Monday, June 29, 2009

Saving Waterfalls

This may be a bit of old news, but I saw this article regarding a Malaysian group that met on Facebook and organized a waterfall cleanup for the four weekends of June this year.

Personally, I think it's a pity that there's so much litter to clean up at the waterfall sites (as evidenced by the photos you'll see in the article), but it's great that there are other like-minded waterfall lovers willing to do what it takes to protect and preserve waterfalls. Now only if the litterers could correct their act...

Here's the article.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, June 22, 2009

Top 10 Asian Waterfalls

Call us crazy, but we think we've seen enough waterfalls from our Asian trips so far to come up with a Top 10 List of the ones we've seen.

Sure this list doesn't include any from India since we haven't been there, but just talking about it already has given me the travel bug to want to go there...

We've also expanded the Books and Maps page for Asia.

Wanna see what we think the Top 10 Asian Waterfalls are? Check it out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Asia Pages Expanded

Based on our trip to China and Japan, just about all of the waterfall pages have been added from that trip thereby greatly expanding the Asian Waterfalls on the website.

There's still more work to do regarding the inclusion of preparing for travel in the region as well as travel stories, but at least the critical content pages are in there so now you can see the waterfalls that we've been to over there as well as what we thought of them.

Stay tuned as I'm still pecking away at the mountain of work...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Missed Interview

When I was checking through my emails yesterday, I was shocked to see an email dated April 24 by a writer from Forbes Traveler doing a piece on waterfalls asking to interview us about an article she's doing on waterfalls.

Too bad we somehow missed that email as we were in China at the time. With the chaos of spending precious time sightseeing and exploring in unfamiliar territory, internet access wasn't always available.

Darn! Funny how these things pop up when we're not at home!

In any case, here's the article she produced.

Yosemite Waterfalls From A Photographer's Perspective

I caught wind of this blog entry, which contains gorgeous shots of how you can photograph Yosemite's waterfalls (as well as other iconic landmarks there) in very different and interesting ways.

Check it out!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well after a long trip to China and Japan, it's finally nice to return to a place where English can be understood. While we were able to get by with some limited Chinese in China and relied on gestures and phrasebooks in Japan, we're now back on familiar turf where reality and comfort coexist.

And so it is that we have a lot of cleanup to do while trying to get back into the swing of things - and this includes trying to update the website with info from this latest trip.

So please bear with us as we look forward to sharing our experiences from these past two months...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, June 8, 2009

Waterfalled Out In Shiretoko

Today was a very, very busy day of sightseeing in Shiretoko National Park. Well, actually, it was more like sightseeing off the coast of Shiretoko National Park in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Waterfall sightings included Furepe Waterfall, Kamuiwakka Waterfall, and Kashuni Falls (among the major ones) along with some minor ones like "Man's Tears," Yunohana Falls, and other unnamed ones spread out along the coast amongst some fishing hamlets and sea walls (isn't this place supposed to be unspoiled?).

We also saw an eagle, many brown bears, and some hard-to-photograph dolphins among others on this tour.

As our 500+ photos taken on this day attests, it was certainly a busy day of sightseeing. But now that we're all waterfalled out, it's probably not likely that we're going to see the Kumagoe Waterfall near Rausu en route to Lake Akan and Kushiro Wetlands tomorrow. On top of that, Julie's phobia of bears is keeping me from even entertaining this idea.

So that probably concludes the waterfalling on this 2-month marathon trip.

Only three more days to go before we return home...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trip Report From Havasupai After The Flood

I came across this interesting trip report showing a little bit of the dramatic changes that have taken place at the Havasupai Indian Reservation since the flood in the later Summer of 2008. We could see there are two new waterfalls in place of Navajo Falls, which is no longer there. These two new waterfalls have a whole different character and might even look more attractive than the falls it replaced.

You can see the trip report here.

On The Doorstep Of Shiretoko National Park

Today, we journeyed over 220km in a span of over 5 hours (not because of winding roads, but because of the ridiculously slow 50km/h speed limit) to the town of Utoro. This is our base for exploring Shiretoko National Park - perhaps Japan's wildest remaining stretch of land where Nature is allowed to thrive.

Fortunately, we saw the Oshinkoshin Waterfall on the way up there to break up the otherwise dreary travel day where it rained pretty hard no matter where in Hokkaido we were at. This waterfall had two parallel wide sections and it was very close to the Sea of Okhotsk (separating Siberia from Hokkaido).

It was a tremendous introduction to the Shiretoko area and we hope for more incredible scenery tomorrow if the weather improves...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Big Snow Mountain Waterfalls

Today was the first time in almost two months that we were actually driving a car. Actually, I think it's the first time in Asia that we've driven a car. There were some anxious moments before actually renting the Corolla since we feared the language barrier and that most signs were in Japanese.

Still, with the GPS handy, some research notes, and a lot of time and patience, we managed to visit the Daisetsuzan National Park. The kanji characters translated directly in Chinese seems to be "Big Snow Mountain." So we expected snowmelt waterfalls, and this park delivered on 3 of the 4 waterfalls we wanted to see - Ginga-no-taki, Ryusei-no-taki, and Hagoromo-no-taki. Shikishima-no-taki was a no-go because the trail was closed due to bears.

Tomorrow, the waterfalling continues in Shiretoko National Park. But the forecast calls for 70% chance of rain so we'll see how it all plays out when we're out there.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Bonus Waterfall

Yesterday, I had said Nachi-no-taki would be the last waterfall we'd see while in Honshu.

Well, I lied.

Turned out that after visiting the Himeji-jo, we had some time to explore a little bit of Kobe. And that included a late afternoon stroll to the Nunobiki Falls, which was right behind the Shin-Kobe JR and Metro Station.

Sure Nunobiki Falls weren't blockbusters, but they'd be pretty nice by Southern California standards.

It's actually four distinct natural waterfall tiers with a few minor cascades and man-modified waterfalls spread out in between. At the very top of the hike above the 3rd and 4th tiers was a nice observation area overlooking the port city of Kobe.

All in all, it was a great way to end off our last full day in Honshu. Tomorrow, we embark on a weeklong journey into Hokkaido...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holy Waterfall

We're currently in Osaka trying to recover from the last couple of days in the Kii Peninsula and all the travel and logistics that went along with it.

The very reason for us going to the remote Kii Peninsula on the Kansai section of Honshu (Japan's main island) was to see the Nachi Waterfall (Nachi-no-taki). It's supposedly Japan's tallest plunge waterfall, but it's more noteworthy to the Japanese for it's considered a holy waterfall as evidenced by some impressive temples and shrines in the area punctuated by a pagoda providing one of those rare waterfall/temple combinations in a photo.

And while the falls may be holy, wrestling with the Hotel Urashima's ridiculous boat schedule was not. Not only did their boat schedule result in us having to rush our waterfall visit in a mere 50 minutes of actual visiting time (had we missed the 2:50pm boat to the hotel, we'd be stuck in Kii-Katsuura until 7pm which was when the boat next took off!), but we narrowly made our 7:35am boat ride back to the main island (after a 7am breakfast that wouldn't open earlier). Had we missed that boat, we'd be stuck in the hotel until at least 10am without any assurances of when we'd get to Osaka due to the infrequency of the 4-hour trains that pass by this way.

Anyhow, venting aside, we did feel like we got to experience the Nachi Waterfall to the best of our ability, and that will be it for our waterfalling in Honshu. Further waterfalling in Japan will continue in Hokkaido, which we should be visiting in a couple of days...

Waterfall of the Week