2017年07月17日

'Kintaikyo' in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, built in 1673, is a long wooden bridge made up of a continuous row of five arch bridges.

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Kintaikyo was built by a feudal lord of the Iwakuni domain to connect Iwakuni Castle with the downtown over the Nishiki. The specialists carried out a feasibility study though, any instructive bridges couldn't be found in Japan, because the total length of the bridge was needed up to 200 meters. Finally, a stone arch bridge in China was used as a reference. The original bridge built in 1673 was partially washed away by a flood in the next year after the completion, but the stone bridge piers were reinforced immediately. Since then, this bridge had never been destroyed for some 276 years until a typhoon hit it in 1950. The history of restoration works of this bridge, 210 meters long and 5 meters wide, has long been perfectly kept. Every 15 years for the floorboards and every 20 years for the main structure, this bridge has been regularly maintained since its first completion, which is in order to hand down the bridge building techniques. All the timber for the maintenance works is provided from nearby afforestation area exclusively for the bridge.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:31 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年06月29日

'Shiomi-nawate' street along the moat running on the north side of Matsue Castle is lined with the houses of middle-ranking samurai in the feudal years, the 16th-19th century.

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An old castle town 'Matsue' is a small city with a peaceful townscape. This city features 'Matsuba-gani' snow crab in winter and 'Izumo-soba' noodles all the year, which has put this city on the map as a gourmet city. As this city didn't suffer air raids at all during the Second World War, old townscapes are found everywhere. The first picture shows one of the examples called 'Shiomi-nawate', where the old houses of the middle-ranking samurai stand on the street 800 meters in length. Two houses are opened to the public now. One is a typical samurai house with a big gate called '*nagaya-mon', and the other one is the former house of 'Koizumi Yakumo', who was a well-known literary giant.
*Nagaya-mon is a gate building complex, which means a small house for a security guard and a firm gate are combined into one.
The second picture shows the exterior of Koizumi Yakumo's former house. He, a naturalized Japanese from Greece, lived here for one year at the end of the 19th century while working as an English teacher.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:18 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年07月27日

'Uradome' sawtooth coast in the east of Tottori Prefecture, running for 15 kilometers from east to west, is a part of 'Sanin Kaigan' National Park.

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Sanin Kaigan National Park lies along the long coast line all the way from Kyoto Prefecture to Shimane Prefecture. This beautiful coast line is technically called a rias coast, which means sawtooth coast made up of sheer cliffs, reefs and caves. The angry waves and prevailing winds in winter have long formed this unique geographical feature. This coast was designated as a protected geologic formation in the 1930s, as it had been widely known as one of the most beautiful scenic spots since old days.
The transportation convenience is poor though, the nature trail is running along the coast line and the excursion boat is periodically in operation.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 13:54 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする