2018年01月29日

'Mt. Daisetsuzan' or 'Mt. Taisetsuzan', rising in the central part of Hokkaido, is not a single mountain but a general term for many volcanoes in its area.

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Daisetsuzan is said to be a rich repository of an alpine plant, and is also known as a place where Japan's first snow is recorded every year. Thus, the beautiful autumn leaves are found even in the middle of September. Many tourists throughout Japan visit here for the first autumn leaves in the country. Daisetsuzan has long been formed on the immense rock foundation with an area of about 4,000 square kilometers. This mountain is made up of more than ten 2,000 m-class volcanoes, such as 'Asahidake' peak, which is the tallest in Hokkaido, 'Kurodake' peak and 'Akadake' peak. Violent fumarole activity is seen everywhere on the hillside of Asahidake peak. Being designated as 'Daisetsuzan National Park', the flora and fauna of this area are strictly preserved, so a variety of indigenous plants and animals are found here. The picture shows the autumn leaves commanded from the route up to Akadake peak. Even though two months earlier than Tokyo, the best time to see them looks past their peak.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:47 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年01月18日

'Sapporo Clock Tower', the official name of which is 'The old martial arts practice hall of Sapporo Agriculture School', standing in the very heart of Sapporo City, is a leading sightseeing spot in Hokkaido.

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This clock tower was originally built in the ground of Sapporo Agriculture School, present Hokkaido University, in 1878, as a martial arts training hall of that school. It was, at first, a bell tower though, the bell was replaced with the clock in 1881. This clock had long been abandoned by the locals, however it was carefully repaired by a nearby watchmaker in 1933. He had visited almost every day after that to take care of this old clock till 1982 as his volunteer work. Once being used as a city library before the Second World War, it is now utilized as a small museum focusing on the history of Hokkaido University as well as a rental hall for the locals. This old building is on the list of important cultural assets, because this is one of the oldest buildings in Hokkaido. The development of Hokkaido just started in the middle of the 19th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:30 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年01月09日

'Yoichi Distillery' in Hokkaido is the birthplace of 'Nikka Whisky'.

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Japan's first genuine whisky was produced at 'Yamazaki Distillery' in the suburbs of Kyoto by 'Kotobukiya', present Suntory in 1929. Mr. Masataka Taketsuru, who was the head manager of this distillery at that time, quit Kotobukiya aiming for perfect whisky. He founded a distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, to make the best Japanese whisky unlimitedly like Scotch Whisky. Yoichi and its neighborhood have Scottish weather, and are blessed with the good materials as well as the fuel for whisky making. This distillery still employs old-fashioned distilling equipment in order to put more importance on quality than quantity, being based on Quality-First-Policy. The first whisky was marketed in 1940, after undergoing all sorts of hardships, however this factory was under requisition by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War. As the pictures show, this old factory in operation is dotted with the original buildings such as the house of the founder's family, office building and many branch workshops for whisky making. This factory is open to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:48 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする