2018年09月09日

Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City, located in the northeast of Fukuoka Prefecture, used to prosper as Japan's largest coal shipping port.

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Wakamatsu-ku originally was Wakamatsu City established in 1914. From the latter half of the 19th century, when Japan's modernization started, nearby 'Chikuho' coalfield had been rapidly developed and most of the coal was shipped from Wakamatsu to the major industrial zones and cities of the country. Wakamatsu, accordingly, showed great prosperity with large population from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The adjacent five cities including Wakamatsu City were combined to form the then seventh largest city in Japan, Kitakyushu City, in 1963 though, this new megacity has been in its twilight since because of an energy revolution. Wakamatsu area is a typical example of this obsolete city featuring a smokestack industry.
Two pictures show some reminders.
First picture: Former Wakamatsu branch building of 'Furukawa Co., Ltd' built in 1919, which still is one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Japan.
Second picture: 'Ryotei Kin-nabe' Japanese high-end restaurant built in 1896, which is still servicing.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:58 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年08月24日

'Kakitagawa' spring group features the most amount of discharge among the uncountable number of springs at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

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Japan's tallest peak Mt. Fuji is a conical volcano, so the meltwater and rainwater sinking into the mountain gush out on the surroundings after 20-30 years. Kakitagawa spring group is the largest among them, with 100 tons of discharge a day, which is on a world-wide level. The spring water through the huge natural filter boasts of outstanding transparency and is the best drinking water. The temperature of it is stable all the year, 15-18 degrees. This spring water forms Kakitagawa river 1.2 km in length, which is one of the shortest rivers in Japan and joins other river to flow into the Pacific Ocean. An esplanade over the springs is well developed.
The picture shows one of the places where the springs are gushing out. Two circles, big and small, are the traces of water intake pipes for a bygone factory.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:01 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年08月20日

'Ainu' are the indigenous people who used to live throughout Japan Before Christ.

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Ainu are hunting people and highly depend on salmon fishery. So, they permanently resided near rivers, lakes and seaside together with 5-7 families, these small villages are called 'kotan' in Ainu. The people from China and Korean Peninsula coming to Japan in 2,500 B.C. brought rice cultivation and established central government based on the emperor system in the 5th century. This new power drove Ainu to north and south after the 8-9th century. The pure Ainu people have disappeared now, and just 23,000-24,000 Ainu-related people with Japanese names are found mainly in Hokkaido. Their cultural aspects and appearance are similar to Okinawan, the people in Okinawa Islands, which implies these two kinds of people are originally the same. The Japanese natives driven to north likely became Ainu, and to south Okinawan. The picture shows the largest Ainu kotan village on Lake Akan, which was intentionally formed by putting many kotans near Lake Akan together in 1954. This big kotan is made up of 36 families. The villagers are running souvenir shops, Ainu cuisine restaurants and the like.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:16 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする