Izu Peninsula

17 June 2007

This day we went to the Izu peninsula to see fireflies. We went early, so we could also enjoy the nice coastline and an outdoor onsen (hot spring bath) also called rotemburo.

First stop, coffee and pancake break (apparently Tobi had been very bored the day before...)

Strange flowers at the carpark

We took a road that follows the coastine, so we could enjoy the view aal the time. However, sometimes it was looking really cool, and there was not really a good place to stop... so Hasegawa-san stayed in the car while we took a quick look and shot some pictures.

Paradise-like views during the lunch-stop

The first main sightseeing stop was here [forgot the name of the place...]. There was a ca. 30min walking trail from a (pedestrian) suspension bridge to a botanical garden along the rocky coastline.

The local specialty appeared to be Wasabi (some root with a very sharp taste). The Japanese always bring "omiyage" (souvenirs, but mostly cookies/sweets/...) for their friends and colleagues when they went somewhere. Therefore the tourist shop here offered wasabi flavored rice crackers... apparently a little bit too sharp for poor hello kitty.

After the open-air hot spring bath on the beach, and a good dinner, we headed for the firefly park. It was already quite dark by the time we came there, the exposure time for this photo was 4.5sec :-)
Although the fireflies still live in nature around there, the ones in the park are there because of some catching/breeding and releasing program. Actually we were surprised that entrance was free, and even a shuttle bus from the road at the coast was free.

The white and red lights are some cars, but the green light is from the fireflies.

The fireflies give a pulsed light, with a frequency of about 0.5-1Hz or so. Therefore, on the long exposure pictures, you can see a dashed line if one flies by.

There were 3 spots where you could see the fireflies. Lanterns were handed when walking from the park to the next spot. After a lot of tries (several with flash, sorry Tobi & Mae Rose...) I finally obtained a reasonable picture.