Article by: David P. Lee
The Shikina-En Royal Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in the 18th century this sanctuary was once used by the Ryukyu Royal families for relaxation and entertaining guests. It encompasses approximately 42,000 square meters in the heart of Naha and south of Shuri Castle.There are several stone paved walkways that lead around the gardens. The Udun Palace is the main structure and residence while the Royal family visited. This restored wooden structure is open to the public for viewing. The views from the building look out upon the pond with its hexagonal bower (place of rest) and several stone arched bridges. Following the trail around the pond will lead to an observatory overlooking South East, and other garden areas
This is wonderful place just to stroll and relax to escape the noise of Naha. The garden is closed on Wednesdays. If Wednesday is a Japanese holiday, the park will close on Thursday. For more information, please call 098-855-5936. They do not seem to have their own website. At the time of this writing the cost to enter was ¥400 for adults and ¥200 for children.
After discussing basic photography principles of shutter speed, ISO, aperture, metering, and focusing methods we discussed the hyperfocal distance. Remember this is best used for landscape photography when maximizing the depth of field is important. If the primary focus point is set at the hyperfocal distance, then the depth of field is from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity. The hyperfocal distance is dependent upon the focal length, aperture, and your camera’s circle of confusion (CoC). The CoC for full frame cameras is 0.030mm. Most Nikon crop frame (DX) cameras have a COC of 0.020mm and most Canon crop frame cameras have a CoC of 0.019mm. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps to help you calculate the hyperfocal distance. Just search for either depth of field (DOF) or hyperfocal distance and choose the app with the interface you prefer.
Take the Express way south towards Naha. Where the expressway splits stay to the right (sign only says Okinawa expressway Naha). After paying the toll make the first left onto Route 82. (Follow signs for Shikinaen). Go about 1Km and turn right onto Rt 222. Go about 100m and take the ramp on the left. At the top of the ramp turn right. Go about 400m and the parking lot will be on the left. There is ample free parking.
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lenses: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR II
Tripod: Manfrotto 190XPROB with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead
Software: Lightroom 5.2