Modern cameras are pretty amazing. I took these two photos, handheld, when it was so dark at night that you really had to be careful walking around. There was hardly any light left and what there was came from the almost black sky, becoming a deep blue when picked up by the camera sensor. In the old days I would have had to use a camera stand and shot for a very long time with film and I’d probably wouldn’t have gotten this vivid blue. You might remember this post, which was taken a few minutes before these photos, at Chichibu’s Nagatoro village, deep in rural Saitama prefecture. This incredibly calm stream becomes a huge river as it gets closer to the capital, and ironic enough Arakawa means roughly “wild river”, in Japanese. I love these three old boats laid up for the night, resting for another day of transporting tourists down the river.
Here’s one of my favorite photos from last year, taken when I visited Chichibu deep in Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. I was walking up towards a small forest to take see the beautifully colored leaves when all of a sudden this lady comes carrying her kayak towards me. I just had to tell her to stop so I could take her photo in this gorgeous autumn forest! How often do you get to see a beautiful lady with a kayak on her shoulder in a forest? Actually she was on her way towards the Arakawa river for some kayaking. She must have been used to getting photographed by tourists! The second shot is just a bonus, a young tree for you to enjoy.
Last month I visited Nagatoro in remote Saitama prefecture, not a quick and easy journey by any means compared to most railway traveling in the Kanto region. Here’s the decorated (it’s close to Christmas after all) Nagatoro station (長瀞駅) just after sunset, and a couple of shots from the street leading up to it and of the railway itself. As a bonus, you get this lovely looking family posing in front of the station! I’m kind of angry with myself for not managing to get any good shots of the interiors of the station, maybe some of my readers have good photographs to share? I really love Chichibu and this part of Saitama, can’t wait to go again! The station itself is a very typical and well preserved Meiji era building from 1911. On average, this station sees 615 passangers a day, but I’d imagine there’s closer to a couple of thousand of passengers during the weekends and a mere couple of hundred during the weekdays.
It’s Caturday and no Caturday is complete without a cat post so here is one scrappy little fighter I met in Nagatoro on Wednesday. Interestingly enough this tomcat is not the leader of the wild cats in the little town of Nagatoro in Saitama prefecture, that distinction goes to the almost ancient Mugichan whom I met a couple of years ago (anyone who’s been to Nagatoro knows Mugichan). Sadly she wasn’t around this time. This golden tiger though had the scars to prove he was no wuss, I managed to get a photo of his unscarred side but on his left side he had more scars than I could count. Have a great weekend and a happy Caturday!