2014年06月23日

'Ikaho-onsen' hot spring resort north of Tokyo, the origin of it goes back to the 8th century, features 'Ishidan' long stone steps built in the 16th century.

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This historical hot spring resort had attracted many well-known writers and artists since the 'Meiji' period in the 19th century, furthermore an Imperial villa and the summer residence of an ambassador from the Kingdom of Hawaii stood at the same time. Long steep stone steps, flanked with so many 'ryokan' Japanese style hotels, gift shops and restaurants, are its selling points.
Thanks to the developmennt of the public transportation system from Tokyo, Ikaho was at the zenith of prosperity before the second World War though, this resort has gradually gone out of fashion. The long stone steps became counterproductive, because Japan's aging society is steadily progressing. However, many ryokans offer car transportation service across this hilly resort for the benefit of elderly people.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:01 | Other districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年05月23日

There lies the source of the hot springs called Yubatake at the very center of Kusatsu onsen town in Gunma, where some 4600 liters of the hot springs are gushing out every minute.

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The seven wooden pipes stretching out in the middle of the picture are the old devices to produce a sulfurous hot spring deposit called Yunohana by cooling hot water from the source. The common name of yubatake, literally a 'hot spring field', comes from a place to collect Yunohana. Yunohana were used for bug killers or bleaches and now they are sold as bath additives. This Yubatake is very well known as a symbol of Kusatsu onsen, though there are many onsens and yubatakes in Japan. In the evening, a crowd of people enjoying a walk with a Yukata, an informal cotton kimono after a bath, can be seen around here.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:18 | Other districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年05月22日

Yumi-ike is one of the dormant crater lakes on the top of Mt. Shirane, Gunma Prefecture.

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Yumi-ike with a perimeter of 800 meters and its neighboring wetlands offer a twenty minutes' comfortable stroll on the boardwalk to visitors. Although this picture was taken in mid- May, the lake was still covered with snow. From June to October, various kinds of alpine plants and water plants grow in abundance in this area in the picture to delight the eye of sightseers. The peculiar landscape of the volcanic formation is indeed worth seeing.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:00 | Other districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする