2012年03月11日

'Nankinmachi' in Kobe is one of the largest Chinatowns in Japan, together with 'Chukagai' in Yokohama and 'Shinchi-chukagai' in Nagasaki.

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In 'Motomachi' district in the heart of Kobe City, about one hundred Chinese shops and restaurants are in business side by side. As shown in the first picture, some of them sell dim sum prepared on the spot right in front of the shops.
There live more than ten thousand Chinese people in the port town Kobe, which exceeds its counterpart Yokohama by a considerable margin in terms of numbers. The size of 'Nankinmachi' is , however, one fifth of 'Chukagai' in Yokohama, because the former is thinly inhabited by Chinese people, while the latter is a kind of Chinese settlement with their schools, religious institutions, etc. 'Nankinmachi' is no more than a Chinese-style shopping area. Kobe is dotted with Chinese people mainly in 'Yamate' area, that is, they have long lived here having close relations with Japanese people.
The second picture shows one of the events carried out here on 'Shunsetsu' Chinese lunar 'Shogatsu' the New Year's holiday. A portion of the people practicing 'tai chi' in Chinese costume seem to be the Japanese locals.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:29 | 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

2012年02月29日

The Great Hansin and Awaji Earthquake, whose epicenter was the bottom of the Akashi Strait between Kobe City and Awaji-shima Island in Hyogo Prefecture, occured on the 17th of January,1995.

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The magnitude of the Great Hansin Earthquake was 7.3 on the Richter scale, that was one five-hundredth as strong as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The seismic center of the quake was, however, very close to Kobe City with a population of 1.5 million, which is one of the largest cities in Japan. Therefore the seismic intensity on the Japanese scale was registered 7-severe. This record was the strongest one in Japanese history exceeding that of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.
Many structures in the heart of Kobe, such as the elevated roads, overhead railway and old ferroconcrete buildings, were collapsed and around 6,500 lives were lost as a result the fires and fallen houses in the residential areas.
There are two memorial parks associated with the quake and the victims, in Kobe and Awaji-shima Island.
The first picture shows the memorial park at Meriken-hatoba wharf in Kobe, where the destroyed pier right after the quake is well preserved.
While, the active fault line appeared on the surface of the earth, as shown in the second picture, can be found in Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park in the north of Awaji-shima Island.

Posted by licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:18 | 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

2012年02月26日

'Naruto-no-uzushio' is violent eddying tides formed on the Naruto Strait stretching out between Awaji-shima Island in Hyogo Prefecture and Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture.

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The Naruto Strait, located at the easternmost point of Seto Inland Sea, is a very narrow sea with a width of 1.3km connecting the inland sea with the Pacific Ocean. The violent eddying tides are born thanks to the swift current caused by a tidal range and ragged sea bed.
When a full tide overlaps with a spring or autumn tide, the great whirlpools with a diameter of 20 meters, as shown in the first picture, can be seen.
The size and speed of this whirlpools are said to be No.1 in the world, and many people enjoy the whirlpools viewing from the sightseeing boat, as shown in the second picture, or from 'Uzu-no-michi' footbridge attached to 'Ohnaruto-kyo' long suspension bridge between Awaji-shima and Shikoku.
'Naruto-no-uzushio' has long been well known among Japanese people as one of the leading sightseeing spots, and was depicted in an 'ukiyoe' woodblock print by Ando Hiroshige in the 18th century.

Posted by licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:53 | 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