Utsunomiya Part I

I went to the town of Utsunomiya recently to watch the Japan Cup Cycle race - I am a huge fan of professional cycling and this was too good a chance to miss to see some of the top World Tour riders in the world compete in a race in Japan. Utsunomiya itself is about 130 kilometers north of Tokyo in the mountains near Nikko. It is - frankly - not known for anything, but if pushed a Japanese will tell you it is famous for “gyoza” - Americans might know these as “pot stickers” - they are pork dunplings that are eitehr steamed or fried and they are delicious. They do have a lot of garlic though - so be warned.

In the centre of of Utsunomiya is a very nice shrine on the top of a small hill. I forget the name, but maybe some kind soul can tell me. I went the evening before the race to take some photos and again the next day in the light to take a few more. I was lucky that this morning was for children to go and get “blessed” at the temple and thus there were a lot of very cute looking kids in traditional costume - and they often loved having their photos taken. 

My FUji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-E1 came along - with my brand new Fujinon 23mm F1.4 lens - which is amazing.


The small Inari shrine has these great lanterns inside. They looked perfect in the light. Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


Being an Inari (fox) shrine, it had to have rows of orange tori. Fuji X-E1 with Fujinon 14mm F2.8


Symbol of the emperor. Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


My wife pays her respects at the Inari Shrine. Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


Lantern at night.  Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


Temple staff leave their shoes. Fuji X-E1 and Fujinon 23mm F1.4


Proud Dad. Fuji X-Pro 1 and Fujinon 23mm F1.4


The mother also likes to take photos.  Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


Traditional dress, tarditional hand sign.  Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4


Another family. Fuji X-E1 Fujinon 23mm F1.4


Kids love pigeons - for some reason.  Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon 35mm F1.4

© David Runacres 2014