We went to Hase to see the Great Buddha today. I’ve taken numerous photos of him on our numerous visits, in spring and in fall, in dry weather and in rain. The challenge now is to find something different to capture and portray with photography, other than the usual obvious portrait-like shots. Today I didn’t seem to be up to the challenge, so, for variety, here’s a photo of some trees near him.
Today we went to Uji, a town near Kyoto known for its production of tea. We first stopped at the Agata shrine, one of the oldest of its style in Japan:
We bought a couple of matcha bowls from this gentleman:
He has a small but beautiful stock of tea ware. We bought a bowl from him during a previous visit, but didn’t discover until today that he has a rather good command of English. It turns out that he has visited the US a few times “when [he] was much younger.” His website is here.
We traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto by shinkansen yesterday. We’ve traveled by train in Japan dozens of times without incident, but this time I somehow managed to leave a suitcase on the train. I’m claiming distraction due to a local fellow striking up a conversation with us while we were en route. This led to a somewhat drawn-out and faintly confusing encounter with the Lost & Found office in Kyoto Station. When we arrived at the hotel, we described the situation to the receptionist. She took matters into her own hands and arranged to have the suitcase delivered to our room sometime today.
Yes, we’re back in Japan. We arrived early evening yesterday and it’s now about 6:45AM on Tuesday, local time. I didn’t get a chance to put up my customary pre-departure announcement here because, in short, life’s been a little crazy lately. We are looking forward to a relaxing stay in Japan. Somewhat ironically, a big typhoon hit Japan just as the storm in Boulder was tapering off, causing flooding in Kyoto and other areas.
I learned long ago that I shouldn’t make promises about my blogging activities while traveling, but my goal for this excursion is to post a minimum of one photo a day. It may just be a silly snapshot with no explanation, and it almost certainly won’t be touched up nicely before I post it, but it’ll be something. That’s the idea, anyway. To that end, here’s a shot of the Tokyo Station as seen from our hotel-room window, somewhat hastily taken shortly after our arrival:
Something really exciting happened in the middle of the flood, but I didn’t mention it at the time because, well, it was in the middle of the flood. What happened was Audio Damage’s debut as a maker of synthesizer hardware. Yes, just after our 10th anniversary as a corporation, we announced not one but three Eurorack-format synthesizer modules. They are: DubJr, a delay; Grainshift, a pitch-shifter based on granular synthesis; and Errorbox, a bit-crushing digital-distortion effect. Here are photos of them:
It rained some this morning but was clear and sunny from around 11:00AM onwards. Quoting from the Daily Camera:
Meteorologist Matt Kelsch said the yearly precipitation total hit 30.14 inches Monday. The previous record for moisture in Boulder in a single year was 29.93 inches, set in 1995, he said. … This year, almost 15 inches of the record 30.13 inches fell between Monday evening and Friday in the deadly storm that caused a 100-year flood across Boulder County. That amount doubled Boulder’s previous record for a single storm, which was 7.37 inches of rain May 5-8, 1969.