2017年06月02日

The neighborhood of Holland Hills in the heart of Nagasaki City is dotted with many old Western style houses built in the middle of the 19th century.

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Japan had closed the door to Western countries from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century against the potential aggression through Christianization. In fact, however, Japan had traded with Holland, China, Korea and Ryukyu (Present Okinawa) through Nagasaki even in the period of national isolation. After the end of the seclusion policy in the 19th century, many Westerners rushed into Nagasaki and they settled in Higashi-Yamate zone commanding Nagasaki Port. As this zone is hilly, they built stone-paved slopes, wide and narrow, which were called Holland Hills by the locals. *As shown in the first picture. Because, all the Westerners were Netherlanders for the locals in the 17th-19th century. 15 Western houses still remain intact in this neighborhood as shown in the second picture. These houses along Holland Hills, together with old churches and Chinese Buddhist Temples, conveys the exotic town scape of Nagasaki.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:11 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年07月08日

'Miyajidake' Shinto Shrine in Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, the head shrine of many miyajidake shrines all over Japan, is known as a god granting business prosperity.

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Japanese people have custom to pay the first visit of the year to their nearby shrine on Jan.1st, 2nd and 3rd. As this shrine is believed to grant the prayer of business prosperity, many merchants as well as businessmen visit here every new year. The number of them is counted more than a million, the largest number in Kyushu. The straw rope, put under the eaves of the main building in the first picture, is said to be the largest one in Japan, suggesting the high standing of this shrine. This main building stands halfway up a hill, where the prayer for victory by the Imperial navy was done when they started on the voyage to Korea about 1,600 year ago. The second picture shows the approach way from the sea to the main building, which is called 'Hikari-no-Michi' the path of light. The sun sets into the end of this path meeting the sea only two times a year.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:19 | 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