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

2015年03月07日

Tadao Ando and Yayoi Kusama, both of them are known all over the world, can be appreciated on Naoshima at the same time.

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Naoshima is world-widely known as a small island where art and nature melt into each other. Many modern artworks are found everywhere on this beautiful nature-rich island, so everybody can enjoy them in a leisurely manner finding themselves with plenty of time. Quite a few non-Japanese visitors are here, in spite of the long distance from major cities of Japan with no good transportation. The first picture shows a statue of 'Kabocha' pumpkin created by Yayoi Kusama, which can be mentioned at the head of the popular artworks on this island. This statue stands near the Benesse House, the central facility on this island, and is uniquely polka-dotted which is the characteristic of this artist. The second picture shows the entrance of 'Chichu Art Museum' designed by Tadao Ando. This museum is built in the ground and features several paintings of 'Water Lilies' by Claude Monet as well as the architecture itself.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:15 | 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02月27日

'Naoshima' in Kagawa Prefecture, a small island in 'Seto Inland Sea', is a treasury of installation arts.

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An art project, what is called 'ie-Project', was started in 'Honmura' district in 1997, where is one of the oldest residential areas on this island. This project was triggered by Mr. Soichiro Fukutake, a well-known businessman in the field of education, and seven core artists participated centering on Mr. Tadao Ando, a world figure. They turned old empty houses into works of art with artistic exterior/interior design. The 300 year old townscape, dotted with the seven intallation arts, should be called one big installation. This ie-Project is specifically made up of 'Kadoya', 'Minami-dera', 'Kinza', 'Go-o Shrine', 'Ishibashi', 'Gokaisho' and 'Haisha' as shown in the first picture.
This project aside, a bathhouse named 'Airabu-yu', standing close to 'Miya-ura' port, the main gateway to Naoshima, is one more installation on this island. As shown in the second picture, this is a newly-built bathhouse and is actually used by the locals and visitors for the place of exchange. The interior/exterior materials were from everywhere in Japan.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:32 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする