2016年06月29日

'Kurumazaki' Shinto Shrine in Sagano, Kyoto, is known as a guardian deity for stars and artists, only to those in the know.

IMG_0013 (2).JPG

IMG_0012 (2).JPG

Taking a streetcar for 3 minutes from Arashiyama, known for Togetsu Bridge, Kurumazaki Shrine is found. The deity of one of the affiliate shrines standing in this grounds is worshipped by many celebrities in the field of show business and art. The first picture shows the red wooden boards offered by many show-business personalities, the stage names or pen names of them are written on them. More than 2,000 boards are dedicated here, and they are still increasing every year.
Ardent fans, doing photo sessions in front of their favorite stars, are occasionally found. In addition, this shrine also features 'Kinen Shinseki' sacred stone which grants believers' wishes. This is a kind of good-luck charm though, the people having Kinen Shinseki, whose wishes came through, have to dedicate a nearby flat stone with words of gratitude to this shrine as shown in the second picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 14:34 | Kyoto | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年06月23日

'Matsumoto Castle', standing in the heart of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, features Japan's oldest full-scale 'tenshukaku' castle tower.

IMG_0160.JPG

IMG_0164.JPG

Around 10 years before the completion of Edo Castle in Tokyo, which is regarded as the symbol of the unification of feudal Japan, the present tenshukaku castle tower of Matsumoto Castle was built. As those years were in the midst of wartime, the castles had to be well defended. Accordingly most castles in this period stand on a hill, this kind of castle is called 'yamashiro' hilltop castle. However, Matsumoto Castle is a typical 'hirashiro' flatland castle, equipped with tall stone walls, double moats, gun and arrow loops (As shown in the second picture), as fortifications. The two storied building in the left of the tallest building in the first picture was built in the 17th century, when Japan was already pacified, therefore any kinds of defensive devices can't be found inside. Castle tower of Matsumoto Castle is designated as a national treasure together with four other castles, Himeji Castle, Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle and Matsue Castle. In this connection, Matsumoto City is carrying out the project to restore the outer moat of this castle by 2020.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 16:40 | 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06月13日

'Zenkoji' Buddhist Temple in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, doesn't stand for any sect, where hidden Buddhist images are worshipped.

IMG_0216.JPG

Zenkoji, made up of 2 main temples and 39 affiliated temples, is a huge Buddhist temple. This temple features being totally independent of any sect and having accepted female worshippers since its establishment. The main Buddhist images are thought to be hidden, as they can't be seen even by the head priest, however some of them are opened to the public every 6 years. The picture shows 'Hondo' main building, designated as a national treasure, which was rebuilt in 1707. This stately building is Japan's third largest wooden structure among many old wooden buildings of national treasures. The dimensions are 29 meters high, 24 meters wide and 53 meters deep. 'Kaidan Meguri', meaning to walk through in the pitch-dark tunnel running right under the seats of main images, is worth being experienced. 'Sanmon' main gate, designated as an important cultural asset, can be entered for a small fee, and many scribblings dating back to the 18th century are found inside.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 09:43 | 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