2018年10月06日

Mansei-bashi train station used to stand between Kanda Station and Ocha-no-mizu Station on JR Chuo-Line.

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In the vicinity of Mansei Bridge, spanning the Kanda River running along the edge of Akihabara Electric Town, many kinds of stores such as greengrocers, rice stores and fuel dealers were found in the 17th century. In the wake of the increasing population in the 18th-19th century, this vicinity had become one of the busiest downtowns in Tokyo with an accumulation of the restaurants and amusement facilities. Mansei-bashi train station, which had a stately station building equipped with a waiting room, restaurant and meeting room, was opened in 1912. However, Tokyo Station, Kanda Station and Akihabara Station were opened one after another thereafter, and the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 destroyed this stately building. The importance of this station as a transportation hub had rapidly shrunk toward abolition in 1943. A part of the old platform is converted into a restaurant now, which offers the visitors a very close view of the passing trains as shown in the first and second pictures. Several old restaurants are still found on the back streets of this quarter, which recall the good days before the Second World War, as shown in the third picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:38 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年09月29日

Moji port, standing face to face with Shimonoseki City across Kanmon Strait, is an old port town.

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This port town's history dates back to 1889, when it was designated by the nation as one of the ports for foreign trade. Going with the flow of the rapid modernization of Japan and the development of the heavy and chemical industries in this neighborhood, Moji gradually had established its position as a leading port town of the country through the trading with the Korean Peninsula as well as Manchuria. A local business district was formed here. with the branch office buildings of the big financial institutions, shipping companies and trading companies. Moji was one of the most important ports in Japan in its golden times before the Second World War. Thereafter, the Kanmon Railway Tunnel begun service between Moji and Shimonoseki in 1942, and Japan lost the overseas territory in 1945 right after the end of the War, the importance of this port town abruptly dropped. However the movement to revive this old area as a sightseeing spot was started around 1995, which seems to be successful so far because two million people annually visit here. The first picture shows the former branch building of Moji customs built in 1912, and the second one is the former Mitsui Club building, which was a social club of Mitsui & Co., Ltd, one of the big businesses in Japan even now.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:13 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年09月09日

Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City, located in the northeast of Fukuoka Prefecture, used to prosper as Japan's largest coal shipping port.

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Wakamatsu-ku originally was Wakamatsu City established in 1914. From the latter half of the 19th century, when Japan's modernization started, nearby 'Chikuho' coalfield had been rapidly developed and most of the coal was shipped from Wakamatsu to the major industrial zones and cities of the country. Wakamatsu, accordingly, showed great prosperity with large population from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The adjacent five cities including Wakamatsu City were combined to form the then seventh largest city in Japan, Kitakyushu City, in 1963 though, this new megacity has been in its twilight since because of an energy revolution. Wakamatsu area is a typical example of this obsolete city featuring a smokestack industry.
Two pictures show some reminders.
First picture: Former Wakamatsu branch building of 'Furukawa Co., Ltd' built in 1919, which still is one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Japan.
Second picture: 'Ryotei Kin-nabe' Japanese high-end restaurant built in 1896, which is still servicing.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:58 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする