2019年10月02日

'Nara-machi' zone in the heart of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is lying in the ancient area, where the extensive precincts of 'Ganko-ji' Buddhist Temple, a World Heritage, used to stand.

IMG_0828.JPG

IMG_0858.JPG

Nara-machi has been developed on the overhanging part of 'Heijo-kyo', the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It is an old zone along the ancient grid-pattern roads in the 8th century. Ganko-ji Temple found here originally had extensive precincts though, these precincts had gradually been transformed into a commercial zone from the 16th to 19th century. It had become a busy zone with a variety of wholesalers and retailers dealing in writing brushes, Indian ink, mosquito nets and the like. This is one of the rare cities which escaped the air raids during the Second World War, as it was a relatively small city without big factories. Nara-machi, accordingly, is still dotted with many old buildings as shown in the pictures, and some of them are converted into bars, restaurants, variety shops and lodging houses to attract many people as a new tourist spot of this former capital.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:14 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年09月24日

'Shima-onsen' hot spring resort in Nakanojo Town, Gunma Prefecture, has been known for spa treatments since the 16th century.

IMG_0766.JPG

IMG_0774.JPG

Shima means 40 thousands, which was named after the fact that this hot spring is effective against 40 thousand types of diseases. This resort town can be reached by car from nearby train station on JR Azuma-line, running on a 17km-long mountain road along Shima mountain stream. This road comes to the dead-end here in Shima area, and a nostalgic cozy resort town has been formed near the beautiful stream as shown in the second picture. Many people having a chronic disease strived to go up the gentle slope to Shima-onsen all the way from Nakanojo train station. The first picture shows 'Sekizenkan ryokan', one of the leading ryokans here. This originally was just for a spa treatment though, Sekizenkan also turns to be known as a high-end Japanese ryokan with a hot spring private bath after repeated extension works. A part of the old building and the oldest public bath room are designated as Registered Tangible Cultural Properties. This time-honored ryokan was depicted as a stage of 'Spirited Away' by Hayao Miyazaki, thus the young guests are frequently found recently.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 16:27 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年09月19日

The population of giant panda, inhabiting just in Sichuan and Gansu Province, China, tends to increase recently.

IMG_0589 (2).JPG

Giant pandas used to inhabit in Vietnam and Myanmar though, their present habitats are limited to a part of a mountainous district of China. Because of extensive deforestation and poaching for fur, the population of pandas had rapidly reduced. But thanks to the establishment of 40 sanctuaries by the Chinese government and the development of artificial breeding study, the number of them is estimated at about 1,800 now. Their staple food is bamboo, but their digestive organs are less efficient, so they spend almost the entire day eating bamboo. Talking of pandas, China's Panda Diplomacy is widely known, China utilizes pandas to deepen the relationship to the countries of the Western block. It presented a couple of pandas to the US in 1972, followed by Japan, France and the UK. However the Washington Convention stipulates export ban of pandas from China, thus the pandas found out of China, are all rental for studies nowadays In the end, an interesting story though, an ancient document, reading that a King of China in Tang period presented a pair of pandas to the Emperor of Japan in 685, remains in Japan.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner





posted by masahisa at 15:10 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする