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Gishi no Mokusou

Alex Forencich's contemplations on Life, Engineering, and Japan

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Tag: Photography

Today we left Sapporo and rode the train to Niseko (ニセコ町). The town and surrounding region is widely known for the ski slopes on Mt. Yotei (羊蹄山 youteizan) and the surrounding peaks, including Niseko Annupuri (ニセコアンヌプリ). The train ride to Niseko is rather long as the train is basically a bus on tracks. To get to Niseko, we took trains on the Hakodate Line from Sapporo, changing trains at Otaru Station. The train we rode from Otaru worked like a city bus instead of a train, with passengers taking stop number tickets when they get on and then paying the fare on the display for their number when they get off. The train also didn’t go much faster than a bus down the single set of tracks. The stations the train stopped at on the way were tiny. I will be sure to get some pictures on the way out of Niseko; I didn’t have a good position on the train to take many pictures out the window.

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After a good night’s sleep on our first night in Sapporo, we spent most of the day walking around the Sapporo snow festival. Called Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (さっぽろ雪まつり) in Japanese, the festival is held annually in Sapporo. We only plan to visit the site in Odori Park (大通公園 odori kouen) as we will only be in Sapporo for one full day. The festival takes up most of the park’s 12 blocks in downtown Sapporo. Apparently the Japanese self-defense force brings in snow from around Sapporo and uses it to build the gigantic snow sculputures, known as daisetsuzo (大雪蔵). There are also many other, smaller snow sculptures as well, built by people from all over the world.

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This morning, we got up around 6 am or so to see the sunrise. I wasn’t really planning on going originally, but with all the commotion of everyone else waking up and running out the door the hope for sleep was futile, so I decided to go ahead and tag along anyway. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the sunrise at all because of the clouds. The wind on the deck was beastly as well and I got completely covered in nasty salt spray while I was out there. The UV filter on my lens also got completely nailed. Oh well. After breakfast and a futile attempt at taking a nap that degenerated into another game of rummy, the ferry arrived in Tomakomai.

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As I said in my previous post, I would wait for the next bout of snow and then get up early and take some pictures. Well, that’s what I did yesterday. There was another snow storm night before last that left a very nice powdering of snow on everything, so I grabbed my camera and went for a nice long walk.

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Sendai holds an annual festival called the Pageant of Starlight or 光のページェント hikari no pejento. This year 550,000 LED lights were used to illuminate the trees down Jozenji dori (定禅寺通り). The lights are lit every night from December 12 through December 31st.

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仙台からメリークリスマス!(sendai kara merii kurisumasu Merry Christmas from Sendai)

It snowed all night Christmas Eve, so we had a pleasantly white (albeit somewhat cold) christmas here in Sendai. Also, it’s time to give the new 7D a workout! 7Dの初雪だな (sebun dii no hatsu yuki da na it’s the 7D’s first snow, isn’t it)

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I bought a new Canon EOS 7D camera and an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens from Yodobashi Camera (ヨドバシカメラ) today. I actually would have bought them yesterday had Schwab’s fraud protection been more forgiving.

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On the way to campus this morning, I decided to take a small detour and explore the Hirose river. The Hirose river runs around downtown Sendai and circles around Tohoku University’s Kawauchi Campus. The name of the river in Japanese is 広瀬川 hirose gawa. All of the pictures are HDR.

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The fall colors of the trees around Kawauchi and Aobayama campus have been very nice recently, so I decided to lug my camera to campus and take a few more HDR shots.

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Winter is coming. Over the past couple of days, the temperature has dropped several degrees and a beastly breeze has started blowing. Time to bundle up! Since I did not have class yesterday but I did have to run up to Aobayama campus to visit the lab, I decided to walk over and take a few pictures of Sendai on the way.

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