2017年12月11日

'Lake Toyako', located in the soutwest of Hokkaido, is an important element of 'Shikotsu Toya National Park'.

IMG_1765.JPG

IMG_1778.JPG

Lake Toya, with the perimeter of 30 kilometers, is a caldera lake. Holding four islands, the largest one with the height of 450 meters, this lake offers beautiful scenery as shown in the first picture. The maximum depth is 180 meters though, the minimum depth is surprisingly less than 1 meter, because the top of the tallest lake-bottom volcano almost reaches the surface of the lake. There are 10 volcanos found under the water. A hotel standing on the top of a lakeside mountain was used for the main venue of 'G8 Summit' in 2008. Centering on 'Mt. Usu' active volcano, many signs of volcanic activity are found in the south of the lake. 'Toyako Onsen' hot spring resort also spreads over this area. The second picture shows 'Mt. Showa-Shinzan', the side volcano of Mt. Usu. This small volcano, 400 meters high, is known as Japan's newest volcano. A block lava emerged penetrating the flat field together with repeated earthquakes in 1944 to form Mt. Showa-Shinzan in 1945.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 10:33 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年12月05日

'Hieizan Enryakuji' Buddhist temple in Shiga Prefecture used to be a pillar of Japanese Buddhism together with 'Koyasan Kongobuji' Buddhist temple in Wakayama Prefecture.

IMG_1573.JPG

The precincts of this temple spreads all over 'Hieizan' mountain, 848 meters high above sea level, standing northwest of Kyoto. Being built by a famous priest 'Saicho', who was a founder of the 'Tendai Sect' Buddhism, late in the 8th century, this temple was made up of more than 3,000 buildings in the golden age. As a central educational institution of Japanese Buddhism from the 10th to 13th century, many brilliant Buddhist monks studied here. 'Honen' the founder of the 'Jodo Sect', 'Eisai' the 'Rinzai Sect', 'Dogen' the 'Soto Sect', 'Shinran' the 'Jodo-Shin Sect', 'Nichiren' the 'Nichiren Sect' and other giants trained themselves in Buddhist ascetic practices. All these sects have been deeply rooted in Japanese Buddhism now. On the other hand, this great temple also has a history as an armed temple. As the strongest religious power with thousands of monk soldiers, this had fought against the political powers for some hundreds of years. This was like an independent state within Japan.
However, this temple was beaten in a battle against a samurai government late in the 16th century. Most buildings were destroyed during this battle. The majority of the present buildings were reconstructed in the 16th-17th century. The picture shows 'Monjuro' gate of 'Konpon Chudo' main hall. This gate was reconstructed late in the 17th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 09:41 | Kyoto | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年11月27日

'Onuma Semi-National Park' lying 16 kirometers north of Hakodate City, Hokkaido, is made up of 'Hokkaido Komagatake' active volcano and three volcanic lakes.

IMG_1453.JPG

IMG_1469.JPG

The opening of a 'ryokan' Japanese hotel in 1872 triggered the reputation as one of the leading natural parks in Hokkaido. Thanks to a short distance from Hakodate City, the largest international trading port in Hokkaido in these years, this natural park attracted many Westerners from Hakodate. Through the opening of Onuma railway station as well as the laying down the infrastructure for the park, thereafter, this park was designated as a semi-national park in 1958. In addition, this park was registered as a wetland under the Ramsar Convention in 2012. There are 126 small islands floating on the largest lake and pleasure boats moving around the lakes are servicing except for winter. In winter instead, people enjoy smelt fishing on the thickly frozen lakes. The pictures show Komagatake volcano over the lake and the small islands commanded from the pleasure boat.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 13:38 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする