2019年11月13日

The Nara Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Japan which were built before the Second World War, stands at the old site of Daijo-in Temple established in the 11th century.

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Tackling the rapidly increasing number of non-Japanese travelers around the last half of 19th century, Japanese government urged the building of the accommodation facilities for them. In accordance with this situation, the Nara Hotel was erected in Nara City, Japan's first full-fledged capital in the 8th century. The exterior of this building is likened to Byodo-In Temple in nearby Uji City built in the 11th century. The hotel guests were limited to the people of social eminence at first, because this hotel was originally run as a quasi-national guest house. We can find many big names in the old hotel book, such as Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Pyui (The last emperor of the Qing Dynasty), Jawaharlal Nehru, Audrey Hepburn and so on.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:32 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年10月26日

About 1,200 wild deer inhabit all over Nara Park, including the precincts of Kasuga Shrine, Todai-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple.

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The wild deer in Nara Park have long been warmly protected, as they are regarded as divine messengers of Kasuga Shrine. Killing a deer necessarily resulted in a severe penalty, and it is said that the some offenders were actually sentenced capital punishment. These deer once were threatened with extinction during and right after the second World War when the locals were suffering from a food shortage. However the number of the deer has been kept around 1,200 after that thanks to the protection activities. Deer originally are very much timid animal though, the deer here are well tamed as they have long been fed by the locals. But they become short-tempered in the rut, so the locals periodically dehorn the bucks. From this point, they are not wild deer but belong to Kasuga Shrine to be more precise. It is under the consideration recently to cut back the number of the deer, because the damage to the plants and crops caused by these deer.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:12 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年10月02日

'Nara-machi' zone in the heart of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is lying in the ancient area, where the extensive precincts of 'Ganko-ji' Buddhist Temple, a World Heritage, used to stand.

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Nara-machi has been developed on the overhanging part of 'Heijo-kyo', the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It is an old zone along the ancient grid-pattern roads in the 8th century. Ganko-ji Temple found here originally had extensive precincts though, these precincts had gradually been transformed into a commercial zone from the 16th to 19th century. It had become a busy zone with a variety of wholesalers and retailers dealing in writing brushes, Indian ink, mosquito nets and the like. This is one of the rare cities which escaped the air raids during the Second World War, as it was a relatively small city without big factories. Nara-machi, accordingly, is still dotted with many old buildings as shown in the pictures, and some of them are converted into bars, restaurants, variety shops and lodging houses to attract many people as a new tourist spot of this former capital.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:14 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする