2010年06月18日

The Hotel New Grand in Yokohama opened in 1927 is a leading hotel with a classical atmosphere in Japan.

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This historic hotel in the picture was constructed only four years after the Great Kanto earthquake destroyed most of the buildings in Tokyo and Yokohama. The promotion of the hotel construction work was carried out under the banner of the quick rebuilding after the quake. Many distinguished people from various fields like Chaplin or Babe Ruth stayed here and General Douglas MacArthur spent his first night at this hotel right after the end of the Second World War. It is said that some of Japan's peculiar western-food-like dishes such as 'Doria', 'spaghetti Napolitana' and 'pudding a la mode' were originated with cooks of the Hotel.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 06:13 | 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

2010年06月16日

The Yokohama-cyukagai, Chinatown in Yokohama is the Japan's largest district of this kind with many tourists and gourmets who throng to the exotic shops and restaurants.

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Yokohama was designated as the foreign trade port together with Nagasaki and Hakodate soon after Japan discontinued its policy of seclusion late in the 19th century. Since then Chinese traders and wage earners have immigrated into this place and chinese schools as well as religious institutions have been built by them. Today around five hundreds of restaurants, grocery stores and variety shops stand here roof by roof, which forms one of the major tourist spots for Japanese. Entering narrow streets of this area,however, you will learn that this district must be a place of everyday life for the Chinese in Yokohama through the Chinese nursery school or the doorplate of the residence.
The picture above shows one of the entrance gates of the district, while the below one is the Chinese temple called Kantei-byo whose spirit is the god of the trade.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:58 | 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

2010年03月29日

"Kairaku-en" garden which is the proudest boast of Mito City in Ibaraki Prefecture is counted among the best three celebrated landscape gardens in Japan together with "Korakuen" in Okayama and "Kenrokuen" in Kanazawa.

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"Kairakuen" garden was laid out by Tokugawa's branch family who ruled Mito, today's Ibaraki Prefecture, in the 19th century. Although this is a typical stroll-type landscape garden built by the feudal lord, "Kairakuen" was opened to the public from the beginning and so we can enter this compound for free of charge today. The gate in the picture above is the main entrance called "Kuromon" black gate and the smaller gate behind the front one is "Ichinokido", the entrance to the bamboo grove and the cedar forest. After passing through this half-dark place, we unexpectedly reach "Kobuntei" multipurpose tea house in the picture below, which is surrounded by the bright and extensive "Ume" apricot grove. This large-scale garden is said to be designed under the positive and negative principles of Chinese philosophy; thus, "Kobuntei" and "Ume" grove are equal to the former while the dusky path corresponds the latter.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 06:30 | 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