2019年10月19日

'Hitachi Seaside Park' in Ibaragi Prefecture was opened in 1991 and is still under expansion work.

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This extensive park, the total area of 350 hectare, is the former site of a training airfield of the Imperial Japanese Army before the second World War.
After the war, this was took over by the US Forces to be used as a firing and bombing training field. Thereafter, this was returned to Japan to be used as a huge public park run by the national government. This site once was a candidate of Tokyo Disneyland despite being far out of Tokyo, because of having a large enough area for the world wide them park. Known as a place for beautiful flowers throughout the year, such as a tulip in April, nemophila in May and Kochia in October. The picture shows the autumn leaves of a kochia and cosmoses in full bloom.
A kochia is called a broom plant in Japan as it was used to make a broom, and the tiny fruits of it is named 'Tonburi' for a special food in Akita Prefecture.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:11 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年08月25日

"Kashima-jingu" Shinto Shrine in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture, is the head shrine of all "Kashima-jinja" shrines in Japan.

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This magnificent Shinto shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Eastern Japan. Yamato Imperial Court in Nara Prefecture designated this shrine as a guardian deity to suppress the Ainu, native Japanese, living in Eastern Japan in ancient times. When samurai administration came into force in the 12th century, they began to worship this shrine for winning victories in general wars. A long sword of this shrine, as a symbolic weapon, is designated a national treasure. The tower gate in the picture, main building and hall of worshipping found in the precincts are important cultural assets. Many deer in the enclosure of the precincts are also found, as a deer is considered to be a messenger of god. A regular festival is held in September, and an imperial envoy is dispatched every 6 years for this festival. Present torii gateway was rebuilt in 2014, since the original one was collapsed by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant.
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:20 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年08月06日

'Saruhashi' bridge, spanning the Katsura in Otsuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture, is known as one of the three strangest bridges in Japan.

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This unusual bridge, 31 meters long, 33 meters wide and 31 meters above the surface of the river, has no piers. This bridge spans the very place, where the sheer bluffs of the both sides of the Katsura, running across the Old Koshu Highway, are the highest and narrowest. They built this bridge in the 18th century at the place, where the distance from the surface of the river is the maximum, so that it can survive floods. A suspension bridge is likely spanned at this kind of place though, this unique bridge was built with new construction technologies at that time. Four horizontal pillars each from the holes made on both sides of the bluffs, and the upper pillars are gradually longer than the lower ones. Then the main bridge body, floor and parapet, is constructed on these pillars. All the pillars, which are vital to support the bridge, have to be protected from the rain against decay. Thus the decorative roofs are put on each pillar as shown in the picture, and these pillars with roofs are helpful to draw attention to the difference of this bridge.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 10:01 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする