Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Folly Beach, South Carolina

Monday, September 17, 2018

Koko-en Garden, Himeji

Next to Himeji Castle is a traditional Japanese garden, the Koko-en Garden (好古園). If you're there it's certainly worth the time.
As you'd expect it's beautiful, with waterfalls and shady trees.
Of course there are ponds.
There are a couple of indoor spaces too. There's something magical about wandering through a traditional garden like this in Japan.
After this we headed back to the bullet train, and finished the route to Osaka where we stayed for a couple of days. Lots more photos to come - I hope you're not bored with my vacation shots yet!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Himeji Castle Roof

For this week's Skywatch Friday post, here's a close-up of Himeji Castle's roof. Notice the impressive detail in every aspect of this amazing place, and the more modern lightning rod to keep it safe!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Himeji Castle Views

Finishing my Our World Tuesday series on Himeji Castle, here are some views from within. As you're climbing to the top you see many beautiful sights.
You can see closeups of the rooflines and statues.
At the top there's a commanding view of the city.
Finally, here's a close-up of the embankment on which the castle is built.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Cambridge 1979 (1)

Here's the start of a series of shots from Cambridge, where we spent a few weeks back in 1979, just before moving to the United States. I found a few slides from that time worth posting.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Another San Fran Beach Shot

We had some fresh snow on our local mountain over the weekend. But I didn't get any photos of it, so my Skywatch Friday shot is another leftover from a San Francisco beach.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Inside Himeji Castle

This week I'll show you the inside of Himeji Castle. It's beautifully kept, though mostly empty.
To help keep it in pristine condition, shoes aren't allowed in the building. That's fine by me as that's how we live anyway.
In a couple of places my ultra-wide fisheye lens was useful.
Next week I'll probably show you views from the top.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New York City 2001

Here's a photo from when we were in New York City back in 2001, just a few weeks before 9/11. Yes, it was taken at the the top of the World Trade Center. I have very few photos from this trip.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

HImeji Castle Skies

To answer a couple of questions from Monday's post about Himeji Castle:

  1. It's built on such a tall foundation for defensive purposes. This is not just a decorative castle, it was a lord's final defense.
  2. You can go inside the castle, and I'll be posting photos of that soon.
While there, I noticed the following skyward view, perfect for Skywatch Friday.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Himeji Castle (Outside)

On our next day in Japan we took the bullet train from Hiroshima to Osaka, but made a stop at the city of Himeji, home of the incredible Himeji Castle.
This may be Japan's most famous castle, and it's like something out of a fairy tale.
This castle was built between 1601 and 1609, and has remained intact through wars and natural disasters.
It's Japan's most visited castle and it's easy to see why.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Atomic Dome

I don't have words to describe the feelings from being in this place, so I won't try. If you want further details read one of the many online articles about its history.
It used to be the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall before August 6, 1945.
The bomb exploded almost overhead, which is why parts of the building survived.
Now it's surrounded by a thriving, modern city.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Local Lightning

It's not one of my best lightning shots (obviously for Skywatch Friday), but it's a fun one taken at my house. If I'd been out a few minutes earlier the sky was lit up, but by the time my camera was ready some low clouds had moved in.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Obviously Hiroshima is famous for the atomic bombing, and while the city is now a modern, thriving metropolis, they have preserved parts of the past, including creating the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This is the Memorial Cenotaph, through which the famous dome is visible.
When we were there, many schoolchildren were visiting; it's obviously a very important historical location.
This display includes items exposed to the blast.
I try to stay nonpolitical on this blog, but this place makes a person very aware of the utter futility of war and imperialism. The lack of historical understanding in the modern world, along with the spread of widely-believed lies, makes me very nervous that we're headed into a very dark time. And that's my lecture for Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hiroshima Castle

One of Hiroshima's must-see sights is the Hiroshima Castle.
Since the original from the 1590s was destroyed in the atomic bombing, this is a replica built in 1958.
Inside is a museum about the area's pre-WW2 history, but no photos are allowed. From the top you can see the modern city skyline.
The locations of the old castle are still visible in the grounds.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Miyajima Torii Gate

Don't worry, I'm just starting on my many photos from Japan and South Korea; you'll be bored of them before I'm done. I'll continue withe Myiajima's most famous site, the Itsukushima Shrine's torii gate. Can you see it in the lower left of this photo from the ferry?
Here's the more famous view of it.
Any way you view it, it's an amazing thing to see.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

San Francisco Beach

Here's a leftover Skywatch Friday photo from San Francisco. The view was even better in the opposite direction.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Miyajima Park

Large sections of Miyajima are dedicated to parks, and a visitor must spend time here.
Everything's just as you'd expect in Japan, perfectly kept and clean.
Wandering around here was one of my favorite things in Japan. And that's saying something!
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