2016年01月21日

'Koyasan' Buddhist Temple, located on the flat area of the mountainous region of Wakayama Prefecture, is a general name of the religious city made up of massive number of buildings.

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'Koyasan Kongobuji', founded by the highest-ranking priest 'Kukai' also known as 'Kobodaishi' in the 9th century, is the largest sacred ground of Buddhism in Japan. Starting from 'Danjo Garan' area as well as 'Okunoin' area, this temple is made up of 6 areas in the huge grounds measuring 160,000 square meters, and is designated as a World Heritage. This sanctuary is dotted with some 117 branch temples, about half of which are running 'shukubo' lodging for the pilgrims and sightseers.
The first picture shows 'kondo' in the left and 'konpondaito' in the center. They are standing in danjo garan area where corresponds to the main area of common Buddhist temple. Second picture shows the graveyard of Kukai in Okunoin area. More than 200,000 tombstones of the Imperial families, nobilities and feudal lords are found on both sides of the approach way running longer than 2 kilometers.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.
通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 11:24 | 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01月16日

'Shukubo' is an affiliated lodging facility to nearby Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines.

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Shukubo originally was a lodging facility for priests, however it had gradually taken on common people in accordance with the nationwide popularization of the visit to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the 10-12th century. When Japan was stabilized in the 17th century, this visit to temples and shrines became tourism and many shukubos were built by 'oshi' travel agents near major religious institutions such as Ise Shrine and Zenkoji Temple to accommodate increasing visitors. These old shukubos are still found in many places in Japan, most of which offer 'shojin ryori' vegetarian food with reasonable room charge and occasionally offer 'Zen' meditation experience.
The picture shows one of the shukubos of Koyasan Buddhist temple in Wakayama Prefecture. There are 52 shukubos, which are run by the branch temples of Koyasan, in the vicinity of this great temple.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:58 | 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

2015年11月16日

Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture, globally known for 'Kobe beef', is a representative trade port in Japan.

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Kobe, which was called ' Owada-no-tomari' in the 12th century, has developed into a leading trade port in Japan. It was the largest port town in Japan as well as in the Eastern World for more than 100 years from the latter half of the 19th century, however a massive earthquake caused serious damage in 1995. After being revived from the unprecedented disaster as the fifth largest city in Japan, this city was rated in the top five most livable cities in the world by The Economist.
The first picture shows the townscape of 'Kyoryuchi' the Western settlements, where many old stately buildings stand projecting the presence created by the long history as the largest class city in Japan. The distant view of a megalopolis in the second picture is the greater Osaka, the eastern part of Kobe included, from the summit of Mt. Rokko, 900 meters above sea level. The night view of the greater Osaka, Japan's second largest urban area, is worth seeing from here if weather permits.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:25 | 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