2016年06月23日

'Matsumoto Castle', standing in the heart of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, features Japan's oldest full-scale 'tenshukaku' castle tower.

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Around 10 years before the completion of Edo Castle in Tokyo, which is regarded as the symbol of the unification of feudal Japan, the present tenshukaku castle tower of Matsumoto Castle was built. As those years were in the midst of wartime, the castles had to be well defended. Accordingly most castles in this period stand on a hill, this kind of castle is called 'yamashiro' hilltop castle. However, Matsumoto Castle is a typical 'hirashiro' flatland castle, equipped with tall stone walls, double moats, gun and arrow loops (As shown in the second picture), as fortifications. The two storied building in the left of the tallest building in the first picture was built in the 17th century, when Japan was already pacified, therefore any kinds of defensive devices can't be found inside. Castle tower of Matsumoto Castle is designated as a national treasure together with four other castles, Himeji Castle, Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle and Matsue Castle. In this connection, Matsumoto City is carrying out the project to restore the outer moat of this castle by 2020.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 16:40 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年06月13日

'Zenkoji' Buddhist Temple in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, doesn't stand for any sect, where hidden Buddhist images are worshipped.

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Zenkoji, made up of 2 main temples and 39 affiliated temples, is a huge Buddhist temple. This temple features being totally independent of any sect and having accepted female worshippers since its establishment. The main Buddhist images are thought to be hidden, as they can't be seen even by the head priest, however some of them are opened to the public every 6 years. The picture shows 'Hondo' main building, designated as a national treasure, which was rebuilt in 1707. This stately building is Japan's third largest wooden structure among many old wooden buildings of national treasures. The dimensions are 29 meters high, 24 meters wide and 53 meters deep. 'Kaidan Meguri', meaning to walk through in the pitch-dark tunnel running right under the seats of main images, is worth being experienced. 'Sanmon' main gate, designated as an important cultural asset, can be entered for a small fee, and many scribblings dating back to the 18th century are found inside.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 09:43 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年06月07日

'Kaichi Gakko' in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, is an elementary school built in the latter half of the 19th century, which is one of the oldest existing Western style school buildings.

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Kaichi Gakko, originally built as the first elementary school in Nagano Prefecture in 1873, was rebuilt into the present building in 1876. Most of the construction costs of this school building were covered with the donation from the locals, and more than 20,000 people were said to attend the opening ceremony. Nagano is known as an education-conscious prefecture in Japan, which seems to be proved from this matter of fact in those days. This old school building, designated as an important cultural asset, was converted into an education museum to be opened to the public.
The local master carpenter 'Tateishi Kiyoshige' visited Tokyo two times to study many modern buildings before shaping his specific idea. The picture shows its graceful exterior though, the interior is also elaborately finished with beautiful colored glass. Some other school buildings in this vicinity were designed and built by a master carpenter 'Sasaki Kiju', who had long worked under Tateishi Kiyoshige. These school buildings are reflecting the design of this school building.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 16:24 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする