Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Emperor Akihito wishes me a happy birthday

Jonny took me to Kamakura for my birthday to do some sightseeing. This started off rather badly with a bus that moved nowhere in traffic. We angrily asked to get off after about 200m, and had a long conversation about how ridiculous the traffic lights were and how awfully controlled the traffic was considering it wasn't even the weekend. Even more bizarre were the large numbers of security men with earpieces. Seemed a bit excessive for a few temples, but who were we to judge.

And then there was the massive crowd waiting at the bottom of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and we remarked on how busy it was during the week and how well we did not to come here at the weekend. And then the crowd started making a lot of noise and I saw a face through all the heads that looked vaguely familiar from the television a couple of months ago. And then it dawned on us that everything must have been because the Emperor was visiting the temple...

I couldn't take any photos while he was close to us, as I had just switched lenses to my massive telephoto paparazzi lens. I don't think Jonny managed anything decent over all the heads. But just as he was leaving the area I switched to a hopeful manual focus distance (the camera couldn't focus quickly through all the heads at different distances away) and exposure, lifted my camera over my head and hoped for the best. So here they are, viewed from above a lot of heads!

Waving me a happy birthday