As I was almost reaching the top to Kamishikimi shrine, I was treated with a mysterious peek of the shrine and it was a different view for me so I took a break and set up my tripod for another long exposure shot with LITTLE Stopper from LEE filter. Please enjoy.
I was really happy that in my life, I am able to visit this shrine which has so much tranquility and mystery that is located way off the beaten path and definitely off the chart for tourists in Kumamoto. When I first saw how mysterious and hidden Kamishikimi shrine is, I even contemplated about making a trip there just by commuting by train then by foot. When I was there, I finally see how the shrine was well hidden up the steps into the forest and the area indeed provide a very good sense of peace. I set up my tripod for long exposure around the shrine and will be featured for the next few posts. Do stay tuned and enjoy!
When I was waiting at the pick up point just next to the exit of Kumamoto station, the tip of this pagoda caught my eye as it sticks out of the trees up on top of the hill. I wondered what structure that might be and I was already anticipating on planning a walking trip there and make that structure my photography object. After I settled down in my hotel, I made a quick check on the various attractions in Kumamoto and as quick as I started researching, I found Hanaokayama Peace Pagoda, which is a stupa, a monument to inspire peace, to provide focus to people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in search for world peace.
Only using basic hand tools, Hanaokayama Peace Pagoda was built by Nichidatsu Fujii, Nipponzan Myohoji, from 1947 to 1954 on top of a hill. It was a climbing of slopes and flights of stairs before I reached the pagoda. It took me some breather before I set up my tripod for long exposure and HDR shot of this beautiful structure.
As a very popular tourist attraction, I was not surprised when I saw hordes of visitors in the premises of the Kumamoto Castle. It is indeed very beautiful and worth the visit during my stay in Kumamoto because it is one of the premier castles in Japan. This is when the BIG Stopper from LEE Filter came in handy for me when there are crowds of tourists around the castle and I can use a long exposure to blur them out in my image.
It was a sunny day with a clear blue sky so I waited on a bench looking for an opportunity when the numbers of people in front of me are at the least before I quickly set up my tripod.
After spending a lot of time doing research for a good photography opportunity in Fukuoka, I finally came across the Atago Shrine which is located on top of a hill where I can have a breathtaking view of the Fukuoka city with the Fukuoka tower in good view. Getting to the Atago Shrine from Muromi station involves in walking and climbing up the slope as it is a hill, to locate this shrine as a tourist, GPS will prove to be very handy, otherwise, get a pre-paid data plan on your mobile phone to look for this shrine. The walk was definitely worthwhile for me as I had a very good view of the city in the evening. I aimed to get there before evening so that I can take a night shot with long exposure. Please enjoy my picture.
Located in Sasaguri, Nanzoin Temple is fairly convenient to get to by train from Hakata station in Fukuoka. I just have to purchase a train ticket for the destination of Kido-Nanzōin-mae Station and the rest is simple just by searching for the right platform to board the train.
After alighting from the train and out of the station, the reclining buddha statue is so big that you can’t miss it from the exit of the station, just look up and you will be able to see it. The temple is a very short distance walk away. It was a very nice visit to the temple for me. I like it there.
It was easy to locate the entrance to the hiking trail of elephant mountain. Just do a research using the internet and locate the entrance on the map, following my mobile phone and found the entrance without any difficulties. But the toughest part is climbing up the seemingly endless steps of stairs up the elephant mountain. I had all the fresh air around me that I needed and occasional cooling breeze cooled me down in a sunny day. I kept myself going up the steps without taking too many breaks as I know very clearly for myself, if I take too much breaks, it will be harder for me to start climbing again every single time.
Finally, when I reached the look out deck, I was treated with a million dollar view of the Taipei landscape with Taipei 101 standing gloriously. With the fast moving clouds, I made a long exposure shot of the landscape with BIG Stopper from LEE filter and made the image into a HDR. I love this picture!