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Saturday 15 November 2008

Otaru: Canal and Warehouses

Otaru is a harbour city northwest of Sapporo. I learned about Otaru from a Ph.D. student in Saitama University and I decided to make a day trip there when I was in Sapporo.

The journey from Sapporo Station took about 30 minutes by the express train. A local train would have set me back another 30 minutes of travelling time.



The most beautiful site in Otaru is the Canal and Warehouse area. Thanks to the conservation movement in the 80s, Otaru Canal (Otaru Unga) and some of the warehouses were transformed into a beautiful waterfront.



Otaru Canal used to be the backbone of this harbour city for transporting the goods from bigger vessels to the warehouses using smaller boats. It is now obsolete as modern dock facilities at the port can unload and reload the cargo directly from the big vessels.



During day time, the Canal is always filled with tourists, locals and foreigners alike, for a pleasant stroll. The local artists display their artworks here and hawk for buyers. By late evening, this beautiful waterfront turns into a very romantic rendezvous point for couples.



The gas lamps lit up the banks of the canal, making it even more romantic. If someone proposes to his girlfriend here, I think he has 99% chance of getting a "yes" as an answer.



When night falls, some of the warehouses turn into cafes and restaurants. Some of these warehouses are museums and shops during day time.



Wednesday 12 November 2008

Wordless Wednesday – Cosplay on the Street







Location: Takeshita Dori, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
Date taken: August 10th, 2008
Camera equipment: Nikon D300 + Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D

Monday 10 November 2008

A Hidden Paradise

Yesterday, I joined the PhotoBorneo group for outing to a hidden paradise around Kuching. It is located between Singai and Matang and it is around 40 minutes drive from Kuching City Centre, and this place is called Bobak.

We were told by one of the group members who's an expert in jungle trail that it is an easy hike. A lesson learned from this: "easy to an expert is extremely difficult for a novice".

We arrived at the first waterfall after about 30 minutes of hiking. The trail was slippery with a few steep slopes.

We stopped here for almost 45 minutes to shoot the pictures we like. Although it is small, it is such a beauty.

We continued on the trail and climbed higher to look for the second waterfall. It was another 20 minutes or so of hiking.

The second waterfall is bigger and has more ground to anchor our tripods. I noticed a rock which resembles a dog head at this waterfall, so I took a closer shot of it.

There were many water trails to shoot at this second waterfall too.

When we were moving up the slopes, there wasn't any incidence. But when we were coming down, I slipped three times and fell down facing downward once. I didn't notice the bruises on both of my knees until I was back in the car. I stretched my nerve on my right thigh too! So, I'm limping now.

I took quite a lot of shots of some interesting bugs too. I find this green spider really beautiful.

There was a fiery centipede hanging around us too.

This white bug with fluffy hair is beyond my comprehension. It looks like an angel to me.

I don't know what this shrimp-like bug is. This is the first time I have seen such thing.

We spotted a very beautiful stink bug too on the way down.

We found also a dead spider nearby with Cordyceps fungus growing on its body. It was dead due to the fungus infection.

Before we all called it a day, I took the last shot of a long-legged spider with two spikes on its body.

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