Saturday, April 13, 2013

End of the Road - Tokaido Road - Shot With Lumix DMC-LX7

Shijo Ohashi (Bridge), Western Terminus of the Tokaido Road, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 200, f2.8, 1/320 sec
Japan was ruled for over two hundred years by the Tokugawa shogunate. The shogun, top leader of the samurai class, moved the capital to Tokyo in 1603. There were five roads established at the time, all leading to the new capital in Tokyo, where the shogun required regional warlords to report periodically to pay usurious fees and allow him to stay on top of recent developments and engineer conflict between the regions. The Tokaido road led from Kyoto (a former capital of Japan and still the home of the imperial court) to Tokyo. It was the most-used of the five roads.
The Shijo Ohashi in Kyoto represents the western end of the Tokaido. The Tokugawa shogun also maintained a residence in Kyoto, in Nijo Castle. You'll be seeing some pics from Nijo as I continue working through my images from my recent trip to Japan.
This shot was taken on a morning walk, which I typically take every day on my visits to Japan. I love to be out at sunrise, and the jet lag works in my favor in this case. My family is usually still asleep when I head out.
On this morning, I ended up at the Kamo River, which the Shijo Ohashi crosses. While it's now a city street, looking up from the river below, it's easy to imagine the samurai trudging across the river at the end of their journey to Kyoto, or starting out on the long trip to the capital.
I like images that are timeless, or impossible to place in time.
On this trip, uncharacteristically for the spring, the sun never shone while we were there. Typically, I hate pure white cloudy skies in my images. In this case, I embraced it. The profile of the bridge against the white background was nice; the pure black crow overhead finished the scene for me. I waited about ten minutes to catch a crow in a suitable position in the sky.
I tinted this monochrome image a rather cold tone of blue in Lightroom. I feel it suits the mood of that morning.
I hope you enjoy this little glimpse of Japanese history.
Check out my real world usage guide for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 on Amazon's Kindle: