2018年02月26日

'Harimaya-bashi' bridge in the heart of Kochi City, Shikoku, is known as the most disappointing tourist attraction in Japan.

IMG_0007 (2).JPG

The main offices of 'Harimaya' and 'Hitsuya', both of them were the leading wealthy merchants of the district in the Edo Period (the 17th-19th century), stood across a ditch from each other. They built a private bridge named Harimaya-bashi over the ditch for their business convenience. This bridge, thereafter, was shared with the public, thus this neighborhood had gradually become the town center. Then a forbidden love affair between a Buddhist monk and a daughter of a tinsmith took place in the 19th century. Buddhist monk's love was a taboo in those years. He was witnessed when buying an ornamental hairpin for his love at a small shop beside Harimaya-bashi bridge. This heartwarming but sad story was used as a material for 'Joruri' puppet show and 'Yosakoi-bushi' local folk song, which has made this real story famous across Japan together with the name of Harimaya-bashi. However the original bridge was destroyed because of the redevelopment project after the second World War. The red bridge in the picture is a rebuilt one following the original design, though it looks disappointing due to the urbanization of the surroundings and is much smaller than expected.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 13:49 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年02月16日

On the top of 'Katsuyama' hill in the heart of Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, the original 'honmaru' donjon of Matsuyama Castle stately stands, having survived the confusion in the last days of feudal government.

IMG_0012.JPG

IMG_0014.JPG

During Tokugawa feudal times which lasted for 250 years, there were about 300 castles in Japan. Most of them were destroyed by the civil wars and other causes in the course of Japan's modernization, and only 12 original honmaru donjons survived the state of disorder. Matsuyama Castle with the honmaru and other original annexed buildings in the pictures are one of them. This castle has two stars in the Michelin Green Guide. The second picture, taken from the top floor of honmaru donjon, shows the other buildings against the backdrop of the town scape of Matsuyama City, the largest city in Shikoku region. When spring comes, the cherry trees start to bloom at their best.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

HP-banner



posted by masahisa at 10:58 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年02月05日

'Uchiko', located 40 kilometers in the southwest of Matsuyama City, a prefectural capital of Ehime Prefecture, is known for the old townscape flourished as 'mokuro' Japan wax production and trading center.

IMG_0028 (2).JPG

Japanese candles had been indispensable until electric lights appeared late in the 19th century. The main material of Japanese candles is wax tree nuts in the western part of Japan, or varnish tree nuts in the eastern part of Japan. Compared with Western candles made from paraffin, Japanese candles are inferior to them brightness wise, but Japanese traditional candles are still used mainly for family alters in Japan because of less soot and beautiful orange flames with flickers.
Uchiko in the picture was one of the major production as well as trading centers of wax tree nuts for Japanese candles. The main old road running for 600 meters is flanked with well preserved buildings with white wall dating back to the 18th-19th century. This kind of townscape preservation district can be found in other places in Japan though, Uchiko is first class in the scale and quality. It is comfortable to walk along the lonesome street in a carefree manner, since this place is far from Tokyo and Osaka.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

HP-banner

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