2015年10月29日

A public bathhouse 'Dogo-onsen Honkan' in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, built in 1894, is designated as important cultural property.

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Stately public bathhouses are likely found in the center of the traditional hot spring resorts in Japan, where people enjoy bathing at a resonable admission fee. 'Dogo-onsen Honkan', standing in the centre of 'Dogo-onsen' resort, is the best one among them. This three storied building is equipped with four big public bathrooms, and people can enjoy not only bathing but also tea and sweets according to the variety of admmission fee, cheap and expensive ones.
The building on the left in the first picture is a special bathhouse only for the royal family, named 'Yushin-den'. This building is not used now though, but can be visited with a guide to look into the luxury interior. The second picture shows the lounge, on the second floor of this bathhouse, for the visitors after bathing.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:55 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年03月24日

'Marugame' Castle in Kagawa Prefecture solely rests on the top of Japan's tallest stone walls, while ticking away for 400 years.

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Marugame Castle is one of the 12 oldest castles having an original 'tenshukaku' main building. This castle was built making the most of 'Kameyama' hill 66 meters high. The donjon stands atop of four storied stone wallls 60 meters high, all of which are surrounded by an inner moat. These stone walls are Japan's tallest stone walls of a castle, boasting an impregnable fortress.
Contrary to the tallest stone walls in Japan, the three storied old donjon built in the 17th century is the smallest one among 12 existing donjons of original structure. The entire view of this castle, accordingly, looks a little unusual for the people getting used to Japan's common castles.
Donjon and stone walls aside, a stately structure in the picture is 'Omote-ichinomon', the most important gate of this castle, also built in the 17th century.
As there was a big drum which told the time in the Edo period, this gate has another name 'Taiko-mon' drum gate.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:28 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年03月16日

'Setonaikai' National Park, which is one of the oldest national parks together with 'Unzen' and 'Kirishima' National Park designated in 1934, is Japan's largest national park.

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Setonaikai is an inland sea lying in between Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, and it faces 11 prefectures from Wakayama Prefecture in Honshu to Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu. These broad waters, 450 kilometers from east to west and 15-55 kilometers from north to south, are dotted with some 3,000 islands, large and small.
Thanks to the geographical condition, these waters are highly admired as one of the best scenic spots in Japan.
Setonaikai had long been prospered as an important sea route between the 'Kinki' district, the old center of Japan, and Kyushu, accordingly it is full of historical sightseeing spots such as 'Itsukushima Shrine' on the World Heritage List, 'Usa Hachiman Shrine', 'Konpira Shrine', 'Yashima' and 'Dan-no-ura' ancient battlefield and 'Tomo-no-ura' old port town.
Furthermore, this inland sea has many narrow straits, which cause violent tidal currents. 'Naruto' Strait at the eastern end is well known as the best tourist site to enjoy the strong currents and eddying tides.
The two pictures show the beautiful scenery of Setonaikai commanded from Naoshima Island.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:38 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする