2016年08月30日

'Dojima' in Kita-ku, Osaka City, used to be dotted with many 'kurayashiki' warehouses and sales offices for rice and other agricultural products, which were maintained by 'daimyo' feudal lords in the 17th-19th century.

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In the feudal years, Osaka was the largest commercial city in Japan, centering on Dojima area. Dojima was a sandbar formed on the north side of a tributary of the 'Yodo' running from east to west in the heart of Osaka. In the middle of the 17th century, a leading wealthy merchant 'Yodoya' established a rice market here, which was the origin of Japan's largest agricultural market focused on rice. The rice collected from every part of Japan as a tax was stored in the warehouses of daimyo feudal lords. They sold the rice in their kurayashiki warehouses when it soared to a higher price. Thus, the standard price of rice in Japan had been formed in Dojima, and the first full-scale future market in the world was established here in Dojima. The right side of the river in the first picture is present Dojima area, and the monument standing at the very place of this future market is shown in the second picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:53 | Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年08月26日

'Nippori Fabric Town' in Tokyo features more than 80 shops focused on plain cloths, sewing things and so on, standing along a street for one kilometer.

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Nippori Fabric Town started about 100 years ago, when the small traders dealing in scraps and wasted cloths in Asakusa, Taito-ku, moved here in a group. Most shops were selling second-class or unsold goods at the beginning though, with an increasing number of the shops and gradual expansion of an assortment of each shop, present shopping street has been completed. Any kinds of goods about handicrafts can be found here with less expensive price. But the shoppers should take note that most shops are closed on Sundays and national holidays, as well as the closing time is 5:00-6:00pm, since they are basically wholesalers.
And furthermore, there used to stand many Buddhist temples on the west side of JR Nippori Station. The numberless cherry trees were planted on those temple grounds to attract Tokyo people and this still continues.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:06 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年08月19日

'Amarube' railway bridge, upper Hyogo Prefecture, is a notorious feature of JR 'San-in Honsen' main line running along the Sea of Japan as it is one of the longest railway bridges in Japan.

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Former Amarube railway bridge was completed with iron materials from the U.S. in 1912. This engineering work connected two places, Kyoto and Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture, by one railway, which had made a great contribution to the popularity of this historical and prestigious shrine. As this area has a strong prevailing wind from the sea in winter, the steel materials of the bridge had long been elaborately maintained against the rust since its completion until 2010. In December 1986, an accident happened causing 6 fatalities. An out-of-service train passing on this railway bridge fell down onto a small factory due to an unusually strong wind, and this accident stimulated the locals into rebuilding movement of this bridge. The dark brown iron bridge in the picture is an old one which is partially preserved, and the concrete one is a new bridge completed in 2010. An observatory is set up on the top of the old one.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:59 | Japanese food and drink | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする