Month: September 2002

The waters of the…

The waters of the onsen are about 50 degrees celsius. It is not possible to bathe with the monkeys, though about 300-400 meters downstream from the onsen for monkeys there is a rotemburo for humans (there are quite a few rotemburo in the Yamanouchi-machi area).

This rotemburo is part of the Korakukan Ryokan (tel: 0269-33-4376) which is an old but excellent wooden ryokan with steep narrow staircases and creaking floorboards.

Getting to Jigokudani is…

Getting to Jigokudani is relatively difficult, as the environment is harsh with heavy snowfalls (snow covers the ground for 4 months a year), the elevation is around 850 meters (about 2790 feet), and the only way in along the narrow 2 kilometer long footpath through the forest. Public transport in these parts is a bit sporadic, your only real option being the bus company servicing the snow resorts of Shiga Kogen and Yudanaka Onsen. The bus timetable is pretty sparse, so if you are going to visit you would need to allocate the better part of a day, and ensure that you have the times of the descending buses written down so that you do not need to wait for too long at the bus stop (the weather up in these parts can change quickly for the worse).

The monkeys in this valley are Japanese macaques (one of the 22 species of monkeys in the genus Macaca), part of a group of primates whose habitat stretches from Japan through to northern Africa (only humans – genus Homo – are more widespread). This species is found on Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu having crossed from Asia via land bridges.

There’s something in this…

There’s something in this PhotoShop trick that I just find irresistible. My expectation (and hope actually) is that I’ll tire of it soon enough. One of the (also irresistible) dinosaurs on the Promenade.

Natural light, sunset at…

Natural light, sunset at Lares. I’ll live with the bit of jiggle to keep the flash from flashing. Here’s where I started doing Nancy’s trick of Image-Adjust-Selective Color-add some yellow and a bit of black to the neutral range. Then I still did the Image-Adjust-Levels to brighten up the foreground. I didn’t do any of the Sharpen filters but maybe that would have been interesting, and I could be playing with the Brush Style filters…

My Century City Office…

My Century City Office Tower Holiday Decorations. What won’t they think of next.

The whole lobby was full of these painted white branches, with red and green leaves and several hundred red and white birds and twinkle lights all wired together into huge tree shapes and then, the important part, sprayed with red and silver glitter.

And draped from the center of the ceiling of the two story atrium? Acres of thick red bunting.

Joan, my next door…

Joan, my next door neighbor who takes care of all the animals in the neighborhood. She buys them small jars of baby food when they seem ‘a bit off’ and orders extra in the restaurant because she knows this one loves salmon and that one loves chicken.

Leslie and Gerhard at…

Leslie and Gerhard at the Getty. We had an entirely enjoyable afternoon and especially took note of the many faces of the marble, from far away and middle distance and close up where whole worlds live inside.

As to the garden experience, I always tout the same thing – go early, before the museum part opens and enjoy the garden in peace. This day again lines of obedient tourists were snaking down the paths like little kids on a fire drill.

We did have some…

We did have some fun too. This woman is the godmother of Gerhard’s 16 year old son (who is staying with Julie and Les for a few weeks and doing a summer job at the firm – the son that is, not the godmother).

Oh we did eat and drink and be merry – Matsuhisa, Figtree, Joe’s – all too good. And all the walking only made the food all the more delicious. This was just a small interlude in my summer campaign to physical fitness. That’s the plan anyway.

This is at Lares…

This is at Lares where I like to walk down from Roger and Sandy’s place and we get a shot of tequilla and a great dinner and hear some tableside ole music to go with the meal. The center picture is Roger’s. He doesn’t own it and they won’t sell it to him so he enjoys it there, at Lares. They did promise not to sell it to anyone else though…

Jigokudani Rotemburo. Here’s…

Jigokudani Rotemburo. Here’s the bit about that monkeys that I got off the internet somewhere:

Groups of wild Japanese monkeys are living in Jigokudani Yaen-koen, which is located in the mountains in Nagano. You can see these famous monkeys all over in the park. They are used to being around people and living as if they are humans.

There is an outside hot springs that was made just for the monkeys. In winter, you will see them soaking themselves in the hot water while the snow falls on their heads. Somedays they stay up in the mountains, but hopefully you will be able to see them bathe or swim in the hot springs.

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