Off the Beaten Path, Japan #28: Sunset on Stonehammer

Sunset on Stonehammer

At the foot of the mountain the sign read, “Watch out for vipers.” The fields of bamboo grass covering the slopes would have been an ideal home for a poisonous snake, but as I crested the summit of the mountain I found no dangerous reptiles but rather a tent already set and waiting for evening though it was still hours until sunset.

The sound of my approaching footsteps brought attention to its occupant and soon there emerged like the budding of a flower not a serpent or medusa but possibly a siren. She said her name was 萌.

And so we spent waning afternoon together chatting idly as the sun settled towards the shoulder of the mountain. Suddenly the light was right and I jumped to work. 萌 stood behind me watching. Almost as an afterthought I said, “Stand over there. The photo will look better if you’re in it.” Then I took the photo.

She was tired and went to bed. I stayed up to watch the moon rise.

Copyright Brian Heise, 2019

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Off the Beaten Path, Japan #23: Sunset in Sakae

Sunset in Sakae

In the countryside east of Tokyo lies the quiet town of Prosperity (Sakae). Take a short walk away from the buildings that make up the town proper to find miles of farmland stretching out as far as the eye can see. And, if you wait until sundown, you might see something like this.

© Brian Heise, 2018

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Off the Beaten Path, Japan #19: Sunset Slopes

Fairyland Sunset in Japan’s Southern Alps

A photo that I overlooked from my first attempt at a mountain photoshoot with my dSLR. Despite not really knowing what I was doing at the time, even an novice can’t fail in a place like this.

© Brian Heise, 2018

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Off the Beaten Path, Japan #12

Sunset as the Rain Rolls In

I knew it was supposed to rain when I went out last weekend, but I couldn’t let that stop me from going out. Though the approaching rain clouds blocked out the tall white-capped mountains in the distance, they produced a mysterious red light as the sun dipped towards the horizon.

Off the Beaten Path, Japan #6

Sunset in Honjo

And so I sat on the bus as it wound through the town, wondering whether or not I would go back to the mountains again soon. Two days passed wandering around Kanna Lake and I hadn’t once felt that spur of emotion that usually drives my every step. I wondered if my love of the mountains had really been nothing more than an affair. And then, out of the corner of my eye there was a flash of color as the buildings in the village fell away and the farmland spread out before me exposing the mountainscape beyond which the last rays of the sun were quickly disappearing. Faint though that spark was, it rekindled a flame: I knew I would be back next month.