2016年01月10日

'Kazura-bashi' means a primitive rope bridge made of vines, and four bridges of this kind remain in Japan.

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It is said that there used to be 13 kazura-bashi bridges in Iya district in Tokushima Prefecture in the 17th century. The picture shows the longest bridge among the existing 4 bridges, the dimensions of which are 45 meters in length and 2 meters in width. This bridge was originally made of vines entirely though, present one is partially made of wire ropes covered with vines. About 350 thousand people vist here every year in spite of the poor transportation facilities, so this bridge is renewed every three years.
This most well-known kazura-bashi aside, there are three other shorter ones are found in Japan. Two are called 'Oku-Iya niju kazura-bashi' double bridges, a combination of a 42 meter long one and a 20 meter long one, in this neighborhood. The last one, 44 meters long, is in Fukui Prefecture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:51 | 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