Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Header For Autumn

By now, I bet you have seen more than enough of me posing in front of a concrete factory haha.
Yes, I am referring to the header I used previously which is no longer there. I have replaced it with a new one, since it is already autumn here in Japan. Just like my two previous attempts of making new header every time a new season begins, I will continue doing this for the third time. Prior to this, I have blogged about the making of the headers for spring and summer this year. Autumn, which means there will be only one thing which will come to our minds - autumn foliage.
Trains in small city like Nagaoka.
A 12-minute journey cost 190 yen.
In small stations, there are no ticket machines. The green box is for passengers to insert their used tickets.
I returned to the maple garden I went last year for this job. Momiji-en (もみじ園) is located just three stations away from Nagaoka station. It was a sunny Saturday and I thought it was the best opportunity for me to do some shooting sessions. After packing everything necessary, I headed to the train station and took the next train which was heading to Raikoji.
A short walk of about fifteen minute from Raikoji station will take you to the entrance of Momiji-en.
The entrance of Raikoji Station.
It is just a small town in the outskirt of Nagaoka city.
Be careful of the guy pointed above lol!
I took a different route this time by not walking up the slopes which are mainly used for people who go there with their own vehicle. Instead, I hiked up the pathway according to the signboard that would lead me to the entrance of Momiji-en.
The map for the convenience of the visitors.
A brief history about the garden.
Momiji-en used to be the cottage for the Kamiya (神谷)'s squire of Mr Takahashi around 1896 (Meiji 29th). It is not a huge place; it is only a small garden with only an area of 4,000 square-feet (about half the size of a soccer pitch).
The most common species in this garden is the Japanese maple which grows in the wild on the Pacific ocean side of the northern part of Japan all the way down until the Kyushu region. Back then, Mr Takahashi who owned a business in Kyoto, transplanted this high quality breed of maple trees to this garden all the way from Kyoto.
Wooden door entrance to the garden.
A building where they perform the traditional tea ceremony inside.
My timing of visiting the garden was a tad too early, because not all the leaves of the maple trees have turned into red, orange or yellow yet. Perhaps if I go there one or two weeks later, the view would be much more magnificent, just like what I saw last year.
Anyway, I wanted to snap pictures when they turn on the spot-lights once it gets dark later that day. So, I purposely timed my schedule so that I didn't go there too early, otherwise, I would have to wait too long until it gets dark. However, I later realised that it is better to take day light pictures in the afternoon when the sun shines brightly. The pictures I took last year were so much better because I went there in the morning back then.
Not the best, but still not bad I would say.
Having a picnic under these trees should be a wonderful experience.
Visitors who took the weekend holidays to visit the garden.
Remember the terms we learned in Geography last time? They called the Malaysian forest as malar hijau.
I wonder if they call this one malar merah haha.
These trees have lived for hundreds of years.

Fallen leaves in the small stream.
Taking pictures of the foliage alone isn't enough because there was an undone job still awaiting me. After surveying the area, I finally found the perfect spot for my shooting. The leaves in the stream that flows through one section of the garden provides me with a perfect background to balance up the pictures.
I actually had to wait for some time before this area was clear from the visitors. In fact, I offered to take pictures for one family and when I returned their camera to the lady, she said to me "Yeah, taking pictures for us saves more time so that you won't have to wait too long right?"
The ideal spot for my header.
Set up everything before I started snapping away.
I just smiled to her but what she said was actually true also-lah because they like took forever to snap a photo haha.
This time, I was equipped with proper equipments compared to the last time I made the summer's header. Back then, I used the back seat of my bicycle as a make-shift tripod, which somebody said that it was a sampat (stupid) idea haha. In the end, after a few attempts, I came out with a final shot in which I edited a little bit using Picasa.
Header for autumn 2009.
Besides just using the garden as my shooting location for my header, I planned to do some pictures snapping there as well. But luck was not on my side at all. Earlier that morning, I saw the battery was fully charged but I forgot that it has been a while since I last charged it. By the time I reached the garden, the battery started to weaken already sigh.
In the end, I hardly managed to take many pictures of the garden as I would have like, which explains the dullness of the foliage pictures in this entry. I planned to revisit the garden again within this week, but it is predicted that it will rain throughout the week sigh.
Soon, the sun slowly set behind the mountain.
The lights was turned on.
Photography enthusiastic began to look for the best shots from different angle.
The sky was still rather bright.
It is during time like this I wish I have a better camera.
On my way home, I made a huge mistake that led me cursing myself until I reached home. Here is the story. I was supposed to take the 5.35 p.m. train and I cannot miss that because I would have to wait for another two-long hours for the next one, even though the journey takes only twelve minutes. On my way to the train station, I saw a bus and found out that it was heading to Nagaoka station. Without confirming how long or how much it would cost, I jumped into the bus.
It was after a while that I realised that it would take me more than forty minutes and it cost 350 yen if I take the bus. Going back by train would cost as little as 190 yen and it takes only twelve minutes. FML. I quickly pressed the button and got down, ran to the station and managed to take the 5.35 p.m. train. Even though I would pay almost the same amount in the end, but I can save almost triple of the traveling time. Thank God that in the end, I still reached home in one piece haha.
Moral of the story, never hop onto a bus without asking first lol!


fufu said...

yeah taking bus is always expensive and travel time also longer... now you know it =p the momiji in japan is great... the autumn in germany is boring ><

bee said...

erm....ur mix izzit ? i mean are u chinese , chindian or chi-srilankian ?im asking bcoz in kl got such a thing as chindian also

calvin said...

@ fufu:
if it is slightly more expensive and takes longer time, i won't mind, but certainly not until twice more expensive or longer >.<

as if you don't know the japanese; they will always come out with an event out of nothing and in this case, out of dried leaves haha!

calvin said...

@ bee:
hi, first time seeing you leaving a comment here :)

yes, you are right. i am a mixed between chinese, sinhalese and thai. just curious, what made you think so?

Kae Vin said...

buy a dslr seriously...

and nice shot

and of coz shots with sun light is way better than any spot light especially a nature shot

unless u wan ghost-movie kinda shots la..

=chuan guan= said...

i bet u still owe me lots of pictures..haha

Innocent^^Guy said...

yay!! new gay header!!! :P

Sheryl0202 said...

love the header! good work!Can you help me with mine? haha

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
i know i have said this for multiple times, but i am not ready to get a dlsr yet. money and knowledge problem haha!

wanna go there again, but weather has not been kind to me =\

calvin said...

@ =chuan guan=:
too bad you made the wrong bet haha!

calvin said...

@ innocent^^guy:
you just gotta admit that you love it, don't you? xD

calvin said...

@ sheryl0202:
thanks. i am sure you can make a far better header from the pictures from your trip to hokkaido ;)

Anonymous said...

emo nya

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
which one? xD