2017年06月23日

'Nanba', dotted with miscellaneous inexpensive shops and restaurants, is a part of 'Minami', which is one of the largest business and shopping area in Osaka.

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Different from 'Kita' with many modern buildings, 'Minami' which is an old amusement area dating back to the 17-19th century still features traditional townscape of Osaka. 'Nanba' area, a part of 'Minami', is typical of Osaka as it is dotted with many inexpensive restaurants such as 'kushikatsu' fried skewered cutlets restaurants and 'doguyasuji' shopping street focused on kitchen utensils is also found here. In addition, 'Nanba Grand Kagetsu' theater as shown in the first picture, where the local comedians perform every day, symbolizes this area.
The second picture shows 'Kuromon Market' which is lined with 180 fish shops, vegetable stores and seafood restaurants with less expensive price.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:10 | Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年06月02日

The neighborhood of Holland Hills in the heart of Nagasaki City is dotted with many old Western style houses built in the middle of the 19th century.

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Japan had closed the door to Western countries from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century against the potential aggression through Christianization. In fact, however, Japan had traded with Holland, China, Korea and Ryukyu (Present Okinawa) through Nagasaki even in the period of national isolation. After the end of the seclusion policy in the 19th century, many Westerners rushed into Nagasaki and they settled in Higashi-Yamate zone commanding Nagasaki Port. As this zone is hilly, they built stone-paved slopes, wide and narrow, which were called Holland Hills by the locals. *As shown in the first picture. Because, all the Westerners were Netherlanders for the locals in the 17th-19th century. 15 Western houses still remain intact in this neighborhood as shown in the second picture. These houses along Holland Hills, together with old churches and Chinese Buddhist Temples, conveys the exotic town scape of Nagasaki.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:11 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年06月01日

'Yosuien' Japanese garden in Wakayama City, which was built by the Kishu-Tokugawa family, is a typical 'daimyo' garden. *Daimyo means a feudal lord.

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The Kishu-Tokugawa family is one of the three branch families of the Tokugawa Shogun's House. The 10th lord of the Kishu-Tokugawa family built this garden at the beginning of the 19th century. This garden with an area of 33,000 square meters features 'shioiri' central pond, the water of which comes from the nearby sea making the most of the location beside the sea. The shape and the size of the pond varies according to the tide level, and this idea is the same as Hama-rikyu garden in Tokyo, originally owned by successive Tokugawa shoguns. It is said that the founder of this garden invited the greatest tea master and the richest merchant in those years to a tea ceremony in this garden. This garden is the one and only privately owned historical daimyo garden, but is open to the public. A close-range view of pine trees and water being skillfully arranged with a distant view of nearby green hills, which is so-called 'shakkei', always attracts many people.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:35 | Japanese food and drink | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする