2018年12月27日

'Ohya-ishi' stone is mainly used for building materials, as it is easy to cut and is resistant to fire.

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Ohya-ishi stone is formed from volcanic ashes settled on the bottom of the sea. It is reserved in Ohya town, Tochigi Prefecture, and 120 quarries were running in the golden age in the 1960s. However the number of them has dwindled now to one-tenth of that time. As shown in the first picture, open-cut mining is found there though, underground mining is the mainstream now to get the better quality of stones. The second picture shows the interior of the mine which already shut down the operation. These ruins are opened to the public as a museum named 'Ohya-shiryo-kan'. As the temperature deep inside the ruins is stable all the year, from 5 to10 degrees Celsius, it was used as a warehouse for rice, other cereals and fermented foods. In recent years, it has become a popular place for a filming location and event site.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 12:54 | 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

2018年12月22日

Tokyo University, which is Japan's first university in the strict sense of the word, was born by the merger of two schools, Tokyo Kaisei College and Tokyo Medical College.

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The old building in the first picture is found in Kanda-nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. This building is 'Gakushi-kaikan', which is a cross-sectional alumni hall for Tokyo university and six other leading national universities in Japan. This multipurpose facility, containing accommodations, restaurants and a wedding hall, was built in 1928. Right after the Second World War, this was used as the officer's mess of occupation forces. This site is also known as the birthplace of baseball in Japan. Tokyo Kaisei College, which was one of the predecessors of present Tokyo University, stood in this site. An American teacher for this college told the students the rules of baseball in his spare time in 1877.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 12:56 | 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12月15日

'Showa-kan' , National Showa Memorial Museum, in Kudan , Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, is a unique museum focusing on the Japanese people's life before, during and after the Second World War.

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This museum was opened in 1999. Japan adopts Christian era and Japanese era. The latter is based on the specific emperor, so each Japanese era name matches the reign of each emperor. 'Showa' is one of Japanese era names, when the Emperor Showa, Hirohito, was enthroned from 1926 to 1989. Showa was the longest Japanese era with turmoil. The annexation of nearby countries before the war, fierce battle against the US, the declaration of defeat caused by the A-bomb, chaos right after the war, and the miraculous economic growth in the post war. Japan became the world's second largest economy in 1968, thereafter gave that place to China in 2010 though. This museum put the goods, books, films and other items associated with Showa era particularly focusing on the Second World War.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:54 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする