Off we go. We're already over Canada heading more northerly than usual. (The green line on the monitor suggests a perfect Great Circle route to Japan; the yellow line is where we have been.) The captain explained that winds favored a more deeply polar route to Japan, so up towards Hudson Bay we go. On the right monitor, you can see that I'm working on the first season of Stargate Atlantis.
The upper deck of a Boeing 747. That's Oliver on the opposite side of the plane.
The captain wasn't kidding about a polar route. We're looking over high noon near the Arctic Circle. I bet it's at least a day's walk to get to the nearest McDonalds.
Mid-flight snack. Better than the June trip, not as good as the 2008 trip.
We must have landed in the right country. You don't see these in airport bathrooms in the states.
My view from the hotel, overlooking the city of Fukuoka, the biggest city on Kyushu Island. This is Friday morning, our first full day in Japan. We will work today. Afterward, we'll head south to Kagoshima.
Saturday morning. My view from the Tokyu Inn in Kagoshima. We won't explore this city; we just stayed the night so that we could catch the early ferry to Yakushima this morning.
On the ferry to Yakushima.
Yakushima is a very rural island in Japan. No big cities, no crowds, no traffic. And spiders. Lots of big spiders.
I think of The Lorax when I see this shot.
This gnarled stump is near the World Heritage Yakushima Yakusugi Museum. We were feeling very thrifty today and didn't actually explore the museum.
The route to the cedar forest is hilly and scenic.
The road to the cedar forest is undergoing major reconstruction. The road is only one lane in many places yet the bus driver is clipping right along here.
Now we're on a public bus to take us to the cedar forest. We're the only riders on the bus. Japan is quite different down here than in Tokyo.
We've arrived at the cedar forest.
Lots of big trees ahead. We won't be sharing the path with very many people.
Luckily I need only 1 eye in the viewfinder.
This must have been quite the cedar tree once. Now there's a somewhat regular-sized cedar tree growing out of the stump.
I must admit, Japan is quite friendly to English speaking folks.
"Sennensugi" translates to "Thousand year old tree." Think about that for a moment.
HDR shot from 4 exposures.