Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hawksbill Mountain - Shenandoah National Park

More Skies and mountains from when I went up there with my father.
This time I visited a new trail and the tallest mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Hawksbill. 
Like Stony Man Mountain it reaches over 4,000 ft being the tallest at 4,051 ft (1235 m). 
This was the first time I have been up to this one and it will be one that I re-visit for sure. Offers views into the valley to the west and views to the east on the plateau heading towards the ocean. 
It is some what developed as they have s stone shelter up there, not for camping, and also the highest point where there use to be a marker they built a stone wall where you can stand or sit and look out over the blue mountains. 

Like Stone Man, the view is not blocked by trees as there are rock outcroppings that drop off on the other side. 

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My father over on the left, I'm looking south...

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sumida River at Night in Tokyo

The Sumida river runs along the east side of Tokyo. This part specifically is near Asakusa Shrine and Senso-ji Temple. It is actually a park along the river and you can ride the river cruise there and take it all the way to Odaiba if you like.
Anyways enjoy the pictures, glad it was such a nice night, it was the last night that I spent in Tokyo.

Nice couple relaxing along the river...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nintendo Headquaters in Kyoto

The World Head quaters of Nintendo is located in Kyoto! I happen to come across the building with my friend by accident. We got off the subway to early before the one we were shooting for which is the one Fushimi Inari Shrine. Anyways, we jumped the gun to early and jumped off in the rain and realized it wasn't the right station. I turned around and said, "Hey isn't that the World Headquarters of Nintendo?" Sure enough it really was, dumb luck I guess haha.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ryozen Kannon - Kyoto, Japan

The Ryozen Kannon was a war memorial that was created to honor the Japanese that had died from World War II. The main statue of the Kannon is made of concrete and steel and was done in June 1955 and created by Hirosuke Ishikawa. It is 24 meters tall and is the Bodhisattva of Mercy. 2 million Japanese are honored here with tablets and also the memorial of the Unknown Soldier from World War II is here as well.

This was a nice stop in the area of Maruyama Park and not to far from Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
A lot of Japanese people lost their lives in the war especially from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be very respectful to visit this once to honor those who lost their lives.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

High Bridge Trail State Park

High Bridge Trail is a nice long train in Virginia that is now a State Park. It was once part of the Norfolk Southern and once part of the Southside Railroad. The trail was finished this year and completes more then 30 miles of trail that is available for use by pedestrians, bicyclists and even horse back riding. The name of the park/trail is from the "High Bridge" that traverses the Appomattox River near Farmville, VA. The bridge its self is 2,400 ft/730 m long and depends at what place it stands 60-125 ft off the ground.
Was originally built 1854 over the river at this location and it was all wood with 21 brick piers which can be seen the the photo below where they still stand next to the newest bridge. During the Civil War, both sides tried to destroy to get an advantage. the Confederates finally did manage to set it on fire but it went out on it's own. After the Battle at High Bridge, the Confederates soon surrendered at Appomattox. 
In 2004, the last train went over the bridge and Norfolk Southern donated the 30 miles to the states conservation and recreation where the puled and estimated $11 million budget to turn it into a trail/park system. The current steel bridge that is used was built in 1914.

Great trail and views from the bridge...

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

This building is really interesting tower that stands up in Shinjuku! You can get a great view of it from the streets and also from the Shinjuku Metropolitan government Building which I have a post up here.
This building is a 50 story educational building with three individual educational institutes; Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion), HAL Tokyo (tech and design) and Shuto Iko (medical). 
It has been standing since 2008 and is the second tallest education building in the world but only ranked 17th in Tokyo. 

This was taken on way out of Shinjuku Park behind the Government building

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The Mode Gakuen held a contest and offered up someone to design  the building that they would move into with one requirement that it not be rectangular!

This view is from the Government Building's Observation deck...

info from Wikipedia

Friday, September 7, 2012

Calm day at Belle Isle in Richmond

So Belle Isle Park is in the middle of the James River near downtown Richmond Virginia. It is a great park to walk on, jog, ride your bike or what not. You can get to it from Tredegar Street and take a walk bridge that runs under the Lee Bridge on over. 
There are more post from the past on Belle Isle here, here, here and here.

It was a little overcast that day by a bit but still pretty nice and not to humid. At least the river was below normal levels so no murky brown water...

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building - Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

If you are in Tokyo, I recommend going to Shinjuku of course but you have to go up in the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building! this one building houses the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and governs all 23 wards, the cities, towns and such that make up Tokyo as a whole!
It was once the tallest building in Tokyo but the completion of Midtown Tower in Roppongi it lost the fight. The tower is located in Shinjuku of course and stands at 799 feet (243 meters) with two towers that emerge from the main building at floor 33 with a total of 48 floors. Now on the first floor of the building you can enter and you can go to either tower to the observation deck at floor 45. It is free and their is a cafe up there as well as gift shops with a bunch of things to sell. At that time it was a lot of Tokyo Skytree merchandise. 
There are many shows and movies that this tower appears in. One of my favorite is Mobile fighter G Gundam, or G Gundam for short, where this building is the last standing building in Tokyo when the Dark/Devil Gundam destroyed the rest. Also in Digimon Tamers, which might have been second generation Digimon a lot takes place at the Tower including the organization and battles. 
Well enjoy the pictures, you need to stop here to get a view of the city! Plus this is one of the towers in the entire city that stands this tall and is FREE to go up to the observation deck since Skytree, Tokyo Tower and other towers in Roppongi you need to pay a bit. You can get there from Shinjuku Station and follow the signs that say Metropolitan Government Building. Or Subway station Tochomae. 

It is quite impressive to see!

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more images below...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Nanzen-ji Temple - Kyoto, Japan

The amazing Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto is pretty sweet to view. Most of the grounds are free so that is a plus as well but expect to see lots of people visiting since it is really popular. 
This temple is in a class of it's own, it isn't one of the Five great Zen Temples of Kyoto, or "Kyoto Gozan", but it stands above the five that are in that class (including Tenryu-ji and Tofuku-ji). Also known as the Five ountain System. It had the title "First Temple of The Land" which it has above the others.
Nanzen-ji in 1291 was founded by Emperor Kameyama.

You will noticed an aspect of this temple that no other temple has in the lands is a large brick aqueduct that cuts through its south side bring water from Lake Biwa to the city of Kyoto. It is a canal that is called Sosui. The canal was started in 1881 and finished in 1890.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Graffiti in Tokyo

So all in all I really didn't see much Graffiti on my travels in Japan but I did come across this poor Vending Machine that seamed to have gotten it good. It was near the east entrance of the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden as I came across it when I left. It was next to a building that was completely covered in vines which I thought weird being in the city. The machine had my favorite soda!


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