2018年02月11日

'Munakata-taisha' in Fukuoka Prefecture is one of the most prestigious Shinto shrines in Japan.

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Munakata-taisha consists of three shrines, 'Okitsu-miya' in 'Oki-no-shima' island, 'Nakatsu-miya' in 'Chikuzen-oshima' island and 'Hetsu-gu' main shrine in Kyushu. As these three shrines are lined up in a straight line toward Pusan, Korea, they are thought to have had been the transfer points for the sea route between Japan and Korea since ancient times. So, Munakata-taisha is believed to be the guardian spirit for traffic safety. In many cases, a good luck charm for traffic safety is found in a motor vehicle in Japan. This tradition originated from this shrine. Oki-no-shima island four kilometers in circumference, 60 kilometers off the coast, has long been strictly prohibited to enter, so massive precious metals were found by the excavation after the Second World War. They are supposed to have had been used for religious service in the 4th-10th century. More than 10,000 items are on the list of national treasures, some of them were from China, Korea and Persia, and are on display in the museum of Hetsu-gu main shrine. Munakata-taisha also is a World Heritage site. The picture shows 'Takamiya-saijo', the place where the spirit of Heavens descends. This is an ancient site for a religious service, which hands down the original form of Shinto prayer.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:30 | 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02月03日

'Jo-an' tea house, found in the northern end of Aichi Prefecture, is one of the three most noted tea houses in Japan.

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Old tea house Joan, gracefully standing in 'Urakuen' Japanese garden near Nagoya City, was originally built in Kyoto at the beginning of the 17th century. This tea house was initially for the treat of 'Oda Urakusai', who was one of the greatest masters of tea ceremony, and was used for his private purposes. However it was relocated here in Urakuen garden in 1972. This Japanese garden, which is opened to the public, is very well maintained to realize perfect surroundings harmonized with this precious tea house.
It's essential to offer an extraordinary experience to tea ceremony attendees. There are three great tea houses designated as a national treasure in Japan. This Jo-an aside, 'Tai-an' and 'Mitsu-an-seki' in Kyoto. The former was designed by 'Sen-no-Rikyu' and the latter was by 'Kobori Enshu', both of them are tea ceremony giants. The two pictureS show the exterior as well as interior of this prestigious tea house.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:40 | Tea ceremony | 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