Monday, September 27, 2010

Mt. Ibuki

This past Saturday a couple of friends and I climbed Mt. Ibuki, the trail head to the mountain is a the shrine seen above. Mt. Ibuki is the tallest mountain in Shiga prefecture, Michigan's sister state in Japan. The nice trail below is about 20 minutes into the hike.Here is a view of the summit from the 5th station.The summit of the mountain can be seen almost directly above the coca cola vending machine at 1377 meter (4518 ft), the 5th station is at 880 m and the hike started at 234 m (767 ft).You can get an idea how steep the path is, it was rare just to have a simple flat walking path. We were able to reach the summit in just over three hours, here is our team photo.Here is another team photo at the top.The statue is a depiction of a legendary guy, the first person to concur Japan. I guess he concurred the west first, then came up to the top of this mountain and noticed there was an east side of Japan. At this point decided to get that half too.The backpack this guy was carrying weighed about 40 pounds and I could not figure out why (I carried it from the 3rd station to the 5th station. Turns out he had a kitchen in there with full function stove and fridge. It all lead to a good lunch, so it was okay.... This is the only way to make these kind of noodles taste like a 5 star restaurant.Behind me is the return path... Here are some grand views from the mountain top. First view is looking west over Lake Biwa, Japans largest fresh water lake. This large lake is also why Michigan is Shiga's sister state.The second view is looking south into the valley. 400 some years ago there was a battle (The Battle of Sekigahara) in this valley with 150000 solders, but it is peaceful today.Third view is looking over the east mountain range.And the last view is looking north to the parking lot that you can drive too and walk 15 minutes to the summit.But that is cheating.... but somehow this cross your mind as a good idea when looking down the other side of the mountain:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jupiter over Aichi University

Here is a nice view of Jupiter and the moon, seen from my apartment...Jupiter is to lower right of the moon.Here is one more view, with 200mm telephoto... Anyone know how to take a photo of the moon?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guam, Just Above Sea Level

I almost forgot, here is a quick tour around Guam! Above the ocean!Of course, the best way to get around the island is in a Mustang Convertible. And once in the convertible one place most people visit is Two Lovers PointThe legend is sometime a long time ago, two people forbidden to be together leaped to there death from this cliff. This site also has great views of the Philippians sea.Long drop...There are also a lot of animals everywhere too.Note the Japanese script to the left of the pigs, although Guam is an American territory, there are many Japanese tourist. So the island accommodates. There are lots of cows everywhere too.Here is Fort Nuestra De La Soledad, built by the Spanish.They would stop here when traveling between the Philippines and Mexico.Old school defence. Lastly, if you ever wonder where Tuna in Japan comes from, I verified some of it is from Guam.Much of the aft cargo bay was fresh tuna. If you have a chance, Guam is a great place to visit. Kind of like an affordable Hawaii.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Guam, Just Below Sea Level

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is part of the Mariana Islands chain. It is located about half way between Japan and Papua New Guinea and I was able to make a trip there during labor day weekend. Below is the bay of Tumon seen from the 19th floor of the Marriott.The morning of labor day was spent snorkeling in this bay, below are some photos of tropical fish taken just below sea level. Beyond tropical, I'm not sure what kind of fish these are, but we can identify them by color. Below is a school of blue fish passing through coral.In the photo below are two brown color fish kind of hiding in the coral, these guys were keeping an eye on me. Kind of looking over there fish cave I think.Black and white fish hiding in the coral.It turns out this crazy multicolor fish is known for attacking people, but they were cool this morning.These photos were taken by wrapping my point and shoot camera in a DiCAPac WP-410 case. The case worked really well, as in my camera stayed dry 100% of the time. Below are some black and white fish swimming away from me.I hope this coral can survive, global warming seems to be kicking up this summer...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nagoya Central Airport

NGO or Nagoya Centrair is main airport serving central Japan and is about 1 hour from baggage claim to my apartment via train.I might be a little bias, but I think Central Air is one of the better airports around the globe, it's actually marketed as a destination, rather then just an airport.While the airport part of the airport is all business, it is never really that busy and it is usually really easy to get through security (I guess that is not a great thing for the airport). But the other half of the airport is a shopping and restaurant area that has roof access for viewing airplane take-off and landings.As a result, people come here just to hang out, many with crazy cameras. Central air has a good focus on import routs, for example, both of its US connections of Hawaii and Detroit.The 747 above basically flies to and from Detroit. It's been reported on that next year this plane is going to get an upgraded interior with TV in the seats. The guy below, keeping you safe like it's 2025.Sorry for nerd post... I like planes.