2017年06月29日

'Shiomi-nawate' street along the moat running on the north side of Matsue Castle is lined with the houses of middle-ranking samurai in the feudal years, the 16th-19th century.

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An old castle town 'Matsue' is a small city with a peaceful townscape. This city features 'Matsuba-gani' snow crab in winter and 'Izumo-soba' noodles all the year, which has put this city on the map as a gourmet city. As this city didn't suffer air raids at all during the Second World War, old townscapes are found everywhere. The first picture shows one of the examples called 'Shiomi-nawate', where the old houses of the middle-ranking samurai stand on the street 800 meters in length. Two houses are opened to the public now. One is a typical samurai house with a big gate called '*nagaya-mon', and the other one is the former house of 'Koizumi Yakumo', who was a well-known literary giant.
*Nagaya-mon is a gate building complex, which means a small house for a security guard and a firm gate are combined into one.
The second picture shows the exterior of Koizumi Yakumo's former house. He, a naturalized Japanese from Greece, lived here for one year at the end of the 19th century while working as an English teacher.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:18 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年06月23日

'Nanba', dotted with miscellaneous inexpensive shops and restaurants, is a part of 'Minami', which is one of the largest business and shopping areas in Osaka.

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Different from 'Kita' with many modern buildings, 'Minami' which is an old amusement area dating back to the 17-19th century still features traditional townscape of Osaka. 'Nanba' area, a part of 'Minami', is typical of Osaka as it is dotted with many inexpensive restaurants such as 'kushikatsu' fried skewered cutlets restaurants and 'doguyasuji' shopping street focused on kitchen utensils is also found here. In addition, 'Nanba Grand Kagetsu' theater as shown in the first picture, where the local comedians perform every day, symbolizes this area.
The second picture shows 'Kuromon Market' which is lined with 180 fish shops, vegetable stores and seafood restaurants with less expensive price.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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

2017年06月02日

The neighborhood of Holland Hills in the heart of Nagasaki City is dotted with many old Western style houses built in the middle of the 19th century.

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Japan had closed the door to Western countries from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century against the potential aggression through Christianization. In fact, however, Japan had traded with Holland, China, Korea and Ryukyu (Present Okinawa) through Nagasaki even in the period of national isolation. After the end of the seclusion policy in the 19th century, many Westerners rushed into Nagasaki and they settled in Higashi-Yamate zone commanding Nagasaki Port. As this zone is hilly, they built stone-paved slopes, wide and narrow, which were called Holland Hills by the locals. *As shown in the first picture. Because, all the Westerners were Netherlanders for the locals in the 17th-19th century. 15 Western houses still remain intact in this neighborhood as shown in the second picture. These houses along Holland Hills, together with old churches and Chinese Buddhist Temples, conveys the exotic town scape of Nagasaki.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:11 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする