New Zealand Photo Interlude

I’m in Auckland right now, and I’m just back from three days in the bush, staying at a friend’s bungalaow – called a ‘bach’. It was out in the boonies up north and on a cliff overlooking the coast. No electricity and no Internet, just a wood stove, as its winter down here. These are just a few random B&W and color shots from the weekend.

Fireflowers 2016

Saturday was the night of our local fireworks display here in Yurihonjo. The Japanese word Hanabi – 花火 – literally ‘flower fire’, sounds so much more descriptive when rendered as ‘fireflower’, that I’ve come to prefer it. It was a short 15 minute bike ride to the river side site of the show. Though it was still light when I arrived, many groups had already staked out their areas. I had a beer and kettle chips with me, and a folding camp chair to sit on. These are a few of the better shots I took.

Okinawa part 3 – Beaches

This part of my Okinawa trip photos will focus on beaches. Most of these shots were taken on Sesoko Beach, on the northern part of Sesoko Island. A few shots were taken at the Churaumi Aquarium in Ocean Expo Park. Other shots were taken on Kouri Island, off the northern coast of Okinawa.

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Okinawa Aquarium

Okinawa Aquarium

Okinawa is home to some very unique architecture. It ranges from large, plain above ground tombs, to old farm houses, to a very particular way of tiling a roof.

First, one of the main architectural features that differs from prefecture to prefecture in Japan is the color and style of the roof tiles. Up here in Akita, they use shiny black roof tiles, but the tiles on Okinawa are orange with large patches of white grout to hold them down. Perhaps this has something to do with the strong typhoon winds which periodically rip through the islands.

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Okinawa Architecture

Okinawa Architecture

I was down in Okinawa in mid-May for a language conference, and it was my first visit. I took quite a few photos while down there, so I thought I’d organize them according to several themes. This one is Pottery. One unique feature of Okinawa architecture is the pottery good-luck demon squatting on the tile roof.  They are variations on the ‘Shisa’ lion-dogs found throughout Japan and China at most temple and shrine complexes.

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Old wood carvings at the Botanical Garden

Old wood carvings at the Botanical Garden