Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and romantic monuments on earth, and to us especially so, since Frank just proposed to Jen in front of the Taj! (Watch episode 9 for that)
There is a stupid rule at the Taj Mahal where video is prohibited beyond the first viewing platform (where you see Jen talking on the bench), and don't even think about bringing in a tripod or monopod - they search everything at the gate. So as a result, most non-broadcast footage of the Taj Mahal upclose is shaky, low quality cell phone stuff. Well, we are thankful for our DSLR, which looks like a still camera but also takes full 1080p HD video! We even managed a rare HD movie inside the Taj Mahal itself! Certain shots are stablized and smoothed in software for almost the tripod look. Enjoy!
Technical notes: Shot in 1080p HD with a Canon 60D camera, handheld. Photos are mostly HDR. Music credits: "Here With Me" and "Living Life Over" by ATB.
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Kyoto is a magic and traditional place.
Kyoto is conveniently accessible from both Tokyo and Osaka.
From Osaka's Kansai International Airport, JR Rapid trains and airport limousines provide quick and easy transpotation.
Kyoto, which has a thousand-plus temples and shrines, is a fascinating city. Most sightseeing spots are contained within a compact area at the bese of the mountains.
Tofuku-ji Temple, Takao, Arashiyama, Ohara and Higashiyama, etc. are among the most popular spots for the maple blossom viewing.
The month of november is the best season of the year for viewing the vibrant red maple leaves in Kyoto.
Just as in spring when the cherry blossoms bloom, it is when the largest numbers of tourists visits Kyoto.
As summer fades to autumn, the trees prepare for the winter months. The difference in afternoon and evening temperature climbs and the trees change from green to red and yellow.
The most beautiful example of this change can be found in the maple. Japan is filled with maple trees and Japanese flock from all over to view then during the fall tourist season.
In Japan, autumn leaf viewing is called, "Momiji-gari". This practice has a long history, having been enjoyed by noble families twelve-hundred years ago in the Heian Period.
The colors and brilliance of the leaves changes from year to year, with rainfall and especially temperature influencing their hue. The greater the difference in evening and afternoon temperature, the more brilliant the reds and yellows become. The red leaves in the mountain region are particularly beautiful because of this difference in temperature.
From the mountains to the plains, Kyoto is blessed with maples. You can usually enjoy the leaves here from the end of October until around December 10th.