2015年01月29日

Many shopping arcades(covered shopping street) are found mainly in Osaka and other cities in Western Japan.

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There were a number of shopping arcades in the commercial districts of major cities in Japan, in the Edo period in the 17th-19th century. These arcades were covered with the townhouse's extended eaves only on the street side. In the snowy provinces, similar arcades called 'gangi-zukuri' were used for the local pedestrians in winter with deep snow.
The present shopping arcades with transparent canopies, which are found in the suburbs of Tokyo and mainly in Western Japan, originated from 'Takegawara Shoji Arcade' in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, built in 1921. This arcade is small though, was designated as the Heritage of Industrial Modernization. The picture shows a typical shopping arcade named 'Uomachi Gintengai' in Kokura-kita Ward, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, which is the first fulll-fledged shopping arcade along public roads covered with canopies, built in 1951.
Most shopping arcades have been built since the end of the Second World War, however the number of them are decreasing going with the deterioration and the increasing number of vacant shops.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:01 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年01月12日

The largest mosque and the oldest mosque in Japan.

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There about 80 mosques, large and small, throughout Japan. Tokyo Camii in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo as shown in the first picture is the largest one, which provides 1,200 believers with a magnificent place of Islamic worship. Concrete and steel aside, the construction materials and furniture were brought all the way from Turkey. More than a hundred Turkish carpenters as well as craftsmen engaged in this constructionn work for a year. This mosque is said to have similar exterior to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
On the other hand, the second picture shows the oldest mosque in Japan, which stands in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. This was built in 1935, by the Turks, Tatars and Indian traders in Kobe.
Both mosques are opened to the public regardless of their faith.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:04 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年12月09日

An open-air bath, ping-pong table and massage chair are the three status symbols at a traditional hot-spring inn in Japan.

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There are some 3,000 hot spring resorts in Japan, which accounts for 10 percent of volcanoes in the world. From big resorts with many hotels and inns, such as Atami and Beppu, to secluded small ones, Japan is dotted with a variety of hot-spring resorts. Going with Japan's Westernization, western-style accommodations furnished with beds have gradually increased though, Japanese style inns still remain. Japan's traditional hot-spring inn, needless to say, is necessarily equipped with 'futon' on 'tatami-mats' floor in each room. And in most cases, many of these inns have an open-air hot-spring bath as shown in the first picture. Ping-pong and electric-powered massage chair, behind the ping-pong table, in common space in the second picture are usually offered for free.

Lisenced tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:51 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする