2019年09月24日

'Shima-onsen' hot spring resort in Nakanojo Town, Gunma Prefecture, has been known for spa treatments since the 16th century.

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Shima means 40 thousands, which was named after the fact that this hot spring is effective against 40 thousand types of diseases. This resort town can be reached by car from nearby train station on JR Azuma-line, running on a 17km-long mountain road along Shima mountain stream. This road comes to the dead-end here in Shima area, and a nostalgic cozy resort town has been formed near the beautiful stream as shown in the second picture. Many people having a chronic disease strived to go up the gentle slope to Shima-onsen all the way from Nakanojo train station. The first picture shows 'Sekizenkan ryokan', one of the leading ryokans here. This originally was just for a spa treatment though, Sekizenkan also turns to be known as a high-end Japanese ryokan with a hot spring private bath after repeated extension works. A part of the old building and the oldest public bath room are designated as Registered Tangible Cultural Properties. This time-honored ryokan was depicted as a stage of 'Spirited Away' by Hayao Miyazaki, thus the young guests are frequently found recently.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:27 | 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

2019年09月19日

The population of giant panda, inhabiting just in Sichuan and Gansu Province, China, tends to increase recently.

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Giant pandas used to inhabit in Vietnam and Myanmar though, their present habitats are limited to a part of a mountainous district of China. Because of extensive deforestation and poaching for fur, the population of pandas had rapidly reduced. But thanks to the establishment of 40 sanctuaries by the Chinese government and the development of artificial breeding study, the number of them is estimated at about 1,800 now. Their staple food is bamboo, but their digestive organs are less efficient, so they spend almost the entire day eating bamboo. Talking of pandas, China's Panda Diplomacy is widely known, China utilizes pandas to deepen the relationship to the countries of the Western block. It presented a couple of pandas to the US in 1972, followed by Japan, France and the UK. However the Washington Convention stipulates export ban of pandas from China, thus the pandas found out of China, are all rental for studies nowadays In the end, an interesting story though, an ancient document, reading that a King of China in Tang period presented a pair of pandas to the Emperor of Japan in 685, remains in Japan.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:10 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年09月14日

Half the number of lesser pandas at the zoos of the world are raised in Japan.

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Lesser pandas inhabit mainly in Sichuan Province, China, and some other countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan. These areas are highlands, higher than 1,500 meters above sea level. Their population seems to be dropping recently due to climate change and poaching, thus the Washington Convention regulates the number of catch of this rare animal. This animal was introduced to the whole world by a Westerner under the name of 'Panda' in 1825 though, giant pandas are found in China thereafter. Since then, the name of 'Panda' had generally showed giant pandas instead of lesser pandas. About 250 lesser pandas are kept in the zoos in Japan, and some of them have succeeded in artificial breeding. In this connection, the name of panda derives from 'bamboo-eating animal' in Himalayan language.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:43 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする