2017年09月18日

A national treasure building 'Hikone Castle' is an excellent castle together with Himeji Castle.

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Hikone Castle had been resided by the Ii family which produced five chief ministers of the Tokugawa feudal government. The Ii family, a daimyo (feudal lord) in hereditary vassalage to the the Tokugawas, had successively ruled this domain for 14 generations from the beginning of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century. Most daimyos were frequently ordered to change their domain by the central government controlled by Tokugawa shogun, the perposse of which was to lessen the accumulation of wealth from their domain. However the Ii family was one of the rare families which had never experienced the forced relocation as it was enough trusted. Hikone Castle standing on the top of the hill on the east coast of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, the castle tower and three annexed buildings of which are designated as national trasures, and five other buildings are important cultural asset. This castle was designed as a real fortress, thus many elaborate devices, such as hidden loopholes, are found here and there. The picture shows a distant view of the castle tower from 'Genkyu-en' Japanese garden, which was built in 1678.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:01 | 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09月09日

The donjon of Inuyama Castle in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, is one of the 12 original castle towers in Japan.

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Inuyama Castle stands on the hilltop commanding the Kiso, the largest river flowing across the Nobi plane which embraces Nagoya City, the third largest urban area of Japan. Inuyama area on the boundary between Aichi Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture had been a battlefield where many powerful feudal lords had fought against each other for more territory since the 15th century. Inuyama Castle was built in 1537 as a strong fortress. In this area of rival warlords, this castle had been owned by many different warlords one after another. However since the possession of the Naruse clan, the chief retainer of the Owari Tokugawa House, in 1617, this had been continuingly owned by the same family till 2004. Japan's castles are state-owned in general after the Meiji Restoration in 1889 though, this castle was the one and only private property in modern times. Inuyama Castle is designated as a national treasure together with Matsumoto Castle, Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle and Matsue Castle.

License tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:32 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年08月28日

'Shuzenji Onsen' in the north of the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, is the oldest hot spring resort found in this peninsula abounds in hot springs.

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A direct bus service from Shinjuku takes you to Shuzenji Onsen in 100 minutes. This major hot spring resort is said to be discovered by 'Kobo Daishi', a well known high-ranking priest, in the 8th-9th century. Many hot spring inns as well as restaurants line both sides of the Shuzenji flowing across the central part of the resort. The first picture shows the Shuzenji and 'Tokko-no-Yu' public foot bath in the center. Tokko-no-Yu is the first source of hot springs in this area, which used to be used as a public bath. A promenade runs along this river by way of 'Chikurin-no-Komichi' bamboo path, which attracts many sightseers. The second picture shows 'Shuzenji' Buddhist Temple standing in the heart of the resort, which is the origin of Shuzenji Onsen. This temple is not large-scale though, the certain history for as long as 1,200 years old has passed.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:27 | 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