2016年11月14日

'Ikuta Jinja' Shinto shrine standing in the very heart of Kobe is a legend-rich shrine and the name of Kobe derives from this.

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According to an ancient book in the 9th century, the whole area of present Chuo-ku, Kobe City was the precincts of Ikuta Jinja and was called 'Kanbe'. This old place name Kanbe had gradually changed to Kobe. The Honden main building in the picture was repeatedly damaged by floods, wars and earthquakes for longer than 1,000 years duration, however it was painstakingly reconstructed each time. The neighborhood of this shrine is dotted with many restaurants, bars and shops standing side by side each other, but a thick grove called 'Ikuta-no-Mori' spreads right behind this shrine. This grove is known as ancient battlefields in the 12th and 14th century, as well as a part of the temporary capital 'Fukuhara' in the 12th century. There are several affiliated shrines in this shrine grounds, among which 'Hocho-zuka' memorial mound for knives is found. This was built on behalf of nearby restaurant keepers, and is keeping watch over them for their business prosperities.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 19:53 | Suburbs of Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年08月03日

'Kinosaki-onsen' hot spring resort in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, is known as one of the leading hot spring resorts together with 'Arima-onsen' in Western Japan.

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Kinosaki-onsen, expanding along Otani brook which is a branch of the Maruyama flowing into the Sea of Japan, is a peaceful resort town with a traditional atmosphere. As shown in the first picture, the streamside willow trees in two lines and many old stone bridges create an elegant ambience. Many visitors in 'yukata' cotton kimono with 'geta' wooden clogs strolling around are found here and there when night comes. Seven public bathhouses stand along this brook, one of them named 'goshonoyu' are shown in the second picture. All the ryokans in this resort had never been equipped with their own bathhouses till 1925, so the visitors used these public bathhouses. In this connection, this resort used to be entirely utilized as a military hospital during the second World War, making the most of the hot springs to ease the wounded soldiers.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 17:07 | Suburbs of Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年04月24日

The fact that a cat named 'Tama' was officially assigned for the stationmaster of Kishi Station in Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture, became the topic of a conversation.

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Kishi Station originally belonged to Nankai Electric Railway Co.,Ltd, one of the largest private railways in Japan. In 2006, when this station was sold to Wakayama Electric Railway Co., Ltd, a small local company, it became unmanned. Being attended with this labor saving policy, the unique proposal to appoint a pet cat of the station kiosk as the stationmaster, was moved by the new company president. A stationmaster's office, as shown in the first picture, was built for the cat next to the ticket gate in 2008, and this came up in conversation across the country. Kishi Station is always packed with not only Japanese visitors but also non-Japanese sightseers from all over the world. This station building had long been an original wooden building though, the new building as shown in the second picture was rebuilt in 2010.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:10 | Suburbs of Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする