Posts Tagged ‘ Kyoto photography ’

One Roll of Black & White Film in Kyoto

The eleven photos below come from one roll of film.  I shot it in Kyoto in mid-February 2003.  As the receipt (see very bottom) shows that I turned the roll in on February 18th, I suspect I shot this roll earlier that same day, beginning very early in the morning, when it was still dark (note that the the pick-up time says 6:00 p.m. the next day, the 19th).  Or I may have shot this roll over the course of two or three days.  I’m not sure.

Note that it was rainy and overcast.  Kyoto’s beautiful like that, too. (click pic for larger image)


Yasaka Shrine.





Gion Shinhashi. Shirakawa.


Gion Shinhashi 2.0.


Elvis, Yamamoto & Takayama: Love and Politics.


Fence and Pine.


Lake Biwa Canal.


Dai Torii at Heian Shrine.


Gion. 5.0.


Kurodani Temple.


Kamogawa (The Kamo River).



My receipt for the roll of film.



Featured Gallery: Shapes & Shadows

One of several Virtual Galleries here at (please click on the link): Shapes & Shadows.  Earlier today – 2 May 2010 – I added another photo to it, one I took several years ago in Kyoto.  It’s not quite what it may appear to be at first glance.  Nothing particularly tricky to it; it may require a double-take, though.  Please enjoy the entire Gallery, too.

Gion Festival. Kyoto. 2003.


Tag – this theme’s “it” for a while.

Earlier today LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com updated its appearance.  Those new to this site won’t know the difference.  For those who’ve visited over the past 10 months, since this site’s/blog’s launch, will notice right away that this “Monochrome” format (that’s what it’s called:  Monochrome), with its clean gray-black borders, really helps the photography stand out a whole lot better than the all-white site.

=  Note to those who found there way here via a Tag:  Feel free to use the site Search Engine (bottom right-hand side) and enter the term/tag/post/info you’re looking for.  One or more posts/stories/galleries, etc. should pop up for you. =

Also quite different (than just 24 hours ago):  the top of the page has very few tabs.  Now each photo gallery is clickable through the drop-down tab (GALLERIES) at the page top, as are the stories, via the STORIES drop-down tab.

Finally, I ought to note that a couple of weeks ago I made a Facebook page for LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com to keep Facebook aficionados updated on posts and featured galleries and stories here.  I’ve also started posting a few Facebook-only comments, features and photos on the LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com Facebook page.

A photo apropos to nothing in this post.  I took in in Kyoto this past November and, well, I like it.

Finally, I’m “tagging” this post with many of my photo gallery and story themes and post topics (below and in prior pages) in hopes that this or that random googler will stumble upon this site and what it has to — and will — offer.

Hope you enjoy . . .

Tetsuwan Atomu & Kyoto Station


Tetsuwan Atomu. Kyoto Station. 2009.


I’m not a particularly big fan of “Atom Boy”.  I remember the cartoons as a boy, but I was in the Loony Toons camp (Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny, etc.).  I just like this photo (above) I took in front of Kyoto Station this past November and wanted to feature it here on LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com .

Actually, a big, Hollywood-produced Astro Boy movie came out just a few months ago.  I’m not sure how well it did at the box office.  But I hope it did well.  Donald Southerland voices the evil “President Stone”.  Just saw Southerland — as “Oddball” (Big Joe: “What are you doing?” Oddball: “I’m drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.” —  the other night on a 40th Anniversary showing of “Kelly’s Heroes”( simply one of the  best movies  ever).    Anyway, Astro Boy (rather, 鉄腕アトム  Testuwan Atomu – “Steeled Atom Boy“, sort of) real icon in Japan, and, as noted in a very comprehensive Wiki entry, the Astro Boy manga, then cartoons, were really the precursor to today’s anime, a billion $$$ industry and entertainment phenomenon.  So that’s certainly saying something.

Kyoto Station. North Side, Central Entrance Astro Boy. November 2009.

At Kyoto station there are three, tall, information kiosks out in front.  Be careful about telling someone that you plan on meeting them at the one with the Astro Boy / Tetsuwan Atomu on top:  there are 2 topped by Astro Boy, and one topped by Kimba, whom I never liked (much, much too saccharine, even for me as a little kid).

A few more views of Kyoto Station, all taken in early November, below.







Happy Thanksgiving ( ハピーサンクスギビング )

—   Updated with new photos and a Kanji Lesson   —

Looking towards Shinnyo-do Temple. Kyoto. November 2009. My first Thanksgiving in Japan was in 1984. That tale’s told just below . . .

Thanksgiving’s coming up in the U.S.  Back in 1984, I and my friend Lori, from Mystic, Connecticut, took the Keihan Line from Hirakata-shi into Kyoto.  About a thirty-minute trip.  We walked over to Meidi-ya, near where San-jo intersects Kawaramachi.  Meidi-ya was the “international grocery store” nearest to us and where we went to stock-up on “exotic” American food for Thanksgiving:  canned green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for a green bean casserole; a whole chicken (turkeys were hard to find in Japan back then and, besides, the Nakamura’s, her homestay family’s, oven where we planned on doing the roasting cooking, was too small to handle a turkey); Idaho potatoes and gravy mix (we were not inclined to make it from scratch); dressing; cranberry sauce; and other odds and ends.

Harvesting rice in my neighborhood. Tsuda, Japan. Mid October 1984.

We brought the booty back to the Nakamura’s and over the next day or so prepared a very reasonable and respectable facsimile of a traditional American Thanksgiving Feast.  I think Lori made something like pumpkin pie, but that could be my memory playing tricks on me.  Being a Southerner, I made sweet tea.  With it being a special occasion, large bottles of Kirin beer and sake were on hand, too.  And rice.  Japanese rice, of course.  And as it was a special occasion, shoji were slid-back and three generations of Nakamuras and Lori and I ate seated around the low tables; my first (and so far only) Thanksgiving Dinner on the floor (a very comfortable tatami floor, mind you).

Meidi-ya Internation Grocery Store. Kyoto. November 10, 2009.

The Nakamura’s appeared genuinely touched and thought Thanksgiving was a very good and appropriate kind of holiday, worthy of celebration in Japan (no Pilgrim stories, but much to be thankful for with Japan and the Japanese going through good and awful times, sometimes owing to nature and sometimes owing to the choices of humans).  Lori and I had a blast, as 21-year-olds playing cook and hosts for Thanksgiving in Japan.

And Meidi-ya’s still there in Kyoto.  The same store in the same location.  And it still carries exotic Campbell’s soup.

Shinnyo-do Temple. Kyoto. Nov 2009.

Autumn Leaves,” from The Japan Times

A mosaic carpet of autumn foliage tinted in shades of green, yellow, orange, and red is currently rolling southward through the archipelago of Japan. 紅葉 (kōyō, crimson/leaves), the Japanese word for “autumn leaves,” only hints at the splendor of this multihued natural phenomenon.

Beeches, birches, persimmons, larches and ginkgos all produce beautiful colors, but the King of Kōyō “the tree to see,” is the Japanese maple (momiji; like kōyō, it is written with the kanji compound 紅葉). The crimson, lacy-leafed momiji — whether sunlit or artificially illuminated at night — is so impressive that the Japanese refer to autumn leaf-viewing in general as momijigari (紅葉狩り, Japanese maple/hunting).

The second kanji in 紅葉, 葉 (ha, yō), has the core meaning “leaf.” Mastering the shape of 葉 is a snap if you divide it into its three top-to-bottom components — 艹 (plant-life), 世 (generation) and 木 (tree) — and memorize the phrase, “Leaves are successive generations of plant life on a tree.” (Thirty years was the norm for a generation in ancient China, which explains why you can see three “10s” (十) in 世).

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Looking down the Takase Canal. San-jo (Third Street) , Kyoto. 2009.  The Takase continues down to Shi-jo (Fourth Street).  Turn right where the Takase  passes under Shi-jo and walk just a few yards west until you’re at Meidi-ya.


Looking North Up Kawabata-dori. Kyoto, November 2009.


Autumn Colors along the Kamo River. Kyoto, November 2009.

For summertime scenes and colors along the Kamo River,see this post.

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I’m going to take about a 2-week hiatus from  Back in early December.   I’ll continue to monitor comments, of course.  Happy Thanksgiving.  ハピーサンクスギビング