Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peace Waterfall - Revisited

6th May, 2008 - We went for a drive today up to the Peace Waterfall (heiwa no taki)... actually, we had been here before in 2003... but now it was Spring not Autumn... And the waters were flowing even more strongly than before with the winter's snow being all but melted now. I tried my hand at a slow shutter speed to get the flow of water... with only some effect given that I was working without a tripod.

It was much easier to ramp up the shutter speed. Two very different takes on the same scene. 

And of course - here's one for the family... with T-chan behind the camera.

Actually there's some bushwalking areas around here, going up into the hills. The native forests, even close to the city, are quite wild. And that also means they have bears, so you have to always ensure you're making lots of noise. People will wear bells or they now have little electronic alert sirens that go off intermittantly. Thankfully I've never come across a bear in Japan.... but they are a serious concern when walking in Hokkaido.

There's something about the hills (mountains) around Sapporo... they're both wild and yet also carved and shaped by human endeavour. Just down from the Peace Waterfall can be found this typical hillside... which always reminds me of a scene is Akira Kurosawa's Dreams movie from 1990...  

There's a scene where a boy finds himself watching a living hina matsuri (doll or girls festival) on the terraced slopes of a plum orchard.... don't ask me why, but like that boy, I wonder what would happen if the trees were suddenly transformed into the living Imperial Court resplendent with Emperor and Empress, nobles and entertainers alike... Sometimes I have flights of fancy...

 Actually, we had been intending to go to hanami once more ... this time up at Toda Kinen Bochi Kouen which is to the north of Sapporo. However, given that it was Golden Week, it had seemed everyone and their dog had the same idea. The traffic was bad... but got progressively worse until we were almost gridlocked - and it was still about 20-30 km to go. We gave up and that's when we had gone instead to the Peace Waterfall (kinda in the opposite direction). This is the great irony of Golden Week. It's such a perfect opportunity for the Japanese to get away that they do... They all do. At the same time. Resulting in a human+car congo line that can go for many 10's (if not 100's) of kms when it's at it's peak. My advice is, by and large, avoid coming to Japan during Golden Week. And if you do - book accomodation early, and expect there to be lots (and I mean LOTS) of Japanese tourists competing for tourism space with you.

At the end of the day's driving, L-kun was very tired, and went off for a nap straight away. Actually I have to say, we were worried about his sleeping arrangements initially, as he had gone from sleeping in his own cot to sleeping using a futon in his own room (either Mummy or Daddy or both of us would often lay with him to get him to sleep, but other than that it he would sleep through). One thing is that he's a hog when it comes to sleeping (he rolls all over the place). So often time he would have rolled himself off the futon altogether.


  1. Ben, your blog simply fascinates me.
    And I am glad there is a person like you who thinks about Japan.

  2. Thank you kindly... I guess it's not hard to see that I love Japan (though there's always a downside to every country)... it is very much a part of our family, and a source of continual fascination for me.