Exploring the Minamichita Peninsula
For my third trip to Japan, I planned to head down to the peninsula from Tokyo on a two-hour Shinkansen bullet train and photograph the beach areas towards the end of the land mass. The Minamachita peninsula is located in the middle of Japan and this general location is directly across the bay from the Ise area where I traveled to in May, 2017 (see Blog: Seaweed Beds).
My hotel for two nights was at the southern end of the peninsula and some of the best locations to photograph happened to be the beach areas right outside and near the hotel. Given the close proximity, I was able to get up and walk out at sunrise with my gear and photograph. Video is from the second morning at sunrise. It was very windy that morning so I took shelter behind a concrete sea wall to block the strong winds which could create camera movement and disrupt a long exposure shot (over two minutes of the shutter being open to create the image).
On this trip, I became infatuated (read as obsessed) with tetrapods (Japanese word: “concreto tetrapodos”). Tetrapods are pre-cast concrete formations that are manufactured on land in metal forms adjacent to the location where they will be used in the future. The tetrapods are a simple tool to use as a protective barrier against erosion from the forces of wave action and storms. The tetrapods come in several different forms depending on the application and can range from three feet tall to about eight feet tall. Because they are made of concrete and are heavy, the tetrapods are difficult to transport and therefore are typically manufactured on the land area adjacent to the beach or port they are going to protect.
I generally do research on the areas that I am going to visit to save time and assist in scouting locations to photograph in advance. For this trip, I searched Google Maps extensively and found several locations on the Minamichita peninsula where the tetrapods had been manufactured and were ready to be deployed. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived to location, the tetrapods had already been lowered into the water and were no longer available to photograph (due to the timing delay between the Google aerial photo and my arrival). However, on the third location, I got lucky and found many, many tetrapods which were still available to photograph. Image below is one of the photographs from that third location. Not knowing when I would find another opportunity like this one, I spent most of the morning at the site.