Japan – Stuck in Customs

Snowy Fantasyland in Japan

Podcast Saturday!

Before Passport Sunday, it’s Podcast Saturday again…

Season 8 Episode 1 of “Walk n’ Talk with Trey” This Episode: “Patrick Crawshaw and the language of Interior Design”

I was up in the Bay of Islands and stayed at this incredible place called Donkey Bay ( https://www.donkeybayinn.co.nz/ ). I was invited there by my friend David Maxwell who runs https://www.eighthwonder.travel/ . It just so happens that his half-brother, Patrick Crawshaw did the interior design for this unique place!

Check out the other episodes on your favourite streaming services (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play).

Trailer for 7 Days in Hell

This is, by far, my favorite sports mockumentary!

Daily Photo – Snowy Fantasyland in Japan

I slept inside one of these old farmhouses for a few nights. They look very cozy, don’t they? Well, let me assure you… they were absolutely freezing! The only warm room was the dining room in the middle where they made my dinner, but when I went back to my little room, it was way below freezing. I had about 30 seconds to get onto my futon under a blanket before I froze to death. The worst thing was waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, which was quite a long way away!

Snowy Fantasyland in Japan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-02-14 20:57:40
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Behind the Shot

Steve Brazill (@SteveBrazill) asked me to join him on his Behind the Shot podcast (@BehindTheShotTV) to take a look at how I made this image from Burning Man. We also have a little contest to win a “How to Build Real Influence” class I did with @laurenepbath. Check it out here!

The Boshin War

I BET you don’t know much about this war… neither did I until researching this spot in Japan featured in today’s photo. Below is from Wikipedia:

The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, “War of the Year of the Yang Earth Dragon”), also known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war fought in Japan between the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court from 27 January 1868 to 27 June 1869.

The Tokugawa Shogunate’s handling of foreigners following the Opening of Japan during the 1850s and decline from increasing Western influence in the economy disillusioned many kazoku nobles and young samurai warriors, who sought to return power to the Emperor’s Imperial Court in Kyoto after 683 years of Shogunate rule. An alliance of court officials and western samurai, particularly from the domains of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa, supported by the United Kingdom secured control of the Imperial Court. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the sitting shōgun, abdicated political power to the young Emperor Meiji hoping that the House of Tokugawa could be preserved and participate in the future government. Military movements by Imperial forces, French support, partisan violence in Edo, and an imperial decree abolishing the Tokugawa promoted by Satsuma and Chōshū led Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the Emperor’s court in Kyoto. The conflict rapidly turned against the Shogunate, and Yoshinobu personally surrendered after a series of battles culminating in the surrender of Edo. Tokugawa loyalists retreated to northern Honshū where they joined the Northern Alliance against the Imperial faction, but were defeated several months later and fled to Hokkaidō. In January 1869, the Shogunate established the Republic of Ezo on Hokkaidō to continue their rule as a separate state and sued for peace. The Imperial faction invaded Hokkaidō and defeated the Shogunate at the Battle of Hakodate in June, ending the war.

The Boshin War made imperial rule supreme throughout the whole of Japan, completing the military phase of the Meiji Restoration and establishing the Empire of Japan. The victorious Imperial faction abandoned its objective to expel foreigners from Japan, and instead adopted a policy of continued modernization and industrialization to eventual renegotiation of the unequal treaties with the Western powers. Tokugawa loyalists were shown clemency due to the persistence of Saigō Takamori, a prominent leader of the Imperial faction, and many former Shogunate leaders and samurai were later given positions of responsibility under the new government. Around 120,000 men were mobilized during the conflict and of these about 3,500 were killed, and over time the war has been romanticized as a “bloodless revolution” because of the small number of casualties.

Daily Photo – Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Believe it or not, I got really good at saying all these super-long Japanese names while I was there! I pretty much had to, since hardly anyone spoke English and I had to navigate the serpentine rail and bus system. I didn’t have much time in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, but I wanted to make sure this classic old castle was on the list… It took me down a whole interesting history lesson in one of the many Japanese civil wars.

Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-25 15:06:05
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Exploring Shirakawa-go

Speaking of Netflix

I decided to take a screenshot of My List on there… I put arrows to some of my favorites of the favorites!

Daily Photo – Exploring Shirakawa-go

I was glad I chose to spend several nights in this mountain town and jump around to a few different ryokans to stay in. All of them were very similar in that I had a very tiny little room. That’s okay. I don’t need much. But there was barely room for my bags and my body. I slept on the ground, on a futon, that was prepared for me while I was having dinner. It was so cozy to get back into my little room when it was freezing outside and curl up inside my cocoon.

Exploring Shirakawa-go

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-02-14 20:45:36
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A Stroll Through a Garden in Kyoto

Tip Videos on YouTube

I have several playlists on YouTube. You may enjoy this playlist that has all of my Tips & Tricks videos on it! 🙂

Daily Photo – A Stroll Through a Garden in Kyoto

Kyoto has so many temples that it’s almost impossible to visit them all unless you set aside at least one day a week for an entire year. In some ways, they are all the same. The temples are usually not the main event, as opposed to buildings from other religions. The most charming part of all the temples in Japan are the gardens, and that is the reason most people come. Japan is more about the worship of nature rather than a deity that has supposedly inspired a particular building.

A Stroll Through a Garden in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 17:20:33
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Floating Over Tokyo

Derek Sivers on Tim Ferris

I wanted to link you to a rather interesting podcast with Derek Sivers on Tim Ferris. Here is the link right here. He’s the one I got this interesting tidbit from below!

Daily Photo – Floating Over Tokyo

While in Tokyo last time, I got the quad up a few times to take photos of this incredible city. There are many interesting things about Tokyo. For one, streets do not have names. Blocks have names. It’s the opposite of the west where streets have names but blocks do not. Interesting, eh? Also, Japanese addresses are not in order. For example, address #1 on a block might be smashed between #23 and #38. The number is associated to the first building on said block.

Floating Over Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-01-26 19:31:03
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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Japanese Children Emerging from an Egg

Borat Compares Horse to Man

Daily Photo – Japanese Children Emerging from an Egg

This is a fun quick Pixel shot I got while in Tokyo. Man, I love that camera so much. Here’s a quick tip for it (and I believe the iPhone and other cameras have something similar). Whenever I see something cool, the fastest way to get a photo is to double-click the power button. This gets the camera right into photo mode. Then, just push the volume up and you get a quick snap. Easy peasy!

Japanese Children Emerging from an Egg

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-02-11 14:20:19
  • CameraPixel 3 XL
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/120
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO56
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Dolphin Over Tokyo

Matthew Walker on Why We Sleep

I’ve finished this audiobook recently and it really blew my mind. This guy is a neuroscientist and he spent 20 years studying what the heck is going on when we sleep… I added it to my Kit.com for Books and here is a link below to his interview on Joe Rogan.

Daily Photo – Dolphin Over Tokyo

Not until after I took this photo did I realize that the cloud was in the shape of a dolphin! We were having a crazy-good sushi dinner in the Ritz-Carlton there, and this was the view out the window. Luckily, the window was right by the table, so classic lazy-me only had to take 5 steps every 10 minutes or so to rattle off more photos of cloud animals jumping over Tokyo!

Dolphin Over Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-25 15:06:07
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More of Golden Gai in Tokyo

Cool Tiger Woods Inspirational Video

Daily Photo – More of Golden Gai in Tokyo

Yeah, a photographer can never get tired of this area! Well, maybe if you’ve had a few too many bar visits, then you do physically run out of energy at some point… that’s why I try to spend as long taking photos before going inside any of them! 🙂

More of Golden Gai in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-25 15:06:07
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen How-To on Passport Sunday

If you’re a passport member, then today you get my newest video I just made in Japan about the creation of photos from this location:

Ginzan Onsen

Bridge Crossing in Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen How-To

Here’s some of the behind the scenes and my thoughts on composition and story-telling around these shots. And, thanks again for being a Passport member! Btw, hint hint… it’s a good gift to get for a friend! 🙂

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Kyoto Travel and Tip Video

Hi Passport Members!

If you’re a Stuck In Customs Passport Member, today you get a super-cool travel tip video from Kyoto!

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from that area for you! 🙂


Two Women In Kyoto

The Golden Pavilion (or Kinkaku-ji for my new Japanese friends)This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, so of course I had to go.  It's sort of like going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Rudy's BBQ in Austin.It was originally built back in 1397 and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.  The building itself is as meticulous as the gardens around it.  The Japanese really know how to tend a garden!  There was a fleet of workers all over the grounds, sweeping up and rearranging little bits here and there.  It was all very quaint and wonderful.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Monk In Kyoto

Finding Dinner in the Alleys of Kyoto After exploring an area (and era!) of ancient temples in Kyoto, I was absolutely starving.  I tend to get in a "shooting mode" where I do not undertake basic human necessities like eating, sleeping, and making regular bathroom breaks.  In fact, Nikon makes this great set of diapers you should try.  They're Japanese so there are little buttons that dispose of everything and leave you fresh as a daisy.  Anyway, after shooting, I headed down into the old part of Kyoto to find a traditional Japanese dinner.  I sat there for a long time, enjoying myself thoroughly.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Kyoto Travel and Tip Video

I hope you’ve been enjoying these RATHER high-quality videos we’ve been making recently. I really wanted to thank the team for making it all happen. Here are more tips, tricks, and mind-vitamins from Japan… this time, Kyoto!

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