2018年06月21日

'Notsuke Peninsula' at the eastern tip of 'Hokkaido' is Japan's largest sandbar, 28 km long.

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Notsuke Peninsula is sticking out to the ocean between 'Shiretoko Peninsula' and 'Nemuro Peninsula'. This big sandbar has been formed by the tidal current running along the coast line, and the narrowest part is 50 m wide. Many migratory birds, such as sea eagles and cranes, are seen in the wetland on both sides of the sandbar in winter. When short summer comes, the wildflowers are in full bloom along the trail as shown in the first picture. The flowers are not enough though, as this picture was taken a little earlier than summer. 'Todowara', as shown in the second picture, is worthy of note. The sea water is gradually flowing into the sandbar due to global warming, which has caused the death of the Sakhalin firs which used to form a grove. 18 km off the coast, 'Kunashir Island', which has long been illegally occupied by Russia after the end of the Second World War, can be seen if weather permits.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:36 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年06月17日

The National Noh Theatre in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, was opened in 1983, for spreading as well as preserving 'Noh'.

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The original form of 'Noh' was completed by 'Ze-ami', a noted Noh player and playwright, about 600 years ago. Thereafter, it had been developed into all the parts of Japan mainly by 'samurai' class. It is performed exclusively by men with unique masks to play the roles of various characters regardless of genders and age. The National Noh Theatre in the picture is only one theatre just for Noh, where the periodical performances are held several times a month. In addition, the training of new people who are aiming to become Noh players is carried out as a national project. Noh is a leading classic theatrical art in Japan together with 'Kabuki'. Kabuki was mainly loved by common people, while Noh was supported by 'samurai' warriors in the feudal years.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:38 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年06月02日

'Honjin' means the accommodations developed across the country for the people of high standing in the 'Edo period' in the 17th-19th century.

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Edo/Tokugawa feudal government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to live in their domains and Edo (Tokyo) alternately in yearly shifts. More than 300 feudal lords periodically went and returned between their domains and Edo with many attendants according to their power, and this system was called 'Sankin-Kotai'. In order to support this system, the accommodations for them were prepared in the major post towns throughout Japan. These honjin accommodations were not for the common people but exclusively for the people of high standing. The private houses of the leading locals were generally used as honjin when they were needed. In the wake of weakening of the feudal government, Sankin-Kotai system was beginning to break down, and finally died at the end of the feudal years. Honjin accommodations were not needed anymore.
The picture shows 'Hino Honjin' in Hino City, Tokyo, which is one of the original honjin buildings still remaining in Japan, most of them are opened to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:10 | 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