Hakodate in the Rain

As a break from one too many (!) sunset images from the American northwest, here is a photographic selection from Hakodate, one of my favorite places in Japan.

Of course, anything from the north of this country is bound to make it onto my "favorite" list. And the Russian cultural connection in this part of Hokkaido--the old imperial consulate along with the Orthodox church--made me growl, "AAAALRIIIIGHT!" numerous times like a blackened deathmetal vocalist.

The latter occurred inside my head, naturally, so as to avoid scaring the locals. Also, it is rather impolite for proper ladies to growl in public!

At night, I explored the desolate streets of this major international 19th-century port, getting soaking wet in pouring and rather chilly autumn rain; hiked up the mountain and back down to the shore line in the day; smelled seafood--raw and cooked, chased ravens and walked past the lonely graves of Russian and European foreigners buried far from home. 

When I reached the Russian Orthodox church one morning, it started to rain again, making decent photography impossible. So I said a little prayer asking for the sun to come out. Five minutes later, a ray of light pierced the thick gray cloud cover and lit the image of St. Nicholas of Japan outside the building. Then the bells chimed at the Catholic church next door, and the crows picked up and echoed their sound.

It was noon, right on the dot, and I got my onion domes glistening with rain water in brilliant sunshine.

Divine intervention or just a coincidence--my Pentax was pleased either way!