2017年07月23日

'Omuroyama' hill and 'Ippekiko' lake in the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, are the traces of old volcanic activities.

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In the eastern part of the Izu Peninsula, many traces of old volcanic activities are found not only on the ground but also on the bottom of the sea. Several beautiful cascades like 'Joren-no-taki', 'Eboshiyama' hill, 'Dogashima' island and 'Jogasaki' irregular coastline were all formed by volcanic activities. Among these unique sceneries, Omuroyama hill and Ippekiko lake are the best example. Omuroyama is a single-volcano, 580 meters high above sea level, which was formed by a single eruption about 4,000 years ago. The hill itself with an almost conical shape is 300 meters high, and the diameter of the bottom is 1,000 meters. An old crater, the diameter of 250 meters and 40 meters in depth, is found on the top of the hill, as shown in the first picture. The second picture shows Ippekiko lake commanded from the summit of Omuroyama hill. This round lake, which was formed by repeated eruption about 100,000 years ago, is a Marl Lake.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:38 | 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