2015年11月26日

'Mt. Kaimon-dake', which rises on the southern tip of the 'Satsuma' Peninsula, is an active volcano, 924 meters high.

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There are 110 active volcanoes in the volcanic country Japan, 17 of them are in Kyushu. Talking of the volcanoes in Kyushu, the world's largest class volcano 'Mt. Aso' is well known though, this small Mt. Kaimon-dake should be noted. As the shape is conical, this independent peak is also called 'Satsuma Fuji'. ('Mt. Fuji' in Satsuma, present Kagoshima)
From a park at the foot of it, a spiral path up the mountain is in good condition, so people can enjoy 3 hour mountaineering. The picture shows the distant view of Mt.Kaimon-dake across Lake Ikeda, a caldera lake formed by the collapse of another volcano. This lake is the largest lake in Kyushu, the bottom of which an underwater volcano 150 meters high stands.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:58 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年11月18日

"Suizenji-Jojuen", commonly known as "Suizenji Japanese Gardens", in Kumamoto City originated from a small tea house built by "Hosokawa Tadatoshi", the first feudal lord of the Kumamoto domain, in 1636.

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Suizenji Japanese Gardens in the residential area near the heart of Kumamoto City is a "daimyo garden" which was designed centering around a pond filled with the welling up water from Mt. Aso volcano. This garden is also designed following the scenic spots of the "Fifty-Three Stations of Tokaido Highway". The mound in the center of the first picture is likened to Mt.Fuji. The third feudal lord "Hosokawa Tsunatoshi" completed this landscaping work around 1700, however the original symbol of this garden, "Suigetsutei" tea house, was reduced to ashes due to a civil war in 1877. At the site of this tea house, "Kokondenju-no-ma" was relocated from Kyoto in 1912, as shown in the second picture.
*Kokondenju-no-ma is a historical house, where "Hosokawa Yusai" the father of the Hosokawa clan, who was a wellknown poet, taught the essence of how to compose poems to the royal family in Kyoto.
This garden is designed to be enhanced by it surroundings, such as the distant view of Mt. Aso, but many high-rise buildings are disturbing that benefit now.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:51 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年08月23日

Fukuzawa Yukichi, the portrait on the ten thousand yen bill of Japan, was a great enlightmment thinker who contributed all his effort to Japan's modernization late in the 19th century.

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Fukuzawa Yukichi, a son of a low-ranking samurai of Nakatsu domain, present Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture, was a very diligent person from infancy. It is said that he studied day and night in the small warehouse on the right in the second picture, which still stands inside the grounds of his parents' house behind.
As he grew up, he studied a wide range of subjects in Osaka and Nagasaki, which helped him to be picked out for 'hatamoto' a direct retainer of the shogun, although he came from a low class samurai family. He was dispatched by then feudal government to the US as well as European countries to understand advanced system and technology.
In 1867, Tokugawa shogunate system came to an end, and Japan's modernization started under the banner of the Emperor Meiji.
He took the lead in illuminating the people from the point of view of a private citizen, writing many books while establishing Keio University. This university has all been giving birth to a large number of dominant figures in various fields.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:25 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする