2016年02月29日

'Ise Shima' district in the south of Mie Prefecture corresponds to 'Ise Jingu' and the 'Shima Peninsula', they are Japan's well-known sightseeing spots, and their vicinities.

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The same as adjacent Nara Prefecture, Mie Prefecture is not on the route of Shinkansen super express train. Thus Ise-Shima district can't be said to be a conveniently situated place from Tokyo and Osaka. As Ise Jingu, where the ancestor of the Imperial family worshipped as a deity is enshrined, stands here, Ise district is always busy with many visitors. This tradition dates back to the 17th century, when a great number of the common people paid a visit here, partly for pleasure. It took some 15 days all the way from Edo(Tokyo) or 5 days from Osaka. The first picture shows a long-established confectionary store on 'Oharaimachi' temple town leading to Ise Jingu. As shown in the second picture, the Shima Peninsula located in the south of Ise district is dotted with small islands, capes and inlets, which forms a typical rias coast. This geographical feature bring a benefit from cultivated laver, oyster and pearls. The well-known 'Mikimoto Perl' was born here.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:19 | 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

2016年02月16日

On the top of 'Katsuyama' hill in the heart of Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, the original 'honmaru' donjon of Matsuyama Castle stately stands, having survived the confusion in the last days of feudal government.

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During Tokugawa feudal times which lasted for 250 years, there were about 300 castles in Japan. Most of them were destroyed by the civil wars and other causes in the course of Japan's modernization, and only 12 original honmaru donjons survived the state of disorder. Matsuyama Castle with the honmaru and other original annexed buildings in the pictures are one of them. This castle has two stars in the Michelin Green Guide. The second picture, taken from the top floor of honmaru donjon, shows the other buildings against the backdrop of the town scape of Matsuyama City, the largest city in Shikoku region. When spring comes, the cherry trees start to bloom at their best.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 10:58 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年02月10日

'Shukkeien' Japanese Garden in the central part of Hiroshima City was built by Asano Nagaakira, the first feudal lord of the Hiroshima domain, as his private garden of the villa.

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Shukkeien literally means a garden representing shrunk scenery. This garden, in fact, is said to model after 'Lake Seiko' in China which is on the World Heritage List. The scale is not so large, however this garden is a typical 'daimyo garden', a garden built by a feudal lord, with a central pond. Many miniature islands, large and small, in the pond, and the bridges spanning the water, which realize a 'kaiyu garden', landscape garden for strolling around. The stone arch bridge, in the right of the first picture, built by Asano Shigeakira, the 7th feudal lord, is featured in this garden. This garden was seriously destroyed by the A-bomb during the Second World War, as shown in the second picture, but it had been gradually restored to be completed in 1974.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant.
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:02 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする