2017年09月09日

The donjon of Inuyama Castle in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, is one of the 12 original castle towers in Japan.

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Inuyama Castle stands on the hilltop commanding the Kiso, the largest river flowing across the Nobi plane which embraces Nagoya City, the third largest urban area of Japan. Inuyama area on the boundary between Aichi Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture had been a battlefield where many powerful feudal lords had fought against each other for more territory since the 15th century. Inuyama Castle was built in 1537 as a strong fortress. In this area of rival warlords, this castle had been owned by many different warlords one after another. However since the possession of the Naruse clan, the chief retainer of the Owari Tokugawa House, in 1617, this had been continuingly owned by the same family till 2004. Japan's castles are state-owned in general after the Meiji Restoration in 1889 though, this castle was the one and only private property in modern times. Inuyama Castle is designated as a national treasure together with Matsumoto Castle, Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle and Matsue Castle.

License tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:32 | 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

2017年08月28日

'Shuzenji Onsen' in the north of the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, is the oldest hot spring resort found in this peninsula abounds in hot springs.

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A direct bus service from Shinjuku takes you to Shuzenji Onsen in 100 minutes. This major hot spring resort is said to be discovered by 'Kobo Daishi', a well known high-ranking priest, in the 8th-9th century. Many hot spring inns as well as restaurants line both sides of the Shuzenji flowing across the central part of the resort. The first picture shows the Shuzenji and 'Tokko-no-Yu' public foot bath in the center. Tokko-no-Yu is the first source of hot springs in this area, which used to be used as a public bath. A promenade runs along this river by way of 'Chikurin-no-Komichi' bamboo path, which attracts many sightseers. The second picture shows 'Shuzenji' Buddhist Temple standing in the heart of the resort, which is the origin of Shuzenji Onsen. This temple is not large-scale though, the certain history for as long as 1,200 years old has passed.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:27 | 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

2017年08月19日

The dropping of the world's first atomic bomb on Hirosima brought the devastating destruction in the heart of the city though, a few strong buildings survived.

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The first atomic bomb in human history violently exploded 600 meters high over the downtown of Hiroshima in August 1945. Just one bomb killed 160,000 innocent people in 6 months. All the buildings, within a 500 meter radius from the ground zero, were destroyed and reduced to ashes in a moment by the vehement blast and incandescent heat ray reaching 3,000-4,000 degrees Celsius. Strictly speaking, however, a few strong ferroconcrete buildings fortunately survived the bomb. The first picture shows 'Rest House of Hiroshima Peace Park', which is currently used as a tourist information office and rest station. This building had been originally built as a 'Kimono fabrics shop', then was converted into the office of 'Fuel Distribution Association' during the second World War. All the 37 people , working in this building at the very moment, were killed except for just one who fortunately was on the basement floor. The second picture shows the former building of Bank of Japan Hiroshima Branch. This building is used now to display the photos and materials relating to the A-bomb victims and the traces of damage. Lots of damage caused by the A-bomb are still found everywhere inside this building.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:12 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする