Sumoto Castle

Pre-Sakura

Almost the end of March and it’s still a little cold at dusk. Thirty minutes before sundown on a windless day with my hands starting to freeze I powered up the drone and engaged (don’t you love that word 🙂 ) the camera mode.

When I first purchase the drone I envisioned myself videoing the Japanese countryside with its acclaimed, for the price the 4K camera, now all I want to shoot is still photos with it… Oh! how I get things wrong.

Dusk over Sumoto City
Sumoto Castle

Sumoto Castle

The Drone

Introducing the Anafi drone from the French company parrot. She’s compact and has a great camera, but lacks obstacle avoidance sensors… do I need those? Only time will tell.

As a proficient drone pilot with two hours of flight time under my belt 🙂 I felt it was time for a challenge because we all love a challenge, don’t we…

The Castle

Sumoto castle has been a favourite of mine since moving here all those many years ago. My Showa era apartment, with its Japanese style toilet Washiki Benjo 和式便所, cold water only bathroom and head-banging brain cell losing door frames was and still is located at the base of Mt.Mikuma the mountain, which is really a hill 🙂

After work on many occasion, I would make my way up the gruelling when drunk path to view the city light nights below, alas the view from the castle was mediocre, trees had taken root and were obscuring the city view…boo…

Fast forward twenty years. The city must have scored a ton of cash from somewhere, They had decided to clean up the castle. A new public toilet was built, and trees on the East side were cut down to make sweet as picnic area. Trees on the North side were also mowed down, thus exposing the amazing once hidden stone foundations.

Droning at the present time is allowed around the castle, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (国土地理院) has an online map to show you restricted places to drone. Any area not in red is fine as long as you follow the Japanese drone rules and laws.

Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (国土地理院)

Why aren’t I?

Droning and taking time lapses of the castle, Hell even just more photos? It’s only a stone’s throw away. Funny how we fail to see what is in front of us.

Dusk and the Castle

Akashi-kakyo bridge tour

At almost 4km long, surviving a 7.2 magnitude earthquake before the competition the Akashi Bridge is currently the longest suspension bridge in the world.

This tour runs between April and November, the trip is 2 hours long, Twenty minutes of those up top and costs 3000 yen for adults and 1500 yen for children. There are some conditions so please check their website.

Location and Information

You need to book in advancd and since the tour is weather reliant remember to have a backup plan.

Leaf hunting second try

After my last leaf hunting trip I decided to give it one more chance and take a trip off island to see if I could get some better results.

At least I now know for sure that I really don’t like taking pictures of the autumn colours. Hiking through them, viewing them I love, but as the photos just don’t do them justice (well my photos don’t) it just seems like a waste of time.

Next year I’ll still continue to take photos but in reality I’d rather spend the time going on a longer hike.

I did encounter a nice udon shop which only serves 20 meals per day and I did find a few more things for my garden 🙂 so the trip was worth while.

大野ダム 「もみじ祭り」2012-11-18 Ohno dam Autumn festival.

New Camera DMC-FT4

After my DMC-FT3 died on a trip to the Tango Peninsula, Panasonic was kind enough to send me a new one, a newer model and in different color :).

The DMC-FT4 is basically the same as the previous model with a few new functions. The panoramic mode is interesting but nothing that can’t be achieved in post.

Panorama Mode
Panoramic Mode, Nada, Suisen line with Nushima Island in the background

Do I need this ?