Every time the moon wanes and an ever narrower crescent becomes visible, we enjoy the sight of an almost perfect circular disk with a narrowly illuminated edge. Due to the nearby elevations of the Kraichgau around the Königstuhl, the moon rises here in Rohrbach later as the announcements of the observation programs indicate. Yesterday, short after 6 o’clock in the morning I obtained the following image, drunk with sleep, no tripod, camera settings still correct for Japan, and an empty battery. Some of the treetops of the pine forest are faintly illuminated and can be seen directly under the moon.
The photographic repetition the next morning with an even narrower crescent moon spurred my ambition on. The visibility should start about 50 minutes later. After the end of daylight saving time at three o’clock in the morning it was almost the same time on the clock as the day before.
If it hadn’t been for the clouds ! No moon visible at all. The clouds divided the world into three parts with visible stars and darkness of the night still over the city: dark earth, blazing sky, and the perceptible vastness of the universe.
On the return flight I remembered the many Japanese drawings and paintings. During my stay I had taken extra pictures of pine branches in the hope that I would be able to achieve a painterly effect by post-processing them. I set to work with my laptop. The first image should be a pine branch of the Rengeo-In shrine in Kyoto.
I felt encouraged to try more, although operating the laptop on the plane was sometimes a bit difficult. The next try should be an image of the Golden Shrine Kinkaku-Ji in Kyoto.
The coloring of the picture is decisive for the success of this illusion. The colors of the Japanese paintings I have in mind are rather not saturated and the contrasts are raised more. With the photograph of an art installation in the port of Takamatsu I could still achieve a little of this illusion.
We met the first signs of autumn in Nikko.
Why do I like Japan so much ? People are polite and friendly and you never get hurt. How great is that ! The Japanese like beauty for their eyes and their ears.
Fresh flower bouquets can be found in the toilets of the motorway service areas. Nice music in restaurants, in the streets, in shopping malls. Decorated vases in our hotels when leaving the elevator.
Entering the port of Takamatsu, I found this beautiful composition of an artwork with propped firs. This was a pleasant introduction to our stay on Naoshima.
The combination of an exhibition and nature is an essential feature of the Naoshima Island. Beside the possibility to visit very special and beautiful, but expensive Museums.
At noon we found a little rest at the Pacific Ocean near this Torii.
On our way back to Takamatsu nature itself showed a wonderful spectacle of the sunset.
Matsuayama Castle was erected on a hill above Matsuyama. It hadn’t been a real strategic installation. But a demonstration of power. Inside, the paths are intertwined so that no one can easily find their way around.
The buildings seem to reach the sky. Like clouds they hover above the hill.
Today our ascent at Kotohira-Gu shrine was higher and steeper than yesterday to Matsuyama Castle. Before the ascent the usual shopping street for religious and tourist needs was located. I was happy with to oil-paper umbrellas, although it was rainy today. No sun at all.
After a night that I had slept badly, the ascent had been particularly exhausting. It is a construction feature of the plants to offer the interested again and again new and beautiful aspects.
That’s why photographers take a lot of benefit there as well.
Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu has been constructed in 16th century for relaxation of its owner. Photos can reflect little of the complexity to this park. From the main southern view point several groups of people with umbrellas could be observed crossing a wooden bridge. They probably wanted to leave the garden purposefully in this weather. Except falling raindrops no noise could be heard.
Often gold is just pushy. Not in the wonderful garden of Kunkaku-ji temple. We started early in the morning to have a chance to take a photo. A warm and permanent rain supported us. There were many people, but not as much as usual.
Our next stop was Ryan-ji temple. 15 is the sum of 3+5+7 and a holy number. 15 stones are dressed in a field in front of the temple. No one is able to see all 15 stones at once, without moving the head. Photographing the field without being allowed to move freely yields a distorted image.
The change from the quiet and rich impressions of the Zen gardens in the city to the Nishiki market was a kind of crash program. The folding fans of Kyoto appeared as a motif once again.
A narrow shipping street leads to Ginkaku-ji Zen temple garden. Many dealers offer all kinds of souvenirs. A merchant allowed me to take a picture of her folding fans.
The wild sea is a difficult subject of painting. So is it for a Zen garden, too. In the garden of the Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto temple I liked very much the intensity of changing aspects of a sand composition representing the wild sea.
It’s impossible to show the variety of aspects of this garden: one has to experience it. The rapidly changing variation of experiences in a confined space is a design feature of this garden.
Before leaving you look back on the beginning of the tour with these nice reflections on a slow moving water.
In the bus I look put for motifs than can convey a feeling of Japan. On a rainy day it might be not so hard. I find one at a rest stop. It doesn’t take much post-processing to get ready.
First impressions are important. The main station in Kyoto is loud and bustling. I’m not sure I imagined it under Kyoto. With a long time exposure I capture some of my first impressions of this great station. The lotus flower is everywhere present as architectural motif.
The first time in Japan is an overwhelming experience for me. Difficult to find words. We don’t really get to know Japanese. They are always very friendly and have a pronounced sin for beauty. There are also people here who live in homemade shelters on the street or rummage through waste bins.
Our primary touristic foci are the weather and the food. The weather starts with a capriole of a special kind. 3 days before a typhoon is supposed to hit the islands it gets sunny contrary to the announcements of all weather apps.
An earthquake is destroying our plans to observe volcanic activity in the mountains. Higher and higher waves force us to leave the coastal road to take our bus to Hakone. Traffic jam for the first time during our stay in Japan. The Pacific Ocean starts to show its aggressive moves.
The threatening disaster with the approach to the mountains and the first massive impressions of Mount Fuji are forgotten. I’m a little frightened by the force of the mountain as if a curtain were drawn up.
Just arrived at the hotel we do not check-in, but quickly push around the shores of Lake Ashi to admire the mountain during sunset. The summit weather changes every minute.
At such a sunset no one thinks of the threatening typhoon.
New love. New feelings. Less than one day in Japan. Tokyo means architecture like a mountain range. Food like a fair of flavors. Mild temperatures in the urban area. Some warm rain now and then.
Have I seen this before ? Hasn’t it been bigger ? The statue of liberty in Tokyo. Obaida: a skywalk for people and photographers.
A short night after a dinner in a typical restaurant. For the first time dining without shoes. Sitting low, feet underneath our tables. Lights, clouds and fog. Silence. Some sleep. Getting some rest.
Dawn is coming. Pleasant change through translation in space and time. We are not lost.
A reflection often leads me to a contemplation. That’s what happened to me today at the Berlin Reichstag.
At the shore of river Spree in Berlin are mounted plates to commemorate those who had been killed when trying to reach freedom. When photographing a reflection in a window front of the Berlin House of Representatives this reflection appeared slightly tilted and looked like a sinking ship.
Was the death of these people now pointless ?
What is the point of an overpopulated Reichstag, where the groups in dispute have lost fundamental commonalities and goals ?