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This is Page 1 of 1 - the best of January 2015!
posted: January 31st, 2015

This page begins with December 31st, 2014 and ends with January 1st, 2015. It shows our 5th trip to Tsuru-No-Yu (The Hot Spring of the Crane). That was the only outing we had in January.   Click on any thumbnail to begin.

Begin December 31st
  You might remember the name Tsuru-No-Yu (The Hot Spring of the Crane). This marked the 5th time that we have gone there and stayed the night of December 31st at that amazing hot spring. We missed 2014, but we were there for New Year's of 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 before this. If you're interested you can visit the "All Month's Photos" list photos HERE and scroll down to January of each of the aforementioned years to check out those photos. As this was our 5th time to visit this place, we are getting a bit jaded and we don't take as many photos as we previously did. The first photo in this row shows Kazuya right after we got off the bus and were beginning to make the approximately 3 kilometer (1.8 mile) hike. The 2nd photo shows a snow plow which we passed along the way - is it broken down, or do they wait until there is a LOT OF SNOW before using it? The 3rd photo shows some snowy scenery. Oh, as usual, there was a lot of snow and this year it seems like it did not stop snowing for the entire time that we were there! This year our trip story was a simple one - we got up at 3:30 AM, got ready and left for our local station on our bicycles at about 4:10 AM. We then took a 4:37 AM train to Tokyo Station and then a 6:00 AM Akita Shinkansen Komachi. We got off at Tazawako (Tazawa Lake) at 8:55 AM and then we took a 9:40 AM bus which would take us to the bus stop shown in the first photo.
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  The first photo in this row shows me on the road hiking into the hot spring smiling and enjoying the snow while carrying my umbrella. The 2nd shot shows some snowy scenery and the 3rd shot is zoomed in to an area which you may be able to find in the photo previous to it.
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  The first shot in this row is zoomed in even tighter to a small area of the center photo in the row just above. The center photo shows a different creek and the 3rd photo shows some more nice snowy scenery.
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  Let's take another look at the creek shown in the center shot of Row 3. The first shot here shows an overview. The black outlined rectangle in this photo shows the approximate area which is shown in the center photo and the red outlined area shows the approximate portion which is shown in the 3rd photo.
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  Now we are getting really close to the entryway to Tsuru-No-Yu - The Hot Spring of the Crane. I can recall taking photos of this same tree in years past. How can one tree hold so much snow? The 2nd and 3rd photos show me entering the gate of the Hot Spring Inn. We made it once again!
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  The first two shots in this row show the same hot spring. I believe that this one is called "White". The 3rd shot shows a different hot spring and this one is called "Black". You are supposed to go into "White" first and "Black" second because the black one has some quality which makes your body retain the heat for a long time, or at least a longer time than the white one. It seems like it's true.
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  We arrived at the Hot Spring Inn at around 11:40 AM, too early to be allowed to go into our room, so we hung out in the "waiting for your room" area, ate lunch and bathed in the various hot springs. They came and got us at about 2:40 PM and escorted us to our room and this 2-photo panorama shows the view we had from our windows.
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  The first photo shows our room. At around 6:15 PM they brought our dinner to our room. The center photo shows the stew which we were served and the 3rd photo shows the tiny little individual tables which dinner is served on. That 3rd photo shows both of our tables.
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  The first photo in this row shows just my dinner. Maybe it does not look like a great deal to you, but it was a lot of food. Wrapped in the aluminum foil on the brown plate is baked mushrooms and some nice meat. The fish is 100% edible, the bones are soft and even the head is soft and easily edible. Of course there is rice too - which you can't see in any of the photos. And, in addition, we bought a very nice bottle of Japanese Saké near Tazawako Station. The 2nd and 3rd shots show Kazuya dishing out the stew. After a while they came and took away the dirty dishes and laid out our futons for us and then at about 9:30 PM they brought bowls of soba noodles to every room. Soba (buckwheat) noodles are an old Japanese New Year's Eve tradition. We were still so full from the dinner that it was difficult to eat the delicious soba noodles. Of course we also had another dip in the hot springs before we retired for the night.
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End December 31st, 2014, Begin January 1st, 2015
  Now it's January 1st, 2015 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!! The first 2 shots here show the view from our room in the morning at 6:52 AM and at 9:44 AM respectively. Check-out time is 10:00 AM, so we were just getting ready to go down and check-out when the 2nd photo was taken. The 3rd shot shows the Rotenboro with nobody in it.
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  The first shot here was shot while standing on the bridge which you can see in the shot in Row 7 and also in the first shot in Row 10. The 2nd shot shows me walking back from the Rotenboro and the 3rd shot shows the walkway from the inside of the Inn to one of the hot springs. Our room was up above that walkway which crosses the creek.
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  Here are 3 shots of the Rotenboro (outdoor hot spring). In the next row we're going to show you these shots put together to form a panorama.
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  The first image in this row is a 3-photo panorama - all 3 of the photos in the previous row put together into a single panorama. The 2nd image is only the 2-rightmost shots put together into a panorama.
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  Now we are actually leaving - walking out to the parking area from which the Inn's private bus will take us to a place from which we can take a city bus back to Tazawako Station. The first shot shows some kids playing or working in the snow. The 2nd and 3rd shots show some Japanese Radishes (Daikon) and red peppers which they have hung for freeze-drying.
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  Now we are back at the entrance area. The 3rd shot shows the bus waiting area. The snow on the roof all fell during the previous 24 hours. WOW!
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  Here are the final two shots of our New Year's 2015 trip to Tsuru-No-Yu - The Hot Spring of the Crane.
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End January 1st, End January 2015's Photos, Begin Miscellaneous Links
  During December I spent a good deal of time putting out Print Editions of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of the Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons book. The 3-Volume set had previously only been available as Kindle Editions, but I decided to put out a 3-Volume set in Print. Why? Well, the print edition, at 362 pages lists for $69.65 - a high price - so I decided to put it out as a 3-Volume set to reduce the price in hopes of increasing sales. I am hoping that people will spend the $26.49 for Volume 1 quicker than they would put out $69.65 for the complete book. Then, when they see it they might just possibly want to purchase Volume 2 and then just maybe Volume 3. I believe that these covers came out very nice. Go to the "Our Books", "General Information" page, which can be found in the links near the bottom of the page if you're interested in seeing larger size versions of the cover art.
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  I also enlarged the title text of the overall book - Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons. Some of my followers on the CreateSpace Community forums pointed out to me that book title text needs to be LARGE enough to be able to be easily read on thumbnails which show up on bookstore pages on the internet. Therefore, I also increased the size of the title text on all of the "Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains series of books - please take a look at them in the clickable links collage just below. What do you think?
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  Here are links to separate web pages - all of them will open in a new window (or new tab). The first link shows some photos of our DVD Collection, an AVI Movie of our Home Theater System and 9 photos of our Sharp Aquos TV. The 2nd link shows our entire DVD collection in DVD Profiler (if you're asking yourself what might be good to rent for the weekend). The DVD's will be sorted by date purchased. You can click on the "Title" Column to sort that way if you desire. The 3rd link shows our entire DVD collection in php DVD Profiler, which is much more sophisticated than the plain vanilla DVD Profiler just above it. The 4th link takes you to a set of pages which show you the FRONT cover-art of our entire DVD collection.

January 1, 2013 - DVD Collection & Home Theater System





HERE IS

Please check it out by clicking on the above button.
(Click on the "Studies of Plants and Wildlife"  link in the new window.)

only search Kazuya's Blog site


Here is a small hint to let you know that we'd be thrilled to have you buy one of our books. For additional information regarding any title please click the "General Information" tab on the "Our Books" button down at the bottom of this page. Click on any thumbnail to go to its Amazon.com webpage.
Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 1: Mt. Daisetsu (Mt. Asahidake Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 2: Mt. Chokai (Choukai) Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 3: Mt. Gassan Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 4: Mt. Hakkoda & Mt. Zao
Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 5: Mt. Kumotori Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 6: Mt. Shirane (Kusatsu) Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 7: Mt. Shibutsu Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 8: Mt. Kiso-Komagatake
Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 9: Mt. Kitadake Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 10: Mt. Mizugaki Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 11: Mt. Shiroumadake (includes Mt. Shakushidake & Mt. Yarigatake Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 12: Mt. Tate (Tateyama)
Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains - Volume 13: Mt. Yatsugatake (Mt. Akadake) Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons - Volume 1 of 3 (Winter & Spring) Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons - Volume 2 of 3 (Summer)
Outdoor Photography of Japan: Through the Seasons - Volume 3 of 3 (Autumn) Some Violets of Eastern Japan - 2nd Edition English - Ilokano AND Ilokano - English Dictionary English - Ilokano and Ilokano - English Dictionary - With Some Notes on Ilokano Culture
A Book of Anagrams - An Ancient Word Game A Book of Anagrams - An Ancient Word Game: Volume #2 Forest Resource & Allowable Cut - Fairbanks Working Circle (Alaska) Japan Outdoors
Heaven and Hell in the Philippines: Journal of a Peace Corps Volunteer 2017 Print Calendars 2018 Print Calendar



An animated gif of some
of our publications
(Does Not Include 100 Mountains Series)
(34 seconds)
An animated gif of some of our Publications
For details please click the "Our Books"
Button at the bottom of the page.
An animated gif of our
Climbing a Few of Japan's
100 Famous Mountains
Series
(Paperback Editions)
(28 seconds)
An animated gif of our 'Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains' series of Books
For details please click the "Our Books"
Button at the bottom of the page.
An animated gif of our
Climbing a Few of Japan's
100 Famous Mountains
Series
(Hardcover Editions)
(26 seconds)
An animated gif of our 'Climbing a Few of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains' series of Books
For details please click the "Our Books"
Button at the bottom of the page.


End Miscellaneous Links, End Page 1 of 1, January 2015

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