ladies.

Nice details, a carved eave and another entrance.

Go ahead, get the full experience, hop a rickshaw.

More leaf porn. And the ladies again: old setting, modern selfies.

Looking like a train set model of old Japan.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Petroleum Museum Of Sarawak

In the town of Miri, there's a hilltop museum devoted to oil. It's located in the area where oil was first discovered in the early 1900s, putting Miri and the state of Sarawak on the map.

As titled, the Grand Old Lady. This oil well drilling rig is the star of the show, the actual rig used during the discovery of oil until the area's retirement from the oil business in 1972.

At the bottom of the Lady, hard work preserved.  Inside the museum, lots of exhibition space. People, not so much.

Deep sea oil platform model.

Old school tools, reinforcing the hard work involved in oil production.

Next to the Grand Old Lady, a pump jack.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Night In Mulu

It's nice getting away from the city lights for a bit and watching nightfall creep across the forest. Mulu offered that opportunity and the chance to capture some surreal images.

A stop sign, about to lose its effectiveness.

Add a little annoying flash to the scene and the photographs start to look like the results of motion-activated animal cameras.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Mulu Skywalk

Time to get high. In the Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo, you can do just that. The park boasts the canopy walk is the world's longest tree-based path at 480 meters. Sure.

Getting up for it. The path goes in a giant, meandering circle, from tree to tree.

Link by link between trees. A water view.
And cliffs, nice to get up and closer than ground-based.

It's a thin path and only a couple of people can be traversing each link at a time. Look down at your own pleasure, risk.

Careful treading.