15th of August 2006, It was the last month of summer. Having enjoyed the hanabi festival early in the month, me and my wife made plans to hike up to the summit of Mt Fuji, the tallest peak in Japan at 3,776m. We prepared ourselves by spending weekends hiking around Shimane and also hiking up to the top of Mt Daisen.
A friend from Tokyo also joined us for the journey and experience. Our aim was to hike at night and make it for sunrise which is a popular way to see the summit of Mt Fuji. There several routes going up to Mt Fuji, but we took the most popular and safest route called Fujinomiya route.
At the end of the day you may feel battered and exhausted, however you feel a great sense of accomplishment and it really stays with you, even up until now. I recommend the hike to anyone fit enough to do so, the sunrise is amazing.
Back when me and my wife were just dating. We both went out to enjoy the annual summer fireworks event held over lake Shinjiko held in our city Matsue. You’ll find during the first week of August every year that there will always be a Hanabi Festival in a city near you no matter where you are in Japan. (Hanabi literately means flower (hana) and bi (fire) but it directly translates as fireworks in English). Warm summer nights like these is a great way to throw on a Summer Kimono (like us) and go out and eat some great food and drinks, such as yakitori and beer, hashimaki (my favourite), and Kuri filling manju (Chesnut filled buns). after that you sit under the summer night sky enjoying fireworks.
Being new to fireworks photography at the time I can say I didn’t do too bad on my old Nikon…
On August 6th 1945, a bomb called Little Boy, was the first atomic bomb ever used in war, was dropped over Hiroshima. The atomic blast instantly killed over 70,000 people, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.
The only building left standing was the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition, now called the Genbaku dome or known as The Hiroshima a-bomb dome. This building is a grim reminder of the devastation caused by nuclear weapons and also serves as a memorial to the people died.
The truth is that even today many nations still hold onto nuclear weapons. There is enough nuclear weapons to annihilate humanity and earth.
There are a small number of victims still alive today to tell their story. An 80 year old lady by the name of Junko Morimoto has published a book called My Hiroshima [click here to go to Amazon page]. Published in 1990, Her beautiful illustrations depicts the devastation she experienced when she was only 13 years of age at the time. Even today at her old age she still actively visits many schools to illustrate art work to educate children about the devastation of war.
(Note: The second a-bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on this day 9th of August 1945.)
On my first post about Queen Victoria Building; I captured a picture of the west side exterior of the building which shows the beautiful craftmanship from the stone masons how worked on this building, the picture detailed a stained glass window. (CLICK HERE TO SEE). But this time I have got a shot of this window from the interior.
Koinobori are Carp Streamers traditionally displayed above roofs of homes in Japan to celebrate Tango no Sekku, a traditional event which is a designated national holiday called Children’s Day that takes place on May 5th. Koinobori are hand made by drawing carp patterns on paper or cloth. Between April and May, Koinobori flutter in the spring breeze like kites. Koinobori are displayed in honor of their son(s) and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.
A typical koinobori set, from top-down, has a black koinobori, and a red koinobori. If there is a boy in the household, a blue carp is added, and other colours are added for additional boys in the household. The biggest (black) koinobori represents the father, next biggest (red) for the mother, and ranging down to the smallest carp for the oldest to youngest son.
Koinobori range from a few inches long to a few meters long, and they all vary in prices too (some can get really expensive).
The Koinobori you see here were taken near Matsue City, these were donated by parents who their sons are no longer children and have moved on to adulthood.
Looking forward to the appearance of Comet ISON in Winter 2013 (and Comet PANSTARRS in March 2013, too!)
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