Tag Archives: rural

Notogawa Suisha Video

Notogawa Suisha is an old waterwheel (actually two waterwheels) in Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The site includes a small park, a little museum, and a boat rental facility. This quiet park, about 30 kilometers from my home, is one of my favorite places.

Notogawa Suisha (small waterwheel)

Notogawa Suisha (small waterwheel)

Video was recorded with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Audio was recorded in the camera with input from an Audio Technica BP4025 stereo microphone and a Tascam DR-70D recorder. Music, “Love Story (piano),” is by Sławomir Zając. I edited the video with OpenShot on a Lenovo ThinkStation 20 running Fedora GNU/Linux.

You can hear the large waterwheel and see the location on a map in my previous post, “Sounds of Notogawa Suisha.”

Blue river with snow on both shallow banks, small mountain in the background.

New Year Snow 2015

Scenes of a riverbank and nearby fields January 2-5, 2015. Soundtrack from “Relaxing Music” by Sławomir Królik, chafer on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/chafer). Hear the full version embedded below.

The first two nights of the New Year, 2015, we had heavy snowfall in Ritto City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Nearby fields and the Yasugawa riverbank were covered with nearly 30cm of snow, the most we have seen in more than 30 years. Each day it was warm and sunny and nearly silent, with few cars and trains running slowly. January 2nd and 3rd were the quietest days that I have experienced here in Ritto City.

Birds were quite active. Pigeons, wagtails, starlings, and sparrows were feeding wherever vegetation appeared through the snow. Black kites were soaring, and cormorants, egrets, herons, and a kingfisher were catching fish as usual.

There were only a few signs of other wildlife. I saw the tracks of a fox and and a weasel, but, other than small birds and a little egret in a field, the only other tracks were made by a few humans and dogs. In the deep snow on the riverbed below Yasugawa Ohashi, the Japan Route 8 bridge, the only tracks I saw were mine.

Production notes

Photos and video clips were taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and a Tamron C001 14-150mm zoom lens.

Postproduction was done on a Lenovo ThinkStation S20 running the CentOS 7 operating system. Software included:

  • Audacity (audio editing)
  • digiKam (photo management and editing)
  • FFmpeg (video file processing, driven with shell scripts)
  • GNU Emacs (text and shell script editing)
  • OpenShot (video editing)

Relaxing Music by Sławomir Królik (chafer)

Soybean Harvest


On November 24, 2014, I went cycling along Yasugawa in Moriyama. I took my camera and a new zoom lens I had just bought. I had hoped to find some wildlife along the river, but I saw onlya few Japanese black kites soaring high overhead.

Just below the bridge, Hattori-Ohashi, I saw farmers harvesting soybeans. I parked my bike against a little shed for monitoring water levels along the river, grabbed my camera, and shot video clips as I braced myself against the wall of the shed. The harvester is a Kubota ARH430 (in Japanese).

I appreciate farm equipment because I grew up on an apple orchard and began to operate machinery at an early age. I suppose now an 8-year-old tractor driver would be a violation of child labor laws or an insurance risk, but in the mid-1950s it was normal.

The movie was edited with FFmpeg and the OpenShot Video Editor on a Lenovo ThinkStation S20 computer running CentOS Linux.

Closeup of old waterwheel, water pouring down to left from low tower onto large wheel. paddles

Sounds of Notogawa Suisha

Notogawa Suisha is a very large old waterwheel that continues to turn slowly in Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The site includes a small park and a boat rental facility. Recorded with a Sony M10 on August 13, 2014.

The recording is also available on radio aporee ::: maps.

The map below shows the location of the field recording.

Grass with concrete feet of pillars for Japanese shrine gate (torii), handlebar at the foot of the right pillar.

Sounds along Biwako

Sounds of Biwako Near Chomeiji

At a small corner of land we can hear boats, personal watercraft, cicadas, and sounds from a nearby small temple a few hundred meters west of Chomeiji Port.

Recorded on August 13, 2014 with a Sony M10 recorder on a bicycle handlebar bag and facing Lake Biwa.

The recording is also available on radio aporee ::: maps.

The map below shows the location of the field recording.