2017年04月27日

'Sannai Maruyama' archaeological site in the suburbs of Aomori City is a leading archaeological site of the 'Jomon' period in Japan.

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It was known even in the 17th century that an archaeological site existed here, as many old document and records, referring to the ancient clay figures as well as potteries which appeared here, are found. A full-scale excavation work was tardily started in 1992, and the entire area of this site has gradually unveiled to be pretty big. The investigation reaching 40 hectares has been finished so far though, this site seems to be expanding more and more. It is imaginable that the first settlers in this site was around 5,500 years ago, then it reached the zenith with 100 houses and the population of 500, 4,500 years ago. It is thought that they cultivated chestnuts as well as walnuts, and caught small animals like hares. The first picture shows a strange structure made up of 6 columns, from the spaces of each wooden parts of which we can know that all buildings of this site are made based on a unit of 35cm in length. The second picture shows the interior of the largest house with a width of 10 meters.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:14 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年04月03日

'Kakunodate', located in the mountainous region of Akita Prefecture, is called 'Little Kyoto' because old buildings standing on time-honored streets are found in the heart of the old town.

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After a ten minute walk from Kakunodate Station, a decent townscape with an old atmosphere comes into our sight. This beautiful town was built at the beginning of the 17th century, along wide streets with hooked corners working as a firebreak as well as to protect the town against enemy attack. Samurai houses, common people's houses and shops, and Buddhist Temples are separately arranged, and most of the samurai houses still remain intact. As 'Satake' clan, the feudal lord in this domain, who built this town, was from Kyoto nobles, the things in Kyoto styles are found everywhere, for example the local place names after Kyoto. Kakunodate fortunately survived the civil wars during the process of Japan's modernization in the middle of the 19th century. This district is thickly covered with snow in winter as shown in the picture though, when late spring comes at the beginning of May, around 400 cherry trees planted 300 years ago blossom all together. Kakunodate is well known as one of the greatest cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:27 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年03月13日

'Bannaji' Buddhist Temple in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, is an old temple which was built in the part of the castle grounds of 'Ashikaga' clan, a feudal lord of this domain.

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Ashikaga clan built their castle with some 40,000 square meter grounds, which was surrounded by a moat and an earthwork, in the middle of the 12th century. The first picture shows 'Taiko-bashi' bridge spanning the old moat with 'Sanmon' main gate leading to Bannaji Temple. The original aspect of the very the old castle in those years can be traced back from this modern picture. Bannaji, being originated from a small temple building built by Ashikaga clan in 1196, had gradually developed as a full-scale family temple of this clan since the main building completion in 1299. This 'Hondo' main building in the second picture was repaired early in the 15th century and was designated as a national treasure recently. Hondo aside, many old precious buildings such as a bell tower and a sutra repository, they are designated as important cultural assets, are found in this temple grounds. Bannaji Temple is a very important historical site in the Kanto region.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:36 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする